The Thankful Project Day 8: Gym

I hate writing this. Because honestly? Who could ever possibly be thankful for the gym? And why would I be thankful for the gym?

I don’t really like going. I don’t like sweating my ass off watching all the body builder guys strut around and occasionally lifting a weight. I don’t like looking at all the skinny girls elliptical for a half hour and then being able to call it good. I just don’t like it.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t be grateful for it.

I’m grateful for the gym simply because it is a place where I can go and for one hour (or 90 minutes), I get to just be alone with my thoughts. And, exercise gives you endorphins, and endorphins make you happy.

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I can leave the gym feeling invigorated (if not a little sore). I feel better. Even when I’m exhausted, and don’t feel like going to the gym, I push myself to go and it makes me feel more energetic. It brightens up the rest of the day.

Plus, getting stronger and getting in shape isn’t too bad either.

Working out also helps my mental health, which also keeps me happier and more energetic throughout the day.

So, even though I really do hate the gym, I’m pretty darn thankful for it.

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The Thankful Project Day 6: Planners

To step away for a day from the ultimately cheesy sounding thankful posts, I’m just going to dedicate this post to planners.

Yes, those things that organize your day and tell you what to do.

I use my planner for everything. I write down my work schedule (even though it’s a normal work schedule), I write down when I’m going to the gym, when my appointments are, and to be honest, it reminds me what date it is.

It makes the days look way more conquerable, and like anything is possible. And it’s true. When you write something down, not only does it make you remember it more, but it gives you a sense of purpose. That’s why to-do lists are such a big deal for some people.

A planner is like a giant to-do list that is portable and easily viewable. And, for those of you who are super creative, there is such a thing as a bullet journal now.

And these things are even cooler. All you need are super fun pens (which are sometimes even cooler than planners), and the will to decorate your own planner. It sounds like more work than it’s worth, but it’s actually pretty relaxing, and you have a completely customizable planner all for yourself.

And, to allow the cheesiness to come back in for just a second, planners help me when my depression gets extremely bad. They help me see that my day isn’t as busy as it feels like it is. It makes hours seem less daunting. Planners overall help me feel more in check and organized.

And that’s why I’m so thankful for planners.

What are you thankful for?

Why We Should Treat Mental Health the Same as Physical Health

I am depressed.

This is not something I try to hide, or shy away from. This is a part of me, something I deal with every day, just like someone putting on glasses, or managing an autoimmune disorder. But people don’t cringe when I tell them I have Celiac Disease. People don’t cringe when I tell them that I just can’t eat gluten.

So then why do people cringe when I tell them I’m depressed? It’s the same thing. Not only am I depressed, but I’m treating it. So why is it a big problem when I tell them that I can’t eat gluten, and I also can’t get out of bed some mornings? At least I can take medications for my depression. I can’t treat my Celiac Disease.

I personally think it’s because depression can be crippling. It does cause me to have to stay in bed some days. It does cause me some trouble most days, even though I am treating it as well as I can.

My Depression rears its ugly head quite often, and it follows me around, trailing Anxiety on a leash.

They both ask me questions all day, begging for my attention, begging for me to treat them as way more important than everything, and everyone, else in my life.

I have to fight Depression and Anxiety every day.

So, arguably, it’s not as normal as putting on glasses. Once people put on glasses, they don’t have to worry about it the rest of the day.

But.

I have to fight not to eat a bagel every day. I have to fight not to go the easy route and eat burritos and pasta and sandwiches every single day. Some days, it’s harder to fight my Celiac Disease than it is to fight my Depression.

Once I’m out of bed, I’ve already won a fight against my depression.

And I can avoid it during the day – I keep myself busy on a tight schedule, I carry around a planner, I have a stress rock in my backpack. It is nearly impossible to avoid gluten though. I have to walk by a bagel place to get to some of my classes. My friends and classmates are constantly (unknowingly) taunting me with their cupcakes and PB&J’s.

If my Celiac Disease is harder for me to cope with than my depression, why is there a mental health stigma? Why isn’t there a stigma around Celiac Disease? Why don’t people cringe when I turn down a piece of their pizza because I don’t want to be sick for the rest of the week?

To me, there is little difference between my Celiac Disease and my depression. I battle with both every day, all day. I fight the urge to stay in bed with the same effort with which I fight the urge to eat a donut. I diligently treat my depression with medication and self-care the same way I treat my Celiac Disease with good eating habits and smart choices.

I’m just curious as to why one makes people cringe, and the other just makes people apologize.

 

Featured Image via Wildgypsypirate