Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Brisk Walk

During this time of the year, whenever a person goes into a supermarket or store he or she is sure to find a crowd of people rushing around buying food or gifts for the holidays. For me, it is the worst time of the year to go shopping because crowded places seem to bring out my symptoms like nothing else, especially when I have lowered tones.

I already felt the lowered tones coming on and my mind was filled with some dark thoughts, and I really did not want to go to the market today, but I needed some frozen broccoli and some other stuff, so I drove to the store after work. The parking lot was full and the market was crowded. But I practiced objectivity and found the items I needed without any trouble. I had put a banana on the top of some other items in the front of my cart and while I was walking through the vitamin section, it fell off and landed on the floor. When I stopped to pick it up, a women behind me almost crashed into me. I said, not too kindly, "I need to stop and pick this up unless you want to step on it and slip." I don't think she heard me, but I felt I had perhaps entered symbolic victory territory.

On the drive home, I reflected on this (a little reviewing and previewing, maybe) and how cruddy I felt. Then I realized I had not exercised all week. I take a walking class on Mondays, but it was canceled this Monday and I hadn't gone for a walk all week. So, after I finished some of my chores at home, I took a brisk walk. The advice to take a brisk walk appears in many of the books we read at Recovery International meetings. After a few minutes on my walk, I started to feel better and felt my mind clear.

Recent scientific research has proven what Dr. Low knew many years ago: that exercise can help lift the symptoms of mild and moderate depression. So if you have lowered tones or other nervous symptoms, don't forget about the brisk walk. It can be a walk or run, yoga, a bike ride, or whatever other exercise you enjoy and it may help enough so that you can start spotting again.
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