An update on my weekend checklist and how we treat mental health

Always kayak into the wind first, and with the wind on your return.

Well that went well. I was able to do pretty much everything on the checklist (though the walk ended up being replaced by some other exercise. Plus walking/pushing the lawnmower…) and I feel great. One of the things I’m really pleased with is that I spent so much time outside. After this awful winter we had it feels like I owe it to myself to wring every drop of summer weather I can from the next few months. Even when it got a little chilly Saturday night my friends and I sat out on the patio for a bit before heading inside. I did end up grilling some chicken and roasting some asparagus and both were well received. But the activity of the weekend is really what has me feeling great. From the lawn mowing and planting/watering grass seed in the yard to kayaking on the lake to the games of Frisbee with my brother, my nephew and the exchange student living with them, I was active this weekend.

There’s a lot to be said for activity being an effective treatment for depression and anxiety. My therapist once shared a statistic about comparing 30 minutes of exercise per day with an antidepressant, and while I can’t recall the precise figure, exercise ended up being as or nearly as effective as medication. Now, my experience has been that getting into the habit of working out for 30 minutes a day is nearly impossible when you’re depressed. But perhaps I can get to a place where I can (under the supervision of my therapist) wean myself off the medication as I develop a good workout/activity routine. There are quite a few ways to treat depression and diet and exercise play a huge role not only in your physical health, but your mental health as well. I know there’s some division within the mental health community of patients, families, doctors, researchers, etc. about medication vs. mindfulness vs. talk therapy vs. diet, and on and on and on. I subscribe to the “A little of column A, a little of column B” approach. If medication works for you, that’s awesome. If you’re able to successfully manage your depression through meditation, keep it up.

Now, let’s kick this week in the ass…


3 thoughts on “An update on my weekend checklist and how we treat mental health

  1. oledphatnuglee June 8, 2015 — 10:00 am

    Sounds like an amazing weekend. I have seen the exercise approach to depression management work and I’ve seen the medicatio work too. Like you, I think folks have to find what works for them and run with it. How bout… lets give this week a crazy fun hug, embrace whatever it brings and run with it? … I’m a lover, not a fighter so no ass kickin’ for me… except at work, at work I do what must be done.


  2. I have never even seen a doctor for my anxiety/depression, which has been crippling since I was seven, so I’ve had to always find new ways to relieve my worry and pain. What I’ve noticed Is that working out daily really helps anxiety. When I started actively running, I slowly saw my worries strip away.
    Good luck on your journey!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Awesome weekend Paul! You did all the right things for your health.

    The question to take or not to take meds….so hard to figure out. It’s a very personal journey, so whatever works for each person. I am also thinking of slowly getting off my antidepressant. Finding the “right” time is a challenge.



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