There has been a lot (constant) talk about mental health during the past year living with Covid-19. The feelings of loneliness, struggle, frustration, etc. There has been a lot of news lately on the effects on children. For me, and I believe Mia, personally it’s been an annoying year and at times we’ve both been fed up. However I don’t feel like I’m depressed, lonely or even struggling. I do feel it is all a matter of perspective.
I’m not a negative person in general. I call myself a sarcastic optimist. I also feel one of my strongest traits is being able to take things in stride. Mia and I have our health, we have each other and most importantly we make time for each other and ourselves.
Yes I miss hanging with groups of friends and I really want to get back to New Hampshire to see my family. Don’t get me wrong things are not perfect. I choose to focus on the things I can control though. Taking care of myself is one of those things.
Exercise has always been a part of my life. Studies have proven that exercise can help ease the symptoms of depression and anxiety. Don’t believe me, read it from some experts. or here. I believe that staying active is just as important as eating well and getting plenty of rest. You’ve got to take care of yourself before you can take care of others. As a good friend of mine, who majored in philosophy, once put it “worry about the things you can control and not about the things you can’t”.
Throughout my life I have played Babe Ruth baseball, soccer, track & field, and as anyone who has read this blog, or knows me personally, for the past thirty two years I have been a huge fan (fanatic?) of bike riding. Hiking is probably my second favorite activity. Cycling though has been my passion for 3/4 of my life now. In the long run I believe that constant and consistent exercise has been one of my saving graces. If I don’t ride, walk, hike, etc for a couple days in a row I get irritable.
If you’ve read some of the more recent posts I believe my frustration of COVID was coming through loud and clear. Recently I’ve been able to get outside and ride my bike the past several weekends though and amazingly my attitude has shifted back towards my normal self….meaning I still don’t like people but the rest I can deal with. (reference previous comment about being a sarcastic optimist). As commuting to work by bikes picks up in the coming weeks things will just be getting better and better.
So if you’re feeling down take the advice of not just me but actual experts and throw some exercise into your routine. Go for a walk, a bike ride, play disc golf, kayaking, weight training, I think you get the idea….do something for yourself and that gets your heart pumping. Trust me you’ll feel better. Remember it’s all about perspective. Having a positive attitude goes a long way towards making yourself feel better.
Thanks for reading,