Finding movement when it feels the hardest
I have depression, and like so many others do, I find it hangs around the most in the winter.
I know I’m not alone. SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is a form of depression that is linked to the changing of the seasons. While for some folks SAD begins in the spring, for most, it is fall-onset, or ‘The Winter Blues”. The shorter days and lack of sunlight that winter brings can lead us to feel tired, sad and lonely.
Although movement is a clinically proven method of managing symptoms of depression, it can be especially difficult to head to an exercise class or go on a walk with a friend when the weather is frigid and SAD has our motivation at an all-time low.
So how do we keep movement in our self-care arsenal during the dark months?
By ensuring there are as few barriers between us and movement as possible.
The easiest fix is incorporating things you can do at home. If the thought of trudging through snow on those dark winter nights to get to a class is going to get between you and movement, consider cutting out the distance. Even if it’s just to supplement other activities, it’s always nice to have a second option for days where leaving the house feels daunting.
When depression drains our motivation and energy, a long workout feels impossible. Instead, consider finding ways to incorporate little bits of movement throughout the day. A little of one thing, a little of another. A workout doesn’t have to leave you beet-red and sweaty to be worth it. Movement can be as simple as a 5 minute warm-up stretch in the mornings.
Another less-talked about aspect to consider are the values of the space you’re in. If the language and actions of the class or gym you regularly go to leave you feeling excluded or less-than-worthy, head somewhere else. What types of spaces make you feel supported? If you’re struggling with depression, it’s more important than ever to be around people that accept you for who you are, and meet you wherever you’re at.
As someone who deals with depression, these were all things I took into consideration while building my on-demand library. I wanted a platform that would make movement as welcoming as possible. Movement for days where you feel ready to take on the world, and movement for days when you can’t get out of bed (No really, it includes gentle stretch videos that can be done from your bed.)
An ever-growing library of classes accessible wherever, whenever. Take a look for yourself here.