Category Archives: Mindset & Self-Care

Exercise – the Depression Eliminator!

There is no medication that can compare to exercise for combatting depression symptoms.

Many divorced women in their 50’s spiral into mild depression as their unhealthy and inaccurate self-talk gets them believing that their future is bleak, particularly as it relates to relationships, finances, and making progress on long-time goals. 

To relieve the numerous debilitating symptoms of depression (see below), many turn to doctors, who are all too quick to prescribe medication.  However, what if there is a better, long-lasting remedy?  Well, I’m here to tell you that there is, and, it’s also free!  It is exercise!   

According to Mind Pump Media, studies show that exercise, in the long-term, proves to be the far superior remedy for depression symptoms. 

Exercise and anti-depressants both can immediately alleviate symptoms.  However, as time continues, exercise results get better, while anti-depressants actually lose their impact.   This is because the body adapts to the medication, similar to caffeine or other drugs, so more is needed for similar results.  On the flip side, as a person continues with consistent exercise, not only does the body becomes stronger, but mental and psychological health also improve due to increased energy and improved sleep – and sleep has a significant impact on mental state!   In addition, the increased level of endorphins in the bloodstream naturally makes us happier and more capable of handling stressful situations! 

There is no medication that can compare to exercise for combatting depression symptoms.  If you find yourself spiraling into a depressed state, make exercise a regular part of your routine.  If you have not been one to exercise previously, start slow and be consistent.  The results will be amazing!  You will feel stronger (inside and out) and better about your body image.  You will also feel more mentally clear and creative, your confidence will improve, and you will know you’re capable of achieving the new goals you have for the next chapter of your life!     

Depression definition and symptoms (source:  Mayo Clinic)

Note:  Clinical depression requires a medical diagnosis, defined as the persistent feeling of sadness or loss of interest.  It can lead to a range of behavioral and physical symptoms, including changes in sleep, appetite, energy level, concentration, and/or self-esteem. Depression can also be associated with thoughts of suicide.

People may experience:

  • Mood: anxiety, apathy, hopelessness, loss of interest in activities, mood swings, or sadness
  • Behavioral:  agitation, excessive crying, irritability, restlessness, or social isolation
  • Sleep:  early awakening, excess sleepiness, insomnia, or restless sleep
  • Weight:  weight can or loss due to excessive hunger, fatigue, or loss of appetite
  • Cognitive:  lack of concentration, slowness in activity, or thoughts of suicide

Less Sleep Leads to Weight Gain!

Studies show being sleep deprived leads to consuming an average of +285 additional calories per day!

When you’re sleep deprived, cortisol levels are high and serotonin levels are low. This makes you crave starchy, sugary and fatty foods to help boost serotonin and calm you. At the same time, lack of sleep increases the hunger hormone, ghrelin, and suppresses the satiety hormone, leptin, which signals when we’ve eaten enough.

6 Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep

  1. Stick to a schedule. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day creates a rhythm that your body will naturally try to maintain.
  2. Create a night-time routine. Doing the same tasks each night signals to your body to slow-down, sleep is coming soon.
  3. No big meals before bed. Stopping eating 3 hours before bed gives your digestive system enough time to complete its cycle, so the digestive process does not continue after bedtime, disrupting your sleep.
  4. Morning exercise. Exercise releases stress, making you fall asleep faster. It also produces growth hormones, which help your body to repair and revitalize itself. Best to exercise early in the day, however, because if you are exercising too close to bedtime, the adrenaline may prevent you from falling asleep easily.
  5. No late night drinks. Alcohol actually prevents you from getting your much-needed deep sleep. It also dehydrates you and can wake you up during the night.
  6. Go outside each day. A little Vitamin D every morning regulates your body’s production of melatonin and lifts your spirits. Dr. Michael Breus, PHD, advises getting outside for at least 15 minutes every morning.