As part of my New Years Resolutions for this year, my aim was to post weekly as often as I could throughout the year. I’m pleased to say that I’ve mostly stuck with that – mental health depending. Until now. You may have noticed that I have taken a couple of weeks off posting recently, and that’s because my mental health dipped again. But I’m working my way back up, and I’m trying to get back into reading and blogging again. That’s where today’s post comes in.
With depression, I certainly have those days where my bed seems the perfect retreat. I’ve spent far too many hours under the covers, hiding from the world and responsibilities. Only leaving my secret little hidey-hole to emerge for food and toilet trips. But last week, after a few days in bed, I decided that I probably should get up. So after quite a bit of procrastination, I showered and dressed, and then started to head down to the local shops to get some food in. However, I ended up taking a little detour to quite a pretty little area of my village where it’s usually very quiet, with a small waterfall and plenty of nature and wildlife (Yes, this makes me sound really old(!), but I needed to get out of the house!).
Once I got there, I was surprised to find that I did actually feel a little better about myself. Now, I just want to make something very clear – I am NOT the sort of person who says ‘Oh, you’re depressed, have you tried exercising?,’. Because, as we all know, that isn’t helpful as it’s the last thing we feel like doing, and it just assumes a severe mental illness can be cured with a simple run. Anyway, I thought I’d make a post on the ways that a walk may help to relieve the symptoms of depression, or at least the ways in which it did for me.
So, without further ado (and after very long intro!), here’s some of the ways that exercise may benefit your mental health:
It gets you out of the house – This was the biggie for me, and my main purpose for aforementioned walk
Distracts the mind – You’re automatically thinking about where you’re going and your surroundings, rather the constant and often untrue negative thoughts
Meet other People – You may meet other people on the way, making you feel less isolated and lonely
Releases hormones – A quick walk is known to release endorphins which can make you feel good and less stressed
Spending time in nature – Looking at the behaviours and different species of wildlife can help to give you some perspective, or just general interest if that’s what you’re into
Vitamin D – A bit of sun!
A Sense of Achievement – It makes you feel like you’ve done something productive and achieved something
These are just a few things that I thought of, while going on a little stroll. As mentioned above, I am absolutely NOT saying that exercise or walking cures depression, just that it may have some subtle benefits. I hope you enjoyed this post!
Take care, Sophie x
Disclaimer - As always, please bear in mind that I am not a mental health professional or any other type of professional, this is a hobby for me and is for informational purposes only and shouldn’t be seen as any kind of advice. I am not liable for any consequences as a result of this information and if readers rely on any of the information on my blog, it is at their own risk. I cannot confirm that all information is correct, accurate or reliable. The information is true to the best of my knowledge, yet there may be omissions, errors or mistakes. This information isn’t intended as a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have, or believe to have, a mental illness, please contact a mental health professional.