Affirmation for the week. “I take brisk walks in the sunshine to invigorate my body and Soul”. Louise Hay.
Exercising is really important to achieve overall balance in our lives and for the health and wellbeing of our body in the long term. Research has demonstrated that vigorous exercise where the heart pumping and the blood flowing is very beneficial towards addressing conditions such as depression, stress and anxiety due to the natural endorphins that are released and flow throughout our body and create a natural high that uplifts our mood.
When we are depressed or stressed and we get outside in the sunshine breathing in the fresh air we are reminded that there is a whole world going on around us out there and it can help us feel more connected to life. As it is a constructive activity we also tend to feel proud of our efforts and that we have been productive which helps to create a more positive sense of self.
I often find my clients who are experiencing depression, anxiety or tiredness tell me that they wish they could but they don’t have the energy to exercise. It is a common myth that you need energy to exercise. In fact, if you are able to exercise you will find that it actually energises you rather than further depleting your energy because of those positive endorphins. Often after exercising you will find that you have more energy, feel more alert and as though you could take on the world. This is why research says that people should perhaps not exercise vigorously before bedtime because they may find they are too hyped up to sleep. It has been proven that exercise early in the morning, along with a decent breakfast, can help jump start you for the day ahead. Just so long as you don’t overdo the exercise. Remember all things in balance!!
What can make it hard to exercise when you are feeling low in energy or mood is the motivation. It can be a challenge to push yourself when in this state. However, once you do it you will find it won’t be long before you start to feel the benefits and after you have seen how exercise improves your energy levels you then have past experience to draw from to motivate yourself the next time. You will be able to use positive self talk “I felt better after I exercised yesterday so that might help today.” as a motivator.
What can be a big part of your lack of energy and motivation is your unhelpful thinking, “I am too tired”, “I don’t have the energy”, “I don’t feel up to it today”. When you can change this to “I will feel much better after I exercise” or “I know this is going to help me” then you can talk yourself into it instead of out of it.
So what can help with the motivation?:
- Positive self talk. Catch those unhelpful thoughts and change them to something more positive.
- Have a friend or family member check in and see if you have been for your walk today, perhaps have them encourage you or go with you.
- When you are feeling in a better mood write down some positive self talk motivators and stick them up around the house so you will see them when you need to and they will remind you of your goal.
- Recall those times when you have exercised before and it was helpful.
- Develop a daily routine of exercise. Doing it the same time as a part of your daily self care will help you to keep it up.
- Put your exercise equipment out and ready so it is visible for when you might be in that low mood space.
- Post a statement about the health benefits that you want to achieve somewhere visible.
- Reward yourself with something you really want afterwards.
- Think about your own ideas about what might help you to get motivated or ask other people what works for them.
- Access counselling to help you deal with whatever the problem issue is that is getting in the way of you living your life and draining your energy. Indigo Awakenings is one service available to help you or someone you know with this.