get up and move

get up and move

I’m so excited. Years ago I started a book about depression.  I’ve yet to get up enough nerve to send it to a publisher. I did a lot of research and ninety percent of everything I suggest in the book is based on that research.

Except for one suggestion.

I knew this idea worked because it worked for me and everyone else who tried it.  It was so simple and seemed so “out there” that I almost took it out of the book.  But I knew it worked.  

Well, wouldn’t you know on a segment of Good Morning America researchers in the medical community have discovered something life-changing?

Before I tell you what they learned here’s what I wrote in the “Retooling” chapter in my book.

Get up and move every hour or so. Mindless sitting (actually mindless anything), is a breeding ground for depression. Even on your job, keep moving if you can. The depressed mind (influenced greatly by the body) left unfocused for very long will eventually sink to its lowest common denominator. When we move, a number of good things take place in our bodies.  First of all, our blood circulation improves. We breathe better when we’re upright. When we’re physically active, those good hormones kick in and give us a mental boost. All research on depression encourages physical activity. We simply become more motivated once we’re moving. One thing leads to another and pretty soon we find our mood has lightened. Activity of any kind prompts further activity and we become distracted away from our depressed thinking and distraction is a wonderful thing. Some days this has been my mantra.

The medical community is now suggesting the very same thing.  In fact, they have discovered than sitting six hours a day can shave seven years of a quality life.  It raises blood sugar levels, cholesterol and decreases circulation and increases the possibility of heart disease by sixty-four percent. However, a medical study from Australia suggests short breaks from sitting once an hour can alleviate most of the problems. While these studies didn’t target mental health, I don’t think it’s much of a leap to see how this very same activity can affect our low moods as well. 

I feel so validated. I knew I should’ve hung out my shingle.

 For your overall health, why not just try this simple little step for a few days and see if you think it makes a difference.  What could it possibly hurt?

recovery from depression-up-down and all-around

up and down and all around

Just like in the grieving process, we recover from depression in leaps and bursts.  We feel we’re never going to get better. We have good days, and bad days. We have good moments and bad moments. Depression, by its very nature, flings us all over the emotional spectrum.  It’s part of the process of healing.  It’s never a straight line.  It’s almost always a roller coaster ride.  Eventually, it evens itself out.

Moods, in general, are seldom very stable.  It’s a rare person whose moods remain even on a consistent basis.  And generally it’s a matter of personality and background not successful coping skills. There are some people who are just naturally more of the “even-keel” type of personality.  My husband is one of these.  He’s the most stable person I’ve ever met.  BUT, he too has suffered depression. It’s easy to assume that certain personalities suffer more mood swings than other people.  That’s simply not true.  Just off the top of my head, I could personally name ten people who have suffered depression and their personalities couldn’t be more different. Two or three are total extroverts, a few are introverts and the rest are somewhere in between. By the way, they also have very diverse income and education levels. Their individual circumstances are unique as well.

I think one of the concepts that was the hardest for me to accept was the fact that while my personal circumstances were good, I still suffered bouts of depression. Let me assure you, depression knows no boundaries. Anyone, no matter how clever, talented, rich, intelligent or educated can suffer depression. While depression is more common in the older generation, it can strike any age.  Either sex, too, can experience depression although women experience depression twice as much as men.  No need to elaborate here as every woman reading this knows why-hormonal fluctuations.

So no matter where you are in your recovery, take heart by knowing that the roller coaster ride you’re on doesn’t mean you’re recovery is in jeopardy.  If you’re working on your depression, you are going to get better.

 When we’re having a “roller-coaster” kind of day, it’s discouraging. On these kinds of days, it pays to look over our day and try to see some cause and effect.  And there always is a cause and effect.  Your moods aren’t all over the place for no reason.  Just don’t give up.  So let me ask you, how has your day been? Has it been up and down?  Can you pinpoint any causes?

(FYI. I’m doing the best I can with what is a HUGE job­—-learning how to develop a blog. I’ve got two big books I’m reading but its slow going. Bear with me. I’m trying to figure out how to “link”, use widgets, set-up my page, download pictures, etc. This is a frustrating project, especially so for someone prone to anxiety.  But I am determined.  Please hang in there with me. 

Also, I’m hoping that by September I’ll be to the point when I will start to give you some very practical tips about how to defeat depression. I just don’t want to take a chance that I might lose it all or that I won’t be able to respond to comments.  Thanks for your understanding.)