Thursday, August 30, 2012

Depression and Exercise

Depression and exercise, they're linked in a pretty vicious cycle. Once depression sets in, there's no energy to exercise, which exacerbates the depression.

Weaving has helped me keep it mostly at bay for a few years. There's this other thing that needs my attention in order to thrive. And, often, it needs me to do some exercise. My studio is upstairs so even if the particular operation that I'm doing isn't physically intense, I still have to climb the stairs ten or twenty times a day, often with a 30-pound box in my hands.

One of the things that pushed me to invest in fitness supplies (shoes and a fancy pedometer) was that, after almost ten years of semi-remission, I could feel the depression coming back for real. I'm very sensitive to the amount of light that I get. (They call is Seasonal Affective Disorder, and I maintain that it's only a disorder because we have set things up so that we are not allowed to slow down in the Winter. I think it's natural.) The days started getting shorter in July and the general lack of energy was already apparent. I spend much of my day inside a studio with two windows far from my work. That means that the only real daylight that I get is when I'm outside between tasks.

Well, the big shows are over. I've still got to produce for the little shows remaining this year and get a start on next year, but I can actually afford to invest a couple of hours a day on my health and emotional well-being. This was the original reason to budget for new shoes and an activity tracker when I was off the mountain last month.

And, with some careful planning, I will be able to keep affording these two hours a day for a heart-pumping, soul-restoring hike in the woods.


Lisa said...

Excellent post! My New Years resolution this year was to finally exercise in a consistent way. 5 or 6 days a week, at least a 1/2 hour. I had never prioritized exercise before. I can't tell you how much better my depression is now. I feel like a brand new person and weigh what I did when I was 16! So good to pass on this information to others. I know it's out there but the more people read it the more they might start to believe it.

Blossom Merz said...

Awesome! Congratulations! I've been at this for something like a month now, getting more intense as time goes on and, wow! The difference is staggering. Yeah, I still have lots and lots of things to do and tons of personal growth to work on, but I don't feel like I have to do it with a feed sack on my shoulders. I've got a lot more muscle than in high school so I don't even hope to hit that weight. I just want to have a healthy body fat percentage, physical strength and stamina so that the work in my life isn't so much labor.

Thanks for the encouragement!