Christmas is a time of year when people tend to experience loneliness, isolation, and depression. This is all made worse by people comparing themselves to other families and friends. If you’re at work near Christmas and all you hear people talking about is how fun and festive their home and family activities are, it’s easy to fall into the trap of comparing your current situation to theirs. Feeling depressed over Christmas is a common thing to experience.
Beyond that and depending on where you live in the world, the amount of natural light that pops out during December is much less than in other months. This can have a severe impact on people’s mental health, and people even consider getting artificial UV lamps to combat this.
Depression is an extremely annoying and frustrating thing to deal with. It’s a vicious cycle that makes you feel like you don’t want to do anything. To break free of depression, doing something is one of the potent ways to start digging yourself out of that cycle. Exercise is known to be one of the best ways to start breaking free of the vicious trap of depression.
Why Does Exercise Help?
Exercise helps resist the feeling of depression because it physically releases endorphins in your brain. Chemicals like serotonin and dopamine begin to flow more actively when you start exercising, and this can end up causing a boost in your mood. The struggle with exercise when you’re feeling depressed is getting started in the first place.
When you’re feeling depressed and low, one of the last things you want to do is start exercising. The initial motivation to get the energy and start exercising when you’re feeling depressed can feel overwhelming for some. At the same time, it’s extremely rare to ever actually feel worse off from an exercise than when you started.
How Do I Get Started Then?
Because getting started with exercise can always feel like such an uphill battle when you’re feeling depressed, it always helps to have some help. We at Exerpy have all been through the grips of despair and know exactly what it feels like to have absolutely no motivation to exercise when you’re feeling depressed.
Here are some helpful strategies to help you jump out of the dark room of depression and give you a kickstart to exercising:
As you’re sitting there feeling depressed and not wanting to exercise, you need to convince yourself that you’ll always feel better after doing a workout. The first couple of times you do this, it’s quite difficult to do. Over time, you’ll begin to be able to do this much easier. The more you exercise, the more useful you’ll see how beneficial it is, and, once you realize the benefits for yourself and your mood, this forethought will become like second nature.
The majority of the time, getting the motivation to get up and do a workout is all in your mind. Even without depression, it’s difficult for people to want to start exercising because it’s not comfortable. It’s human nature to avoid doing things that will make you uncomfortable. But the majority of the time, it’s also the most uncomfortable things that will help you grow in life.
Developing a strict routine of things is another strategy to help you develop an exercise program that will inevitably lead to lower levels of depression. Routines help keep our lives structured, and when you do have a routine that is being missed, something inside your head gives you a little nudge that you’re missing out on something.
Routines can take up to a month or longer to develop, but once you have developed a routine for exercising, you’re more prone to follow through with it. Humans are habitual people by nature. If you recall back to your school or university days, you instinctively sit down at a desk on the first day of class. The next day, there’s a 90% chance that you’ll naturally gravitate toward that same desk that you did the previous day. Over the course of the next few days or weeks, it might even start feeling weird to sit in different locations because you’ve gotten used to the routine.
The same theory can be applied to exercise. If you exercise at strictly 1:00 pm every single day, something inside of your internal time clock will tell you that you’re missing something once that time begins to roll around. Creating a routine can be made easier with the help of alarm clocks. Simply set an alarm clock that reminds you to exercise at the same time each and every day.
With a routine Exerpy program, you’ll have our team backing you up and keeping you accountable for getting up and finishing a workout. When we develop an exercise routine for you, we expect you to do it, and that level of accountability is a good way to keep persisting and pulling through.
Your Exerpy program will be tailored to your current level of fitness. That means we won’t be expecting you to go out and run 10 miles if you haven’t run in 20 years. That would be harmful to your body and would prevent you from being able to do another exercise for a while. Our Exerpy programs will gradually progress and build in difficulty the more you do them so you’re always being consistently challenged from week to week and month to month.
Get Started With Exerpy
Trying out some of these strategies is a good way to get started on feeling less depressed over the holidays. If you’re feeling down in the dumps one day, try forcing yourself to get up and do a set of 10 or 20 jumping jacks. This simple exercise is something that almost everyone can try. If you can’t, force yourself to take a brisk walk outside. Getting your body moving and seeing different scenery than the same four dark walls of your room can do a lot more for your mind than you think.
If you’re struggling over the holidays, feel free to reach out to us. We know this is a difficult time of year for many. Some people have lost jobs, loved ones, or simply don’t know what direction to take next in their lives. One or a combination of these things can wreak havoc on mental health.