I read a quote this week that is making want to explode:
“Poor mental health is a risk factor for chronic physical conditions”. – World Health Organization.
We tend to focus so much on fixing our health by taking medicine, eating better, and exercising more…but what if the underlying issue for all of us is actually our mental health?
You don’t have to be a genius to see that when you feel down in the dumps, overwhelmed, and anxious about life it becomes harder to make the positive and seemingly harder choices to take care of ourselves.
But that’s where I get excited.
In this post-partum body of mine, four kids later, I am seeing how easy it is to let my mental health dictate what I will eat, how much I exercise and whether or not I go to bed on time. A couple of days ago I started my day with tears that seemed to come out of nowhere and I simply did not feel like I could do anything well that day.
Often times this might just be a sign of a bad day, but on that day I knew I had to stop everything and get my body moving. Here I am...
I’ve always been aware of the increased incidence of depression post-baby, but I doubt many of us realize how close we may even be to a diagnosis of depression if we really look at the diagnostic criteria for depression.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) defines a major depressive episode as at least two weeks of a depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure in almost all activities, as well as at least five other symptoms, such as:
Sleep issues on an almost daily basis (either difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much)
Changes in appetite and weight (change of more than 5 percent body weight in a month) or a decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day
Decreased energy or fatigue almost every day
Difficulty concentrating, making decisions, and thinking clearly
Psychomotor agitation or retardation that is observable by others (slow physical movements or unintentional or purposeless motions)
Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide, a suicide attempt, or a specific plan for suicide
Based on this information, admittedly…I’ve been on the verge of depression.
And based on what I read from this list, there’s a whole lot of people- particularly moms, walking around in a fog of depression but are ignoring it because they think it’s normal.
So what’s so exciting about seeing depression in myself and others?
Knowledge is power. And this knowledge helps me…
#1) See more clearly that this isn’t normal and that I have every right to get help.
#2) Take more decisive action toward changes that will influence my mental health.
I cannot wait until I am motivated or less fatigued to exercise.
I cannot wait until I have all my ducks in a row with meal planning to cook more vegetables.
I cannot wait until I have my kitchen perfectly clean to go to bed.
And neither can you. Your mental health and ultimately ALL of your health depends on it.
The number one way I have always kick-started my ability to feel better in the moment is to get moving.
Movement is the catalyst to get my mind and emotions more in line with what I know will help me feel better but I am not motivated to do, things like eating more greens or going to bed early.
And even better than simply exercising, is reinforcing my exercise with positivity through music, podcasts, a conversation with a friend, or praying through my movement.
Now, I am going to speak specifically to the overworked mamas or business owners who are mothering their businesses out there who resonate with this post.
You don’t have to go through life feeling fatigued every day, wondering if you can ever think clearly, get a good night of sleep, or finally get your weight under control again.
There is hope.
And here is what I am committing to do to help you.
I am going to start posting a Movement Motivator workout every week on my blog and my social media pages. If you are not already connected with me on Facebook or Instagram, be sure to find me there as that will be the quickest way to grab your workout.
These won’t be long, but they will be powerful.
I can’t wait to start sharing them with you!!
Stay tuned as the first movement Motivator will be out next week.
Until then, may you remain in awe of the miracle of YOU,