The Benefits of Exercise for Mental Health

38 days free from marijuana, cigarettes and alcohol and happy to report the cravings are practically gone  The best way they say to lose a bad habit is to replace it with a good one.  Well for me that replacement has been regular exercise.  And it has really made a difference in my mental and physical well-being.  I have never felt better and never exercised so much since I was playing sports as a kid and teenager.

Prior to 38 days ago, I was smoking cigarettes and pot on a throughout the day basis.  I had a medical marijuana card so it was legal and I used it for my anxiety which had been off the hinges after my last attempt at working.  But the problem was that the high didn’t last so I kept doing it to feel better.  And then when I smoked I couldn’t drive so I stayed at home way too much and didn’t want to hang out with my friends or family as much due to the cycle

But the great news is that the benefits of exercise last much longer than any high and it is so cheap in comparison to buying weed and cigarettes.

I even started going to the gym again and they have this awesome total body massage chair and table which helps my muscles to feel better after my workouts!  I have even started to get a workout in  the morning so my day starts off on the right foot.

So here are the many benefits but I am sure there are more~

  • A boost of endorphins after a good workout
  • Mental clarity
  • motivation to keep my house, life and myself in good shape and order
  • weight loss although it is slow
  • a fitter body
  • an excuse to get outside and also get the benefit of fresh air and sunshine when the weather is good
  • helps with memory
  • helps me to fall asleep faster and get better sleep so I don’t need as much (before I was getting 9-11 hours of sleep a night, now I get 7-8 and feel fine and ready to go)
  • adds variety to life as a new hobby I see myself doing the rest of my life
  • helps with stress
  • puts me in a good mood and helps me to stay there
  • my good moods are contagious so the people around me seem happier too!

I still have the occasional bad day but it is usually due to taking my rest day when you exercise a lot.  I used to have 1 out of 3 or 4 bad days but recently I actually had my longest streak of 9 days of feeling great and being motivated since being diagnosed with Schizoaffective disorder in 2008

I vary my workouts to avoid boredom.  Lately I have been walking a lot, 9-12 miles a day actually because I compete on fitbit with people from around the country and my home town and I am very competitive ha ha.  But I will get tired of that after a while and get back to my sparkpeople videos for Latin spice dance workouts, cardio boogie, upper and lower body strengthening and intense power workouts to upbeat music.

One of the disadvantages of working out is that injury is common and it happened to me.  I strained my shoulder so have had to avoid upper body workouts until it heals.  I also stretch most days for ten minutes to help prevent injury and just bought a stability ball to work on my core muscles while I am sitting at my computer!

If you don’t exercise I urge you to try it for two weeks and see how your feel.  Start with a ten minute walk and go up from there but try to give it your all if you can and you’ll feel better if you do!  If you experience the benefits already as a regular exerciser, post in the comments your favorite workout routine.  I  love to get new ideas all the time and surely my readers would be interested too.

Good night!

Pax

Victoria

A realization…

 

I had a fleeting thought today that I could work again…

I used to do so much at my old jobs.

It would seem as if post diagnosis with Schizophrenia since 2008 I have gotten progressively worse off.  With each failure, whether it was quitting, going on disability, or getting fired, I have each time digressed to a lower level of functioning ability.

This last time when I got fired, I now suffer from anxiety much worse than before.  I take two anti-anxiety medicines plus heavy mindfulness and I am ok if I do all that.  Exercising helps too, can’t forget that.  Today I didn’t exercise much but did some heavy housecleaning so got my heartbeat up.

It just seems as if my life is not getting better at least work-wise.  But I will look for a job after the holidays.  After my dear daughter comes home for a week.  She is my biggest supporter and really helps me sort things out on our long walks everywhere.

At least I can manage my home, bills, pets, teenage son, spontaneous husband and 2 aging parents.  I am not their caregiver but do help them throughout the week sometimes daily.

I am blessed to be alive.  I wanted to be dead at one point but no more.  No, I want to live my life fully and I am grateful for every day I can do that.

Pax

Victoria

Research study opportunity

-BEGIN ANNOUNCEMENT—–

California State University San Marcos

You are Invited to Participate in an Online Research Study

Scale Validation Survey (IRB Code Number: 893513-1)

A new scale is being developed for people with various psychiatric diagnoses including depression and borderline personality disorder. The purpose of this online study is to test the validity of the scale among people from diverse backgrounds. It is hoped that this work will lead to further research and potential clinical applications. This online survey will involve completing a series of questions for approximately less than 45 minutes.

You must be at least 18 years old, fluent in English, a resident of the United States, and diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder to participate. You are not eligible to participate if you participated in our recent interview study.

To participate in this online research study, please visit:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FV7MTFL

To learn more about this research study, please contact the researcher, Stephanie Price (price049@cougars.csusm.edu), or the advisor, Dr. Heike Mahler (hmahler@csusm.edu).

—–END ANNOUNCEMENT—–

Working really helps me!

Hello to all!

Victoria here and happy to say that work is going awesome so far!  The people are great and I love the company I work for so far.  Very fair and honesty is their mantra.

That being said, I must say that I was more productive this past week than most of the year I was off on disability.  I kept up with my house, cooked some great meals and enjoyed time with friends.  On my days off, Thursday and Friday, I relaxed one day pretty much and was bored on Thursday but today, Friday, I made a long list and actually accomplished 95% of it.  I was a little stressed because there was so much I needed to do to make my work week go smooth but shouldn’t have worried because everything went well.

I even got to spend time with my dying father.  We drank coffee and told each other that we loved each other which we he hasn’t said it for a while (he has been in the hospital since early July).  He even added after he said he loved me that he loved the kids too!!! Wow, it was bittersweet of course because he is not getting better but I was overjoyed that he still thinks of us and his love for us.

Well it is back to work tomorrow and I have my lunch packed and ready to go.  I am so glad my husband insisted on my working especially for this company.  It is sales so there will be ups and downs but I will make good money and hopefully have more productive weeks like this one.

I see my pdoc next week and can’t wait to share the good progress report.  My mental health is pretty good, no time to sit at my computer and stare anyway ha ha seriously that was much of my day when I wasn’t working I am ashamed to admit.  Knowing I have to be at work I have to be very careful with my time although I still play around and goof off on the computer just in smaller increments.

Hope ya’ll have a great weekend.

Pax

Victoria