Motivation against depression: exercise

For people suffering from depression, the main benefits of exercise are psychological, as opposed to physical (but that is a plus!). Physical exercise has been known to boost a person’s mood by releasing chemicals called endorphins, giving the feeling of euphoria and reducing the body’s perception of pain.

I took up jogging last year in order to lose weight, with the intention of jogging the annual Women’s Mini Marathon that I had only ever walked. It was a struggle. I injured my foot almost immediately. With the advice of friends and colleagues, I began foam rolling and taking supplements such as Magnesium and Omega 3. I’d love to tell you that I am now an avid runner but unfortunately this also falls into the category of regimes I have given up on.

My reasons for giving up could simply be construed as “giving up” but at the time seemed justified. It is recommended to jog at least three times a week. I jogged both Saturdays and Sundays but found it difficult to find time during the week due to my 9-5 job which took a hour to travel to and from. By the time I got home in the evenings I was beyond exhausted and couldn’t possibly fathom going out for a run. The mornings I ruled out instantly because I was up early as it was.

Maybe they were just excuses, but in the end, I caved. My health nut friend also advised me not to jog two mornings in a row so that essentially put a halt to my weekend ritual. I figured, what’s the point?

I miss jogging now. My foam roller sits unused, my running shoes gathering dust. I would love to get back into it but my circumstances haven’t changed and I may end up throwing in the towel once again, or worse yet, not even try again at all. I decided that once I finish college in three weeks’ time, I would give aqua aerobics a try. Can I combine the two exercises? I could persevere and do aqua aerobics one evening a week and then jog at the weekend (Saturday morning and Sunday evening).

Is that a plan, or wishful thinking?

Motivation against depression: buy experiences not goods

A friend’s recommendation led me to 59 Seconds: Think A Little, Change a Lot by Richard Wiseman. The book seeks to help you achieve aims and ambitions in minutes rather than months by laying out all that can be done in such little time. While I found myself disagreeing with a few of his suggestions, his insinuation that happiness is bought through experiences rather than material goods has stuck with me.

“Buy Experiences Not Goods. Want to buy happiness? Then spend your hard-earned cash on experiences. Go out for a meal. Go to a concert, cinema or theatre. Go on holiday. Go and learn how to pole dance. Go paintballing. Go bungee jumping. In fact, get involved in anything that provides an opportunity to do things with others, and then tell even more people about it afterwards. When it comes to happiness, remember that it is experiences that represent really good value for money.”

I’ll put my hand up right now and admit that I’m materialistic. I just love buying things (not to the extent that I’m a shopaholic!), even though I know the happiness they bring is only temporary.

In spite of this, I do look to buy experiences. For example, back in October my favourite band in the whole world announced their world tour. Unfortunately Ireland wasn’t on their agenda. Rather than sulk, I decided to look into travelling abroad to see them. People do that all the time, don’t they? My cousin travelled to Scotland to see Bon Jovi, even though they had also played Ireland just days previously. My first choice of destination was Amsterdam, mostly because nearly everyone I knew seemed to be going there around that time, and I had loved it when I was there a few years back, so why not? The show was sadly sold out in Amsterdam, so I turned to possibly my favourite European city…

Berlin.

No, it wasn’t my first choice, but it certainly wasn’t a consolation prize. I had been to Berlin twice before and loved it. It was the first holiday my fiancé and I went on together and so it holds a sentimental value to us. And luckily, the show wasn’t sold out!

My fiancé, who is a bigger fan of Berlin than anyone, quickly agreed to join me and I booked the concert. Yes, I felt buyer’s remorse, and kind of felt a little silly going abroad to see a band I could see on television/online any day of the week. However, I kept going back to Wiseman’s book and assured myself that I was buying an experience and it was better than a new phone or DVD.

The concert took place last week which is why I haven’t updated much in the last week, and boy was it an experience! In spite of the freezing temperatures, I was in a city I loved, watching the band I loved with the man I loved.

It won’t cure my materialism, but I believe that buying experiences impacts my mental health in a positive way each time, even just a little bit.

PS. the band subsequently announced an Ireland date!

INTERLUDE: NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge 2017

This is my third year in a row entering into the Short Story Challenge by NYC Midnight. Both times previously I made it through to the second round, which is certainly a boost in confidence even though I didn’t progress to the third round.

My challenge this year is as follows:

  • Genre: Crime Caper
  • Subject: Running out of a supply of something
  • Character: An orphan

As with my previous challenges, these are genres I don’t generally indulge in when writing stories. So far I’ve been given Fairy Tale, Sci-Fi, Comedy, etc. Mostly I write drama and/or romance.

A challenge this will be indeed!

Motivation against depression: Netflix

A lot of people may consider that watching television in general keeps them from doing anything productive. The opposite is true for me, I pay the monthly fee for Netflix and yet I never watch it. I used to be addicted to television but in recent years I’ve fallen out of that addiction and just streamed the odd series or bought the box sets.

I’m housesitting at the moment while my parents are away, so while I’m doing my best to be productive during the day, I decided to spend the evening indulging in a film or series. On Thursday night, it was Die Hard. Yes, I have never seen this film before and people seem to find this shocking. I enjoyed it, so cheesy!

On Friday night, I started watching Stranger Things. Typical of Netflix, I intended to just watch one episode but wound up watching three. And on Saturday night, my fiancé stayed over with me and we watched Red Dragon.

I’ve still so much to watch but it feels good watching new things that I keep saying I’ll watch but never get around to.

As my Mam says, it’s the little things!