Feeling down?Get up and move...

As I have mentioned in my previous blog, the mind and body are connected, in fact, they are one. I really wished I had known that when I first started suffering from Clinical Depression as I am sure if I had started to move my body more,I would have recovered a lot faster.

You see, when I was severely depressed my body closed down into a catatonic state, so I would just lie in bed curled up in the fetus position. I didn't want to move, in fact, I didn't want to do anything even taking a shower was too much.

Then a man called Rannoch Donald came into my life and basically saved it through teaching me all about the power and benefits of movement for mental health.

The first thing he asked me to do was to just get up and take a long, hot shower. This immediately had a great effect on me as it woke me up and I felt I was washing away all the negativity and anxiety. This was ramped up as I got out of the shower and began to dry myself, I just started to feel a lot better about the day ahead. The thing that I didn't realise at the time was that I was moving! I was literally shaking off the anxiety and fear.

From there he asked to just go for a ten-minute walk, no less, no more, every day. I thought that was too easy but that was the whole point. If something is easy we will do it and taking action especially when we are depressed is everything. Looking back, this is when I started on the road to my recovery from depression, by moving. The more I moved the better I felt mentally as I knew I had achieved something for that day. On top of that, physically I started to lose all the weight I had put on previously as I did a lot of comfort eating.

Then Rannoch introduced me to the 100 Rep Challenge which he created, which is a simple practice to establish and reinforce positive, enduring habits. It is suitable for everyone, young and old, active or sedentary, everyone can benefit by using the 100 Rep Challenge to work on the areas of their mental and physical well being that require attention. It is also scalable so you can find the best approach for you.

The challenge is a personal one, about accountability and the value of consistent effort, a great starting point for a simple daily practice. Almost any physical activity can be adopted to the challenge, one hundred is simply a number, a starting point, a catalyst. The drills themselves can be about anything that promotes a sense of ownership regarding our health and well being.Mindfulness, breathing, stretching and mobility, strength training , rehabilitation...all of these modalities have their place.

You see, Rannoch gave me a map and a compass of how to get moving and well again. Anyone can learn the basics of getting fit, eating sensibly, taking care of themselves but without regular daily practice to reinforce these good habits it is hard. Why is it bad habits are so difficult to break when good habits are so easy to give up? That is for another blog!

We all need simple rituals, a practice in our lives that amidst all the chaos allows us a little time to breathe, move, take charge, focus, and relax.

So, go to www.100repchallenge.com and start doing 100 reps a day which will equate to 700 reps a week, 36,500 each year and so on. Small changes equal big changes. 100 Reps is all it takes, a little a lot.



© 2020 by Andy MacArthur, Clinical Therapist.