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Mental Health During the Coronavirus: Get Out and Walk

Hey there. If you’ve been reading this blog long enough, then you’ll know I suffer from clinical depression. I’ve only had three major episodes in twenty years, each one worse than the last, but still that’s a pretty good track record. Especially since the first time I had no idea what was happening to me until it was too late, until my serotonin levels were too low to come up on their own.

The reason I’ve been pretty successful at handling my mental health is because I’m anal about managing it. It takes discipline. I take a daily antidepressant, eat healthy, smoke pot if needed, sleep eight hours a night, reach out when I feel vulnerable, and walk.

Walking is so important, not only for my dogs but for me too. The other day I read that the mental health hotline is up 891%. That’s a staggering number but I get it. There’s nothing worse for a depressed person than to be locked away with all those negative thoughts.

My best advice is to walk. Research from the Mayo Clinic proves that even moderate exercise releases cannabis-like chemicals (endogenous cannabinoids) in the brain. These chemicals give you a natural high. Walking also helps with sleep patterns because it expends energy and wears you out.

Maybe most importantly, the act of walking breaks unhealthy thought patterns. If left alone, these destructive ideas can have a snowball effect. They just keep growing with every turn until it feels like your suffocating under them.

I know they aren’t making walking easy right now. Our parks in Robertson County have been shutdown for weeks. But sidewalks aren’t closed. So walk. Get outside, get out of your head, and walk. I promise it’ll help.

 

Coming Soon: A Stroll through Springfield’s Historic District

 

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