Managing Anxiety and Depression in Your Fitness Journey

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Believe it or not I deal with depression sometimes myself.

It comes in phases for me.

I suspect that I have anxiety as well, but I have not been officially diagnosed.

I don’t like to talk about things I haven’t experienced myself or that I don’t know anything about, so everything that I do discuss with you comes from my personal experiences and knowledge.

I am not a doctor, so please seek professional help if you are experiencing major issues in these areas.

Dealing with life itself when depressed or extremely anxious is tough. Some people struggle with simply getting out of bed.

Adding fitness on top of that definitely makes things even more difficult.

So, the question is how can you get fit while struggling with depression and anxiety?

Let’s talk about it.

How does depression affect you?

It will be helpful if you take a moment to familiarize yourself with how depression and/or anxiety affects you.

Does it make you tired?

Do you have trouble sleeping?

Do you overeat because of it?

What does it do to you?

Knowing that is going to be important for finding a way to fight it.

Once you know exactly what you’re struggling with then you’ll be able to determine how you can move forward.

When I go through my phases of depression I am the type to cry a lot, and I lose focus.

It gets extremely hard for me to do things that I need to do because my mind is overtaken by my sadness.

One very unhealthy habit that I have is emotional eating.

That is actually how I gained most of my weight in the first place.

I eat when I’m excited, sad, etc because it makes me feel good.

When I am depressed this is the first thing I tend to do.

I’m much better at controlling it now, though.

if you’re an emotional eater a good way to fight that is by finding another fix.

For me, I began going for walks when I feel the urge, however sometimes I do still give in.

Anything that you like that makes you feel happy do that in place of eating.

Painting, meditating, or if you’re spiritual, praying are good substitutes.

Also, fun things like games, bowling, or dancing to loud music.

Now everyones depression and anxiety is different, and we deal in different ways.

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How you can fight your depression & anxiety

The best universal advice I can give is to allow yourself to feel the feelings that you feel and work through them.

There is nothing worse than trying to keep it bottled up or hiding it from yourself.

Let it out by either voicing it to yourself or writing it in a journal.

I say this a lot and ima say it again,


You are allowed to FEEL!

You are not overreacting.

You feel how you feel how you feel how you feel!!!!

Sometimes letting it out and just letting go can bring relief.

Now in regards to fitness I have had many moments where my depression kept me out of the gym.

As I have stated in previous posts, working out isn’t therapeutic for me.

I don’t enjoy it, so I can’t do it when I am sad.

If you can relate to that then just take a break.

It’s okay to take a break.

Read up on how to take a break without getting off track here.

I really don’t think that pushing through in times like these is helpful for you if working out isn’t something you love to do.

In any case though working through your feelings is always a good route to take whether working out is therapeutic for you or not.

If you’re new to fitness or just need a boost

If you haven’t started your journey yet and you want to, but depression is holding you back here’s what I think may help you to get started.

Again, acknowledge how you feel, acknowledge what you want to accomplish, acknowledge your current habits, and make a plan.

Ask yourself questions like,

“What am I struggling with?”

“What do I want?”

“What will make me happy?”

“Why am I in my current position?”

“What do I have the power to change?”

“What are my goals?”

And be 100% honest with yourself.

no matter how slow you go or how long it takes you will get there, but only if you keep moving

I was super depressed before I started my journey.

At that time I was depressed because I hated myself and how I looked.

I took some time and created a list of what would make me happy.

Losing weight was the first thing on that list.

I also thought about why I wanted to lose weight.

My reason was because I felt fat, and undesirable by myself and by men.

I was insecure and I wanted to be happy with myself, the way I looked, my life, and I wanted to be healthy.

Do this for yourself.

You can’t fix a problem if you don’t even know what the problem is or the outcome you desire.

Once you have done this start your fitness journey by taking it slow.

One day at a time.

(Even if you’ve already started your journey taking things one step at a time is a great way to build consistency and work through your depression or anxiety.)

Plan to go workout for 30 minutes one day, and after you do it praise yourself for accomplishing that.

Say things like,

“ I went for a walk even though I didn’t want to. That is a great first step for me. I am proud of myself”.

Small rewards make you feel so good, and will help motivate you to do it again, so do something nice for yourself for completing that task.

Each day or week try to challenge yourself to do something more than you usually do.

If you started off doing one day a week next week go for two, or plan to have a day where you only eat healthier food options.

I promise over time if you keep challenging yourself and pushing to do just a little more your body will start to respond in many ways, including mentally.

Continue to be aware of your feelings during this time too.

And If you get too depressed or anxious one day take a fucking break.

It is okay.

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Tips for getting fit with depression and/or anxiety

Fitness is a lifestyle not a quick fix, and no one is expecting you to go from 0-100 in a day or week or even a month.

Understand that dealing with depression and anxiety while trying to stick to an exercise routine and healthy eating isn’t an easy task. Some do believe that exercise can ease those feelings though.

Whether it does or does not for you be patient with yourself, and be kind to yourself.

there is not one specific thing that will cure your depression or anxiety so that you can get fit.

There are ways to get better though, and take back your life.

Remember these 10 things while you are pushing through your journey.

  1. Know how you feel
  2. Assess your current habits
  3. Know how it is affecting your life
  4. Learn what makes you happy
  5. Set goals
  6. Make a plan
  7. Take things slowly
  8. Be kind to yourself
  9. Be patient
  10. Celebrate and reward yourself for small victories

I made this list early on in my journey and by following this list I have made so much progress mentally, physically and emotionally and I know you can too.

Let’s Chat! How are you getting through your fitness journey with your depression and/or anxiety? Let me know in the comments.


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Evolve or Repeat

November 24, 2020