Can running help with depression?

depression

I’m not advocating going off your prescribed medication. Not at all, going off psychotropic medications must be done under the supervision of your doctor and never just a complete stop. Running should not be the sole treatment for depression, but it’s my firm belief that it is a necessary component of treatment. Also always talk with your doctor before starting an exercise program if you have any chronic or serious health issues (see the lawyer in me showing). With that said, let’s see what the psychological benefits of running are.

Running boosts self-esteem because you’re body improves and you feel like you are accomplishing something as you improve in your times or your distance. Running also releases endorphins, which trigger positive emotions. The “runners high” is a real thing people. This feeling of euphoria can change your outlook on your day and if you run daily, it can change your life.

I know I’m talking about running specifically here, but any type of moderate exercise is going to bring up your mood. The difficulty is getting started when you don’t have any motivation and don’t even feel like getting out of bed.

If this is you, start with something light such as yoga and definitely get someone to go with you. Pick someone who can give you some tough love and really support and validate your feelings and accept where you are with an open heart.

Next think about activities you enjoyed in your past and whether or not you like group activities or individual. A class may be the perfect thing for one person, and individual tennis lessons may be better for someone else. You should pick something that fits well in your schedule and eliminate any excuses you see yourself coming up with when you are having a difficult day.

Start small with twenty to thirty minutes three days a week, and as you feel better, you can increase your duration and/or the number of days each week.

It’s hard and you are going to have to force yourself to get started, but in the long run you will be glad you did.

Fighting for a Chance to Dream: Blog

“Fighting for a Chance to Dream,” is my life’s premise or theme. Every aspect of who I am flows from these six words.

People get so wrapped up in their daily stresses that they forget why they do things, what motivates them. We all strive to achieve. We all work to finance the things we want to do. Sometimes this doing and striving block our vision of the dream that is fueling it. This is what happens to those that have their basic needs met. A hidden or concealed dream is better than no dream at all.

There are many people who don’t have a chance to dream because they are too busy thinking about having their basic needs met of safety, food, shelter, medical care, education, and love.

Every person deserves the opportunity to dream. We all lose when someone never has this chance because that person never reaches their potential and in this world we are becoming more dependent upon one another not less.

Running for me does many things. It gives me a way to process all the other things that I deal with on a day to day basis such as child abuse and neglect cases and being a single mother of a child with a neurological disorder. It also provides me with a way to help others. Bringing others into running not only helps them physically, but emotionally as well. It builds confidence. Provides a sense of achievement and stabilizes mood better than just about any psychotropic medication.

I’ve begun a new blog you can find it at fightingforachancetodream.wordpress.com.  It will contain all facets of me. You will find posts containing my writing journey, writing tips, thoughts on children, mental health issues, parenting children with mental health issues, advocacy issues, and frustrations of mine with the world as a whole. You will also find inspiration and hope.

My running advice, experience, and musings will continue to be posted on this blog. I’m sure there will be some crossover. I plan to continue to post my Flash Fiction on this blog as some of you have expressed an interest in continuing to read it.

This way people who have no interest in all the other things that I do can happily read about running and those that want to know all my deep dark secrets can subscribe to both blogs.