Better Days

A friend just pointed out that it has been over a month since my last post, which was a sad one. I’m happy to report that many days since then have been better. I’m starting to suspect that SAD impacts my depression and the weird hours of my job are exacerbating this. The good news is that spring is supposedly on the way… Despite all the snow today!

I’m starting to feel a bit more energized and have started doing more regular exercise. Yoga and running – for real this time! I’ve talked a lot about running in the past and how I wanted to get back to running half marathons, something I did prior to my major depressive breakdown. After several years of setting myself up for failure with my big goals, I’ve taken things back to the beginning with much more success. For the last month I’ve been running intervals for about half an hour, one to three times a week. At first I did intervals of one minute walking, one running, and now I’ve done a couple of weeks at two minutes running, one walking. It’s nice, manageable, pushes me gently and makes me feel better. I’m up to 3.75 km and should have a nice base in place when I can finally start running outside (once the snow melts).

I’ve also just bought myself a Fitbit to encourage myself to stay active. I’ve had it for a week and it’s been clear that I have some very inactive days. I’m hoping to start evening this out by tracking my steps. I’m also reading the book Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain and it makes quite the case for regular exercise to treat depression. I’ll write more on this once I finish the book.

Bye for now and take care!

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An energetic yogi

In yoga you aren’t supposed to compare yourself to others. But there were a few things I couldn’t help but notice this weekend.

First, most people were really tired and exhausted. But for me, it was the first weekend that I felt really energized! Finally this weekend I felt that I was being refreshed by yoga rather than knocked down. I think this speaks a lot to my style preferences – lots of variety, shorter spurts of intense activity mixed in with relaxation, meditation and singing or chanting.

Second, we paired up with someone to “leg wrestle”. I was working with if not the fittest, then the second fittest, girl in the class. She is super strong with visible muscles in her back and loves to go to the gym all the time. And we were at a standoff in the leg wrestle! And sometimes I was even winning. I asked if she wasn’t trying, but she was! She was very impressed with my strength. This makes me happy because it is good to know that I have strong muscles under the fat. I definitely want to get stronger and fitter.

Which goes well with the theme for the next homework we have: to practice discipline in some form to help our physical bodies or our minds.

I’m actually going to focus on the physical, as that is where I think I need the most discipline. After I gave up my daily yoga practice last month, I gave up all exercise except my yoga weekends! So for the next three weeks, I am committing to myself to do at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise per day.

I think I can do it. I like exercise. I just struggle to get there when I feel overwhelmed and exhausted. But today I did at least four hours of pure exercise, so I feel pumped and ready to take on the challenge.

So, I’m going to create a new challenge for myself. I’ll let you know all about it tomorrow as I still haven’t thought out the specifics.

Have a great night and stay tuned! 🙂

Time to Beef Things Up!

I saw my psychiatrist this morning. It was a good thing I spotted the email reminder, as I’d nearly gone back to sleep thinking I had nothing on my schedule for the day!

We talked a lot about my exhaustion. Tried to figure out the root causes. Rather than changing my meds again, she sent me for blood tests. This way we could first see if there was another cause, like low iron, thyroid problems, lack of B12, etc. We’ll meet up again next week to go over the results and then make a plan.

I told her about my reliance on caffeine lately and asked about healthier ways to pick up my energy when it is low. Her advice: move. Do some exercises at my desk, climb a few flights of stairs, anything to get my blood moving, even if it is just for 30 seconds. I can see the reasoning behind that – I’m always most alert and vibrant after exercising. I’ll also make sure that I’m drinking enough water, and she suggested adding more beef to my diet.

I also asked about SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder. I’m not sure if it applies, but thought I’d ask since the days are getting shorter and shorter. She said that light boxes have proven to be very helpful and also suggested taking a half hour walk at lunch each day as that is when we have the most sun.

Anyways, it was nice to talk about some non-medicinal ways to gain energy. We’ll see if it works. To kick things off, I had a yummy roast beef sandwich for lunch. 🙂

Do you have any healthy tips for energy boosts?