Unlike those days when things feel all gloomy, we are talking about the serious mental condition. Depression is defined as feelings of severe despondency and dejection. It is a consistent and unrelenting feeling of hopelessness, helplessness, and worthlessness that affects your ability to function daily. This includes eating, sleeping, working and generally enjoying life. It’s not one of those things that you can take lightly and more often than not, professional help is required/needed.
However, there is a lot of taboo attached to seeking mental health help, which is very unfortunate. The brain, like our kidneys, liver, and heart is an organ, and when it is unhealthy, it only makes sense to reach out to someone who is a trained professional. The same way you would go to an orthopaedician if you hurt your limbs.
Over and above that exercise can also help a great deal. It cannot take the place of professional help, but it can assist and complement appropriate treatment. Exercises (especially running) produces feel good chemicals in the brain after 10-20 minutes of activity. This feeling called the runner’s high is well-documented through the history of running. It is also known that regular exercise improves self-confidence and esteem.
Go for a walk in a park around other people. A simple walk in a community can lift your spirits. Once you are used to the activity ease into running or jogging. Something like FirstRun’s slow-but-steady approach would help in the long run, and it wouldn’t need you to make too much time in the beginning.
Create activity dates with friends or a group to stay connected socially. It’s a great idea to join a running group especially because it offers a great mix of people which is a great way to expose yourself to other activities or avenues of help. Running groups also meet outside of the track or running days, which could help you make friends and build a support system.
Keep running. Even on low motivation days, follow your plan. Set your sights lower on days when you are not in the right frame of mind. Even if you decided to venture out for just five minutes, the feeling and momentum will make you keep going. And once you hit the stride, that happy feeling will automatically permeate your body, until the next run!
It is also important that you watch what you eat. Avoiding sugar and sugar based foods is advised, as well as processed foods. Fresh, healthy food is always uplifting, even if it’s in tiny amounts.
As we have mentioned above, the first step still remains reaching out and finding a therapist, someone who can really help you feel better. After that you can look forward to some help from running.