i love to dance. like, REALLY love it. of course, i'm terrible at it, everyone knows that. but who cares! i'm terrible at a lot of things i do on a daily basis, but i still do them ;)
I really think the biggest thing that pulled me out of feeling depressed was just moving my physical body. yeah, exercise. everyone talks about endorphins blah blah, but for ME, the key seemed to be that while I was exercising? it was sooo much easier to set my thoughts to the side (like in a box) during that specific time. then afterwards, your body/hormones are stimulated enough so your mind is better able to process the bigger picture, and the endorphins kick in and you start feeling some hope. it just opened a whole new world for me, mentally. it's weird, I know.*
ok, a rabbit trail...
so here's the thing. if you HATE exercising, maybe it just means you haven't found the right thing yet? yoga is a very easy place to start if you have trouble believing your body isn't made for moving around a lot...it's just like stretching and breathing. (and like loving and praying and sometimes finding yourself...but that comes later.) i have been teaching pants a few yoga moves, which is hilarious. he is a dude's dude when it comes to fitness (hardcore!! push yourself till it hurts!! yeaahh!!!), so seeing him doing slow bendy yoga moves and trying to breathe correctly is so funny to me. he also gets reeaaally distracted by my yoga pants, which i pretend is irritating but secretly i like it...
ahem. listen, I used to be a diehard too (kickboxing, sports, cardio classes, running till I wanted to die, ect), but am finding that's not really who i am anymore. i have a lot of friends who are athletes or distance runners, and they are AWESOME. i am constantly amazed by them! but for ME, just getting my heart rate up like, 20 minutes a day, works fine. i do think lifting weights can be really great for your body (like, normal lifting, not talking power lifting here), but you can also use your own body to increase your strength, just by doing things like push ups or pull ups or throwing your kids around.
aaand...back to dancing!
so, truth time: NOTHING is as FUN as dancing around like a free bird. NOTHING. you know it, I know it. i used to go to clubs sometimes like, in 1998, but there's NO WAY i would ever do that now. now it's maybe at a concert. and i haven't even BEEN to a decent live music show in an embarrassingly long time, you guys! well, unless Disney counts. oh my gosh, my life is so lame. so...basically, i dance in private.
here's a super easy formula to try:
music + push back living room furniture = fun
that's it. yes, it's totally embarrassing at first. yes, you are 38yrs old and way too old to be doing this, lol. I started dancing around for like, a half hour at a time when no one else was home. if you are too self-conscious, tell your kids to put on just dance 4 on the xbox, and DO IT WITH THEM. (that game is so fun, you guys! uh, i mean, not that I would know...)
since i am used to working out, when I dance at home, i usually end up turning it into more of a serious workout, combining it with high-impact aerobic moves, then I do some yoga and strength training afterwards if I feel like it. you can even throw in a work out dvd if you need to (we all have those lying around, right?) and just mute it, and do the moves to music instead. or...just DANCE! for FUN!!
good music is KEY. find the tunes you love to jump around to. i sometimes use pandora on my phone, but spotify is the best. especially if you hook it up to the super sweet speaker your brother got you last year. i like to put my pandora stations on mix, but only because it's funny to listen to austra and then classic beastie boys. don't judge...
oh, also? WEAR SOMETHING CUTE. seriously. my self esteem does not need to be huffing and puffing around in an oversized tee shirt and my baggy pink sweats. not worth it. I just wear $8 leggings and one of those long fitted-but-not-tight tank tops from target. but it makes a difference!
* this information might be totally inaccurate, but I do surf WebMD a lot, so i'm pretty much a doctor...