What Simplifying, Working Out, and Travel Have in Common with Depression?
Hey! If you have read any of my posts and think to yourself, what does this have to do with depression? Or thought this blog was mostly about depression and mental health. You might be thinking, what gives? I’m here to explain how it all ties together, at least for me. Here is the thing: alone these things (working out, travel, cleaning, simplifying) do not have very much in common. But when you look at it as a whole you get the big picture.
My big picture
If I have only learned one thing from my therapist it’s that I need to be doing self care. Trust me, I have learned soooo many awesome things from her. I feel like self care is a huge one. She always asks what I am doing for me in each of our sessions. For such a long time I didn’t have much to say in response. As time kept going on and I was getting out of my deep funk I started to put more time back into me. And it pays! I am a big proponent of self care.
At first my self care was taking naps. I was so tired! Taking a nap was good for my soul. And good for my kids. And everyone around me. 🙂 That was what I needed most at that time. I still love naps, in fact I just had one. I would take a nap every day if I could but there are other things that have become more important for my self care.
Once I had some more energy and desire to do anything besides sleep then I started working out more consistently. I joined a gym. I fell in love with spin classes. I was getting some good sweat therapy. Hubby and I finally got our gym set up in the basement so we could lift and workout at home (and here and here). It was nice on the days that hubby worked. He works 12 hour shifts so he is gone for 13 hours a day. We choose not to pay for daycare at the gym, I just go to the gym when he is home from work. Then I workout at home when he is working. It is a good balance for us and totally works.
I like working out. Especially the part when I am finished! Haha! Really, though it feels so good to do something great for your body. And, how awesome does it feel to do something hard and get it done? Pretty amazing, right?! Working out is a natural mood lifter. If you can get outside to exercise, that is bonus! Being in the outdoors and even going for a walk is great for you. My therapist recommended a walk around the block to help lift me up.
When I am in a space that has a lot of clutter I can start to get stressed and anxious. While we were living in the dungeon for 5 years our junk started to get out of control, at least for me. It added to my stress, anxiety, and depression. Now that we are in our home and have 3 times the space I am making a better effort to keep things simplified. I love the idea of everything in it’s place and everything has a place. It makes my heart smile and my body relax.
If I can help keep my depression and anxiety in check by keeping my home in check, well then, that is a no brainer. That is a a huge win for me, my house, and definitely my family. It isn’t easy with 4 small kids. That is why I have made this year my Year of Simplifying. (Check out my plan here, here, and here.)
Currently we are working on cleaning out the basement (basically one bedroom) and turning it into the kids playroom. Then ALL the toys will be down there and we can move to the kids rooms. It is a huge project to try to do my whole house, garage, and shed. However, when it is done, oh my!!! Cue the angles singing! 🙂
Before I was married and had kids I had some amazing experiences traveling. I spent three months in Mexico learning Spanish. I went on many humanitarian trips- Hawaii to build homes with Habitat for Humanity, Peru with YouthLinc, Mexico City with Westminster College. I went on amazing road trips with my family and friends. I had many chances to go camping and being out in this beautiful world.
After getting married, Eddy and I still have some fun trips (and here). Then when kids started coming we slowed down due to money, Eddy being in school, and I don’t even know. Within the past year we have gone on several wonderful road trips and I have the travel bug again. It never really went away but we are in a better place to make travel more of a priority. We have gone camping, to Park City, and visited St. George every year.
Travel helps me with my depression and anxiety in a few ways.
- Gives me something to focus on and get excited about
- Creates memories for my little family and I
- It literally got me out of a funk (i.e. bad place, depressed state)
What helps you when you are in a funk? What do you try to do when depression and anxiety have hit? My hope with this blog is to help you and myself! I want to be as open as I can about my lesser awesome moments. I hope it will help anyone who is struggling with depression and/or anxiety. I also hope that I can brighten your day. 🙂