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How Exercise Helps with Depression (Especially Seasonal Depression)

It’s amazing how powerful movement is. Moving our bodies is just one way to help when we are feeling stressed, depressed, anxious, etc. It helps boost our overall mood, self-esteem and can even give us that boost of energy we need!

This time of year seasonal depression is a huge factor why some people start to feel lethargic and depressed - leading us to be more sedentary and make unhealthy food/beverage choices. In turn we start to lose focus and our exercise goals go down the toilet along with progress! 

Feeling stressed, depressed or anxious during the season of seasonal depress (colder weather, darker/shorter days), then try these tips to keep you focused and happy! 

1. Invest in yourself

-invest in a lamp that is specifically designed to help increase melatonin and vitamin D levels

- invest in an app (like CALM) for meditation and relaxation 

- invest in a COACH or therapist (personal trainer, nutrition coach, any kind of coach that you believe will help you through this time). These people have your best interest in mind and truly want to help.

2. Move more 

- it doesn’t have to be complicated, it just has to be something 

- find friends or a group to help keep you accountable (easier to skip when it is just yourself and no one else is relying on you)

- listen to your body - if it is telling you to have a kick ass workout - THEN CRUSH THAT WORKOUT, if it is tell you to relax and stretch to relieve tension - then do that too 

3. Eat and hydrate properly 

- eat a serving of fruit or vegetable at every meal 

- eat a serving of protein at every meal 

- choose complex carbs over simple carbs

- HYDRATE - when we are dehydrated we tend to loose focus and become lethargic 

- enjoy your treats when you want them - but don’t over do it. You don’t need to have cookies and ice cream everyday BUT a piece of dark chocolate to wind down at night might just be what you are looking for (bonus - dark chocolate is a source of antioxidants)

4. Rest and recharge

- try to get 7-8 hours of sleep a night (or whatever your body feels is an appropriate number to feel rested and re-energized) 

- try to use a smart alarm that gradually increases the light in your room

- if you need a day to just relax and put your feet up - DO IT, but don’t let it become a habit of everyday!

Stay on top of your mental health. 

If you need help - ask for it! 

Love yourself and give it what it needs! 

Move more, eat better and rest up!

Meg DeSalvo Fit 

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