close connections: when life starts to feel like a bad reality show, keep moving!

Some days, does it feel like you’re crumbling under the weight of the world? You may be dealing with tough stuff in your personal life—relationship problems, health issues and money worries. Add those on top of the pandemic, fearful headlines and the political scene, and life begins to look and feel like a really bad reality show.

By Nancy Norman

It’s easy to get depressed these days. World events can really bog us down—to a grinding stop if we’re not careful. Ask anyone who’s depressed and they’ll say they feel like they can’t put one foot in front of the other.

So what’s the answer? Just keep moving! You don’t have to feel good to move. My dad used to say, “It’s harder to hit a moving target.”

Remember when exercise routines became the key to good mental and physical health? Those 20-minute, three-times-a-week workouts might suit folks strong enough to jog or fast walk. But for others, it’s just not possible.

Fortunately, intense workouts aren’t the only answer.

In fact, the best answer is what we do after we exercise. No amount of exercise will undo the pathology that is sitting and remaining sedentary.

Movement helps everything from sore muscles to heartaches. When we’re really feeling down, our inclination is not to move. But repeating the movements that make the muscles sore is a way to get past the aches quicker. Not closing down your romantic heart when it hurts, but instead slowly, steadily opening it up can help lessen the ache.

Moving has infinite variations and many benefits. We don’t need a gym membership or a partner. We can make up our own movements. Standing up and shaking your arms every 20 minutes when you’re at the computer, in front of the TV or absorbed in a book helps circulation and brings deeper breaths. Walking further than necessary to get a drink of water in the kitchen instead of the closer bathroom can interrupt tiredness from focusing and/or boredom.

At my house, I practice impulsiveness. When I think of something, I get up and do it. (I just vacuumed the living room rug.) This means we might have to pause the remote—sometimes in critical areas.

At times when you feel frozen, afraid of making a mistake if you move, do what The Eagles say: “When I feel like giving up, I can hear a voice inside me say, ‘Do something! It’s too easy not to care. You’re not ready for the rockin’ chair. Don’t wait too long—even if it’s wrong—you’ve got to do something.’”

Do whatever it is with more steps.

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