One of the things that keeps people out of the gym is depression. Depression, in my opinion, is at its worst when you are upset over something you’ve lost. Something was yours, and now it’s not anymore. This can take many forms.
Your health. A marriage. A loved one who passes. A job. An opportunity. Trust. It could be something as small as quitting caffeine or stopping smoking. In any case, when we lose something that was once so valuable to us, we have a sense of vulnerability
Usually something happen that sets you off. And this causes you to feel lower than you originally did before.
Often times this reflects in the gym. Or your lack of motivation to actually go there.
What can you do?
1) First and foremost— talk to someone. A friend. Spouse. Relative. There are people out there who care. Shoot an email. Make a text. Do NOT be a hero and try to bear this on your own. Depending on what the loss is, it could take months to get over it. Once, I was out of work for about 8 months. Save prayer, determination and LOTS of conversations with family members, I would have been a wreck. By month number 5, hopelessness started setting in. “Why can’t I find work?” “Am I just not qualified?” “Why don’t they want me?” Talking with others reminds you that you are not in a bubble. That brings me to my next point.
2) Don’t give in to self doubt and hopelessness. It could be you were fired. It could be your spouse left you. It could be you were in a horrible accident. Whatever the case, as dark as it is today… the sun always shines tomorrow morning. Of course, it’s easy to write that behind the safety of a computer. But also, I’ve gone through the storm. And there is always an After the storm.
3) Remember the rule and apply it: “Every little bit helps”. Sure you might be a weight lifter. Keep lifting. Even if it’s light. Or skip the weights and head to the treadmill. The point is— show up.
4) Eat regular. Not too much. Not over eating. Eat regular.
5) Watch the alcohol. Look, too many people use alcohol as a coping mechanism. They want to “numb the pain”. Or “experience joy”. It’s masking your hurt. And it will cause you to hurt yourself further. Don’t drink. Don’t turn to the bars. Don’t turn to promiscuity. Don’t do anything that in your normal mind you’d look at yourself and say “What the hell did I just do to myself and my values?” Instead go the beach. Weekend trip to the mountains. you should…
6) …Get away. I’m a firm believe that many times, the problems we experience are merely reflections of the geographic location we are in. Hop a flight somewhere if you can and get away. You need YOU time. You need more than just lifting weights— you also need to lift your spirits. Get a clear mind.
7) It’s wise to express yourself in some how. Blog, journal it’s all the same. Youtube vids that are private. Whatever. Don’t hold anything in, cause you’ll be surprised what comes out in the most awkward moments.
I’ve experienced enough loss in life… loved ones, relationships, jobs, opportunities, etc. to know it is never easy. And there’s always the tendency to want to “give up” whatever “give up” means to you in that situation.
I’m saying don’t. Try to get to the gym. Try to workout to remove some of that stress. But also practice “self-care” during this time.
That darkness is for a short time, regardless of how it feels. Life runs in cycles. You may be out of work for 8 months— then find a fantastic job for over 2 years leading you to the school of your dreams.
This thing called life is hard. But you can make it.