The benefits of exercise are wide and varied, but one of the most well-known is the fact that exercise improves mood. It's no surprise that doctors recommend exercise for people who are suffering from depression. As I've alluded to in my earlier articles though, it can be hard to get out of bed when feeling depressed, let alone exercise.
So what's a person to do? Here are a few activities that help me feel better:
Go for a walk. It can be surprising how much of a difference walking can make on your thoughts. The simple of act of moving can make you feel better and more confident about facing your problems.
Do yoga. Another activity that's highly recommended for mood, yoga can stimulate positive feelings and make you feel relaxed. If you're interested, I recommend checking out yogajournal.com, which can give you an introduction to the world of yoga.
Play with a dog. Even if you're not an animal person (I'm not) there's something invigorating about pets that can help you feel better. Maybe it's their boundless energy, or their ability to always somehow be happy. There are programs such as Therapaws that train dogs to specifically help people suffering from mental illness.
There are a bunch of ways you can move around during your day that don't have to be dedicated to exercise. You can take the stairs instead of the elevator, park further away from work, or do a jumping jack every time you have a depressive thought. Whatever you do, the point is to get moving!