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Climbing my way out of the valley. Sunday May 17, 2015

Back in the valley, that's where I am.

I have climbed two or three peaks over the last couple of weeks. It was amazing, elating, awesome! Being there, right at the top, that's where I long to be.

But the air is thin up there and what goes up must come down. Down. That's me right now. I am in the valley and my three-peak challenge feels surreal.

Is this how mountaineers feel like after a climb? Do they feel tired or exhausted, numb?
I guess they just rest assured in the knowledge that they WILL climb another peak, they will get that kick again, the thin air, close to touching the clouds.

And then they organise their photographs, replenish, keep fit and prepare for the next climb.

For quite some time I have been thinking: If only I could apply this way of thinking.

Then one day I realised that exercise makes all the difference in the valley. Not swimming. Not walking. But one hour of kettlercise or an hour of boxercise. Or a long run.
Something that wears me out. There are a million excuses not to go. This morning I did it without thinking, I just went.

And I know tonight I will sleep - well! And tomorrow I am going to go for a run. And sleep well again. And I am climbing my way out of the valley, just a little up the hill, where the views are nice and I can appreciate the sights.

A Moodscope Member.

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Bridget Sun, May 17th 2015 @ 7:11am

I totally agree with your way of thinking. Execising doing something you love helps depression no end. My favourite exercise is it. Not only does it tire me but I end up feeling so proud of what I have achieved. I just love the feel of being at one with nature..of tending things..nurturing things for me and my loved ones as someone I end up making boxes of plants up for others to enjoy.
It really helps with my depression as it makes me lose myself and takes the focus off miseries. Yes that's it really it takes me away from myself. But that has been the key to getting over my depression...pills to some extent to kick start me but most of all finding something in life to keep my tank full of happy hormones.
I could feel your sense of acheivement in your writing and you have inspired me.

Anonymous Sun, May 17th 2015 @ 7:27am

Hello Kerstin, I'm right there with you on this one. Exercise is the opposite of what I enjoy, it's never really clicked with me...but out of desperation I threw myself into it hard for 6 months and although the lows still came, they didn't last as long. I've lost the person I trained with and so I'm currently considering my next move. And considering my growing tummy :-) It grew my mental strength having physical wins so yes to this! Love from the room above the garage x.

Mary Blackhurst Hill Sun, May 17th 2015 @ 7:28am

This is a great blog. Thank you. It makes me want to go out there ard take a brisk walk, right now at 7.30am! Even just walking is brilliant. I love swimming as it combines exercise with meditation/valuable thought time with me. This works for many forms of depression. Sadly, when I have one of my major downs, they affect me physically to such an extent that I am unable to walk more than fifty yards and just have to rest constantly until the chemicals switch on again. But generally, this is great advice. Thanks.

Hopeful One Sun, May 17th 2015 @ 8:13am

Hi Kirsten- a brave blog and heartfelt.Sorry to hear your are having a downer. From your description I am guessing that are you bipolar? Exercise must be at the top of the list any person going through a depression without doubt.It helps too just to focus on the next step rather than looking up too often as one climbs out. Make the journey and the destination the same is how I look at it.Bes t of luck and never lose hope because surely just as as you went down you will come up again.

Julia Sun, May 17th 2015 @ 9:08am

A very positive blog Kerstin thank you. For most of us able bodied, exercise is free, and for others,nature is free and we have free wills. I do believe that when depressed doing most of the things we do without thinking when feeling better, is the way forward. Meeting friends and exercising, although a huge effort, help me to forget myself. Forget about me, just do it!

Les Sun, May 17th 2015 @ 9:39am

The GP Referral Scheme we run at the local leisure centre where every GP practice in Moray refers into, mostly 'receives' depressed people (men mostly) - who have lost their way and will and the Doctors now recognise that exercise in a social setting creates new social groups that bond and stay exercising!

By far the best way to deal with depression - exercise in a group where you are safe to share and want to belong.

I know that when I down and black - that the day I have enough courage to emerge and return to the gym once more - I'm on the way back - and I go every single day I am home.......that is how I get my 'chemicals' as medication has never had an effect on me.

My depression is for me, more spiritual. Talking therapy - nope. Pills - nope. Psychotherapy - nope. NLP - nope. EFT - nope. CBT - nope.

So do not despair if what you are doing now doesn't work.........find a way to do something else and what Kirsten offers may well be your route to become a mountain person and less of a valley person.

Its that inner desire to move that can help you climb...........

Keep running and climbing Kirsten - fab.

Great blog Kerstin.

Les Sun, May 17th 2015 @ 9:41am

Ooops.....Kirsten......silly me.

Les Sun, May 17th 2015 @ 10:19am

Its still early for me obviously....Kerstin.....apologies...... :-()

Anonymous Sun, May 17th 2015 @ 1:07pm

Think I'm a bit like you Les...pills nothing...various therapies nothing. Whilst sometimes useful didn't offer a long term change for me. I presumed I wasn't doing it/them all right or well enough. So I plod on ever hopeful of the magic wand. Love ratg

Anonymous Sun, May 17th 2015 @ 4:19pm

I loved the song 'the only way is up, baby!' By Yazz....from the 80's and am reminded of it through your brilliant blog today Kerstin. Hopefully you are on your way up with all your physical exercise...And that the view halloo is fab! I have purchased a pedometer and am tracking the steps I take, and it's amazing how many I can achieve daily! Every other day, I try to double the 10,000 daily steps we are supposed to achieve! Have had a 17,000, and a few over the 20,000 step mark and it feels wonderful! I can barely keep my eyes open after ten in the evening and only manage a couple of pages of my kindle, then am off to sleepies! Well done...great blog to help lots of moodscopers. Karen x

Anonymous Sun, May 17th 2015 @ 5:01pm

Hi Kerstin, i really admire your resolve in this. You see what you need....and you just go for it. This inspires me because, for my mental health, i know i need more structured exercise than the one day a week pilates class! So your 'this morning i just went' is going to translate for me into 'this morning i just got down on the mat'. Thank you! susan xx

Anonymous Tue, May 19th 2015 @ 8:17pm

Totally agree. When well enough, physically, a run can seem to completely "reset" my poor mind. Yup, I run for my life, quite literally, at times! Great post. Sue

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