There are a lot of professionals and websites that say to go workout to help battle depression, anxiety, and to have good mental health in general. I know that this advice is based on science showing that exercise makes your brain release endorphins, which are known to help make you happy. I know that this advice is given with good intentions but there are some people who struggle to even get dressed and make it out of their doors to go workout. These people might have another way that they battle their bad mental health days, whether they create, read, hang out with friends, or watch their favorite movies.
Everyone does something different.
I am one of the people who uses exercise to maintain good mental health, though. I always have! Sometimes I just do a short yoga video at home, sometimes I walk my dog; but most times, I go to the gym.
I don’t just do this to release endorphins and feel happy for the rest of the day, though. That is a perk, for sure, but working out impacts my mental health further than that!
Fitness helps with my daily routine:
I workout because it helps me stay in a routine. I thrive on routines and when things aren’t going according to my routine, I often experience anxiety and irritability. I usually wake up around 6 am, I feed the dog, eat breakfast, and catch up on the news. I review what I need to do for the day. I leave my house around 8 am to make it to CrossFit by 8:30 am. I run any errands I have after class and then I go home. The moment I walk through the door, I take Zeke out for a walk, and once we get home is when I will work on my blog, homework, and podcast. I will also take this time to answer any messages I have from clients or potential clients. I clean the house and read my book. Once my husband gets home, I make sure to turn my focus to him and spending time with him. One of us will make dinner and we will chill out for the rest of the night. That is what a standard day looks like for me. Having a morning CrossFit class that I go to helps me to get out of bed and have a productive morning.
Confidence and self-love:
Fitness helps me stay confident with myself and my abilities. When I am working out and achieving goals, I feel so confident in myself and my self love and worth therefore grows! Truthfully, I am not sure why this happens, but I do know that if I don’t workout, then I don’t feel quite a confident. I think this is a combination of working out helping with my mental health, achieving my big fitness goals, and staying productive.
It’s a coping mechanism:
I workout to cope with some of my emotions. Things could feel like they are going horribly for me, but once I go workout, my mind feels more clear. Sometimes I can think of ways to handle things while I workout, or come up with ideas that I hadn’t thought of before.
Fitness inspires me and helps me:
Working out inspires me. I come up with a lot of my blog posts and podcast episodes while I am working out. It inspires me so I can keep inspiring and motivating other people!
It helps with my overall health:
Lastly, working out and fueling my body keeps me physically healthy, which also helps with all other aspects of my health. I firmly believe that not being healthy mentally will also result in not being very healthy physically and vice versa. All aspects of holistic health really play off of each other and it is important to strive to be healthy in every aspect of life!
I wear a lot of hats; NASM Certified Personal Trainer, Weight Loss Specialist, and Fitness Nutrition Specialist; wife; fur mom; writer; college student; mental health advocate; pet sitter; Airman; athlete; and many more. I love my home in the southwest and my favorite season is summer. I am a sepsis survivor and I battle with generalized anxiety disorder and depression.