Wellness Wednesday: Pulling Yourself Out of Anxiety and Depression

Sometimes doing exactly what you don’t want to do is precisely what will save you.

I recently joined a local Y and have been going to yoga classes and swimming laps. I notice on the days that I do either of those things I feel better equipped to handle my to-do list those days. It’s hard, though, sometimes to get myself up and out of bed (though sometimes I swim laps at night) and exercise, especially when I don’t sleep well and I wake up with anxiety in the morning and middle of the night. It has become a little less intense I’ve noticed when I exercise more frequently. I don’t wake up with my chest hurting quite as bad or I don’t have as many “what if” doom or gloom thoughts or just general feelings of overwhelm.

I realize some people can’t work out as strenuously as I do for physical reasons, scheduling, or other reasons, but if you can find even 15 minutes a day to just walk briskly I think it’ll be worth the benefit.

I have to give myself a pat on the back because I swam laps yesterday when a swim team or something was also swimming laps. If this had happened to me a year ago I would have just drove home, because I would have been too anxious to swim with all of the commotion and “good” swimmers around. But, even though I wasn’t comfortable or happy about it, I still swam my 40 laps. It wasn’t the most relaxing swim sesh I’ve ever had … but I’m glad I did it anyway. Finding something healthy that brings you a little bit of relief is crucial and unfortunately it may take some trial and error before you find it. It may not always work. I wish managing anxiety didn’t require you to force yourself to be uncomfortable, but that’s exactly what you have to do sometimes to make long term progress.

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