When you are feeling depressed or anxious, accomplishing even small tasks can be difficult, and physical exercise can seem impossible.  It is important to remember that, as with many acts of self-care, you need to be gentle with yourself and take it one step at a time. Working out can be incredibly helpful in reducing anxiety and symptoms of depression, but it isn’t necessary to start by running a marathon.  Just by moving your body more than you did yesterday, you are improving your physical and mental health.

A great way to start is to put on workout clothes.  This step may seem obvious, but when you lack motivation, even changing your clothes can seem like a chore.  Once you are in comfortable activewear and gym shoes, you may notice that you already feel a bit more energized.  If not, take a break, but leave your gym clothes on. Chances are you will find some time later in the day to at least take a walk outdoors in your workout clothes before changing out of them.  Even five minutes of any activity that elevates your heartrate can have anxiety-reducing effects.

After creating a daily habit of a simple activity like going on a walk, you may choose to step your workouts up a notch by joining a gym or taking a class.  Participating in a group activity is another great way of fighting depression and anxiety, and if you have struggled with substance abuse, exercise classes can be a great way to meet new people in a sober environment.  Additionally, by trying out new ways of being active you are more likely to find something you really enjoy that you can stick with going forward. If you are working on managing your anxiety and depression while also staying sober, establishing a fitness routine is one of the most productive actions you can take in this moment.

At Arbor Behavioral Healthcare, you will meet knowledgeable, compassionate professionals that understand addiction in all its forms.  The Arbor uses an integrative and holistic approach to treat addiction and mental health issues. No treatment is one-size-fits-all, and at The Arbor you will have a team of experts prepared to create your customized treatment plan.  We offer care for your mind, body, and spirit, so that you can heal from the inside out and look forward to a lifetime of sobriety and wellness. If you are ready to take the first step in your recovery, please call us at 844-413-2690.