Let’s talk: Getting Active
Physical activity can be the mood boost you are looking for.
Physical activity is linked to a reduction in symptoms of anxiety, stress, depression, and ADHD. It can improve sleep, self-esteem, overall mood, and well-being.
It is important to make it a habit of doing physical activity each day. If you are not motivated, try starting out with 10 minutes and try to work up to 30 minutes a day.
Physical activity can also be great in the moment mood boost you are looking for. Not only is a habit of physical activity good for your mental health, but can use physical activity when you start to feel overwhelmed with emotions or thoughts.
Some tips if you are struggling with motivation
Schedule psychical activity when you know you typically feel the best. If you feel less motivated in the evenings, schedule your exercise in the mornings.
Start small. I said earlier start with 10 minutes, but if 5 minutes is all you can commit to that is fine.
Put your shoes on. It’s been said that if you just put your shoes on you are more likely to do your workout. So even if you are not committed to working out one day, just try getting ready.
Get a workout buddy. This can be in person or even with the use of an app to help keep you accountable.
12 ways to Get Active:
1. Go for a Walk
A brisk walk will give you more benefits, but even a slow walk can give you a mental health boost.
You don’t have to be a professional dancer to move your body to music, just put on your favorite dance song and dance like nobody's watching (or maybe make sure no one is really watching if you are nervous).
3. Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Often called PMR in the therapy world is the tightening and releasing of your muscles. This is great to help with daily tension and when you feel overwhelmed with emotions like anxiety or anger.
4. Jumping Jacks
Jumping Jacks engage the whole body and give you a quick cardio. This is great for practicing throughout the day if you are sitting most of your day and you are struggling to focus.
5. Go for a Hike
Not only is hiking a great physical activity it is also great for disconnecting from your electronics and being out in nature.
Dig a hole for a new plant or seeds. You can plant an entire vegetable garden or just a few flower seeds, just get your body moving.
It does not matter if you are an avid yogi or have never tried it, yoga can help reduce stress and give you a good workout. Try an online video or yoga class.
8. Take a Bike Ride
You can go for a nice bike ride outside or use that indoor bike that is lonely.
9. Go for a swim
If you have a pool, swimming is a great physical activity, especially if you have any body aches.
10. Go for a run
If you are a runner, go for a run. If you are not a runner, you don’t want to overdo it at first, so work your way up to running by slowly increasing your walk to a jog and then your jog to a run.
11. Rearrange some Furniture
Have you been wanting to make some changes to the living room? Try rearranging some furniture, but make sure not to strain yourself and use the correct muscles.
Many may leave sex off physical activity lists, but there are mental health benefits to sex when practiced safely, emotionally, and physically.
Physical exercise is great for your mental health; however, staying consistent can be hard. If you miss a day or do not go for as long as planned, it's okay, just make sure to pick back up the next day.
Don’t be too hard on yourself.
If you would like support in learning and effectively utilizing coping skills contact Monica
Stay tuned as I continue to dive into the different types of coping skills and encourage you to:
Monica McNeeley is a licensed therapist, LCSW, provides online therapy in the state of California. She has been providing therapy services since 2011.
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