5 Ways to Stay Fit While Battling Depression
By: Ifeoma Egbulem (@ifeohmy)
I was diagnosed in 2019 with Major Depressive Disorder. There I said it—it is all out in the open now. Why am I telling you this though? I need you to understand that you are not alone in your fight for your health while unfortunately having to simultaneously deal with depression. Depression can take on many forms for different people, which makes sense because we experience things differently in life. I had my own battle with my depression that I had to deal with and fight through to reach my weight loss goals. With my experience with coping with depression while being on a fitness journey, I hope to help at least one person with finding new avenues for staying fit while battling mental health disorders.
Before we get to the 5 different ways you can help yourself to stay fit while dealing with depression, I want to go over with you what depression is exactly. Depression, by definition from the American Psychiatric Association, is “a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease a person’s ability to function at work and at home.” Depression for me personally was very debilitating, and there were many days at a time where getting out of bed was too much for me. Sometimes it was easier to sit in the dark for multiple hours than it was to get up and turn on the light. I hope that one of these five ways to stay fit helps someone out there that is at a loss on how to get or remain active on their fitness journey while dealing with their mental health.
Take a Walk Outside
Being cooped up in a dark room may seem like a safe haven for a vast amount of people who deal with depression. However, this can take a toll on your fitness journey by keeping you inactive. Start with something simple and go take a walk outside. Even if your walk is short, it is still something you can do to keep active that you may find easier than a high-impact workout. This benefits you by getting Vitamin D from direct sunlight, being around people you may come across in your walk, and seeing different scenery than the room you may have been holing yourself up in.
It may sound simple but keeping properly hydrated is a struggle for some people even without being depressed. I know we have all come across that one person who swears they “hate” water. Dehydration is when the body has more water/fluids leaving than entering it, and this can in turn contribute to deepening symptoms of depression. Keeping properly hydrated by drinking more water can help alleviate some symptoms. I personally use the Waist Snatchers Hydrate Me Water Bottle Weight to ensure that I am getting the minimum daily water intake I need to stay hydrated.
We firmly believe that staying fit also includes being mentally fit. A way to boost mental fitness is by meditating. Meditation is a practice where you use a technique, such as mindfulness and stillness, to achieve a mentally clear, emotionally calm and stable state. To begin meditating, find a comfortable position to be in during the course of the meditation. Focus only on your breathing, and if your mind starts to wander bring your focus back to your breathing. This practice allows you to easily in your day-to-day life bring back immediate focus on the present moment. Meditation helps you not dwell on the thoughts that may actually be furthering your depression.
At Home Workouts
Some days can be harder than others, and it is okay if you decide to stay home in those cases. However, you can still remain active and do your workout at home. There are many at-home workouts and exercises that do not require the gym. Check us out on YouTube to see a multitude of workouts that you can do inside your home. Click here to be taken to our YouTube Channel.
Get a Support System
Being depressed can feel and actually be a lonely experience for some people. We at Waist Snatchers want to provide a solid support system to anyone who needs it and has fitness goals that they are trying to accomplish. Join our Snatch Nation Facebook Support Group to get the support and motivation you may be in need of to continue your fitness journey. We welcome anyone, regardless of gender. We encourage you to take advantage of this support system on your fitness journey and keep us up to date on how you are doing.
As someone who has dealt with depression, I know all of these things are easier said than done. However, taking it one step at a time, day by day, it does get easier to see the light at the end of the dark tunnel. Just commit to at least doing one thing a day to get yourself active again. Doing one thing a day means that after a month, you would have accomplished 30 things that brought you back on your fitness journey. Don’t worry, you got this! If you need support, again please join us in our Snatch Nation Facebook Support Group and we will help you get back right!