Self care can include many things like reading, art and even physical activities such as walking. In times when you are stressed or things just don’t seem to be going right, it can be hard to want to do anything physical and we may even turn to eating some of our comfort foods. That’s okay though! Eating some pizza, chocolate or watching a movie may be what you need to do in that moment. But getting stuck on doing these things is when these activities become unhealthy. Being physically active can help you get back to having positive mental health.
By working out – whether it’s a walk, playing a sport or dancing, you are releasing stress. During exercise, your body produces endorphins, otherwise known as the happy hormone. These activities can also help you practice being present in the moment, because you are focusing on how your body is moving or your breathing as you exercise. Sitting in one spot and trying to meditate may not be for everyone, but you can also meditate by exercising.
Physical activity also influences you to become more resilient. When you’re exercising, you usually have a goal no matter how big or small it is. Each time you engage with this activity, you are pushing yourself to meet this goal, whether it’s learning a new move, increasing your cardio or getting stronger. You may find that you’re exhausted and can’t go any further, but by pushing yourself you may find that you have more strength than you originally thought. This can translate to other parts of your life as well. Accomplishing things in physical activity show us that we are capable of doing anything in particular, and that the only thing we need to do is focus and continue on.
Poor mental health can sometimes get the better of us. But by just reminding ourselves that we are strong enough to overcome these challenges, we may find that getting over the hurdle of poor mental health can become a bit easier. We can also learn how stress or anxiety can help us perform better at times and may not always be a bad thing by being physically active.
Another bonus is that sometimes there is a social aspect to these activities. Surrounding yourself with people is great, as socializing and being around others can have a positive effect on one’s mental health. It can also make the activity go faster and more fun! So not only is physical activity good for your body, it can also make you look and feel better.