The Cure for Depression: Move it!

This will totally raise your confidence level in me, but this topic is my favorite because I actually have experience with it.

Okay -I have experience with the others, too. They’re just not as fun to talk about. (I’m referring to Connect with a Human, Get a Paid Friend, Get a Paid Medical Friend, and Swallow That Pill).

NOW we get to discuss getting off the freaking floor. NOW we get to talk exercise.

I LOVE exercise. No, I’m not a masochistic, weight-lifting gym junkie. I am most definitely not that person you see running down the street at breakneck speed and somehow grinning whilst doing it.

If you make it over to my gym, I’m the one barely shuffling around the track (because I fall off treadmills). Old people are passing me, giving me thumbs-up for trying ’cause they’re nice like that.

Stillstill I LOVE exercise. For me, it’s the ability to move.

Whenever I finally get my sorry rear into workout clothes and start moving, something inside me cannot stop feeling happy. Running makes me feel like I’m flying, like I’m airborne and nothing’s going to stop me. I know it’s not endorphins because it always happens at the start. That, and I seem a bit endorphin-deficient even at the end.

I understand that moving may not be your happy place. Answer me this, though: IS NOT MOVING YOUR HAPPY PLACE?

Nope, you’re lying.

I know, because I’m sitting right next to you. It’s a bit dark, of course. We’ve got some kind of substance and/or distraction and/or avoidance crap going on. No one can get in, even if they’re actually right there by us. We’re comfortable here, but not truly happy.

Soooo…. this is the part where you ask how you can possibly get moving.

Answer: Make it easier to move.

No, really. I remember reading this guy’s idea about how we are such slaves to convenience that literally making a habit about twenty seconds more difficult will help us not do it. (Sorry for the run-on sentence.)

think it’s this dude, Shawn Achor:

If not, his book was good anyway. Something about happiness and advantage.

He had a bad habit of coming home and immediately losing himself to an hour or a few watching Netflix. Conversely, he wanted to practice his guitar more.

So, he took the batteries out of the remote and “hid” them in his nightstand drawer. He took his guitar and put it on a guitar stand right by the couch.

It sounds really silly, but having the instrument right there but the batteries a teensy bit farther away broke him of the bad habit and improved his skills on the good one.

No, this post is not about playing the guitar. Guitar-playing is something I honestly suck at and have no experience doing. We’re talking about EXERCISE (yay!). We’re talking about how to even get yourself started.

  1. First, ensure that you have something you can exercise in, in terms of clothing. If you intend to stay inside (which I recommend against), you’ll only need undies. If you’re female, however, you’ll feel more comfortable with a bit more for support.
  2. Next, either set the clothing out RIGHT WHERE YOU TOUCH when you wake up, or go to sleep wearing it. Put your shoes and socks that you’ll exercise in nearby, too.
  3. Wake up just a tad earlier than usual, roll over to wherever you intend to officially move, and get started.

Yes, folks, it’s that easy. And, for the low, low price of $99.99, you can exercise, too!

Let’s say that you’ve got a YUGE mental block in terms of where or how to exercise. To answer that, I think going outside is the best. This may not work for you, particularly if “outside” is a super scary neighborhood with super scary people or potholes around. Maybe it’s snowing. Maybe you have allergies. See how the list keeps getting longer and you’re now not going to even consider exercising?

If you’re able to afford it, a local gym is good. They often have deals like “let your friends in for free this month so they’ll get suckered into signing up.” Hang out outside and ask someone to be your free gym class friend.

Thirdly, I suggest the option I use most often: l’internet. I didn’t know this, but lots of peoples on YouTube have free exercise videos. I started out with Fat People Who Move Faster than You and can now do a few HIIT workouts (okay, I do most of their session).

YouTube is my “20 seconds closer.” Sometimes I find myself making excuses like, “I just ate,” “I need to use the bathroom,” “I don’t have shoes on,” or “I haven’t been drinking enough water today and yet I still need to use the bathroom.” When the excuses pile up, I turn the TV on (we’ve got streaming) crank up my dubstep exercise music, and do it barefoot.

Even with kicking myself to move, some days I wimp out. I only do half the circuit, for example. Still, I did some. I’m always good about not beating myself up for giving up. I beat myself up for plenty of other things, but my aerobic habit is not one of them.

The results? After six months of (attempting) daily exercise, I miss the beneficial feeling when I try to skip out. It’s become a habit. Also, I find more clarity of thought, especially when I walk outside. Also also, I get good ideas for writing topics when I jog around the track because I’m super bored going around and around like that for so many laps. Also also also, I haven’t had a bad cold since beginning, and have only had two minor ones.

Plus, I passed an old person at the gym the other day.

I gave her a thumbs-up.

Curtis MacNewton
Oana-Maria Sofronia
Jesus In Taiwan

*Chelsea Owens is not a licensed anything, except a Class D driver in her home state, and shares all information and advice from personal experience and research.


22 Replies to “The Cure for Depression: Move it!”

      1. I like how you write. Some time you should check out my blog. I write snark comedy and stuff. I’m kind of good (sometimes). Your eyeballs are welcome to visit.

      2. Ooh! I love snark. I’ll bring my fingers along with the eyeballs so I can navigate.

    1. 😀 So we need to take up competitive dancing.
      Seriously, though; besides the exercise and drive, the team feel of such things is also beneficial.

      1. I don’t know about you, but tight sparkly costumes always brighten MY day. 😀

  1. On weeks that I don’t make it to the gym, I can feel everything starting to spiral out of control. I love pushing myself to do something more physically. I hadn’t exercised since middle school gym class until Oct 2017, but now it’s something I look forward to because it makes the bad days a little better.

  2. I’ve found that exercise is a lot like writing. It’s easy to not do it but I’m glad I did it once it’s over. For me the most difficult part wasn’t doing it the first time, but doing it the second and third and so on until it became a habit. All your ideas are great for getting started.

    1. Very good points! I find habits difficult at many stages, so hope my suggestions help for all those times one might feel like not doing it that day.
      Yes, it’s a lot like writing some days!

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