Photograph via //r/EOOD

EOOD is a welcoming and positive place to discuss exercise and mental health and the relationship between them. We welcome everyone here regardless of age, race, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation and social or economic status. We also do not limit ourselves to talking about Depression all forms of mental health are covered. Discussion of other coping skills is also welcome, not only exercise.

Welcome to /r/EOOD

EOOD is short for Exercise Out Of Depression.

What EOOD is

EOOD is a welcoming and positive place to discuss exercise and mental health and the relationship between them. We welcome everyone here regardless of age, race, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation and social or economic status. We also do not limit ourselves to talking about Depression and cover all aspects of mental health, however we can't change the name of the sub now.

People in this sub try to help one another but none of us are medical or exercise professionals, we are just random well meaning internet strangers. All we can say is "I was in a similar situation to you and this helped me." EOOD is not a replacement for medical professionals.

If you are experiencing any mental health problem PLEASE SPEAK TO A DOCTOR AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

If you are unable to speak to a doctor then try to contact a crisis line, mental health charity or a responsible person you trust.


While the focus of this sub is obviously exercise and mental health and we appreciate it if posts and comments are related to this we try to help as many people as possible here. If you feel this is a place where you can talk then we will try to listen and do what we can to help within our own experience.

What EOOD isn't.

EOOD is not a commercial space. We are not here to promote your youtube channel, website, supplements, diet program, wellness business or any other commercial activity. The exception to this is that we do allow medical and academic studies seeking participants to post here but we ask that they contact the moderators first so we can vet the study for our users safety.

EOOD is not a place where people come together to complain and be negative. We try to be as positive as we can whilst acknowledging that we are all people that are facing severe problems. We try to help and support everyone if we feel we are able to.

Anything intended to cause others to feel unhappy or uncomfortable in any way will not be tolerated. We are here to support other people. If you are uncomfortable about any posts or comments in this sub please report them and message the moderators. We will take action as soon as we are able to.

More Resources

Unlike many exercise focussed subs we do not have a wiki with recommended exercise routines. This is because we do not want posters to the sub to be greeted with a "Read the wiki" message instead of receiving help and support. We do have a list of other resources for both exercise and mental health which we hope you find useful here.


94,253 Subscribers


Day 4 of 9 of mental health break

I have a lot to say about this day. Feel free to skip all or some sections - I have section headings.

This morning I got out of bed late around 9:30. It was already over 80 degrees Fahrenheit out there. A perfect day for an indoor workout.


I stopped to admire my 21 orchid plants. Five of them are in bloom. Two of those I got in February from my mom and they are still in beautiful bloom 4 months later - that’s one of the things I love about orchids, the long blooming times.

One of my blooming orchids currently is a re-bloom, and I recall thinking when I got it that it would be unlikely to re-bloom in my care because this type of orchid requires slightly different care. Well, lo and behold, this is already the second time it is re-blooming for me, and it is a large vigorous plant.

Four more of my orchids have “declared their intension” to re-flower in the future. That is probably a silver lining of my husband running the air conditioning so much. I have to wear sweatshirts sometimes indoors during the summer when outside it is very hot, but silver lining is my orchids like the cold temps to stimulate re-flowering.

Houseplants can help with mental health, as long as we do not take downturns in plant health too hard. Some thrive, others do not.

Synth Riders VR

Anyway, indoor workout this morning. I decided to go with my favorite VR cardio: Synth Riders. Here is a link to a YouTube video of someone playing Synth Riders to give you a sense of it.

A lot of users of such VR rhythm games like to increase difficulty to do it faster or more precisely. For me that is not the point. I like to get into the flow, to loose myself in the music and the movement. This is predominately upper body cardio, but I can put in extra foot steps or shake my booty when I feel like it (there is a song with “shake your booty” in the lyrics).

I like the option of choosing a random song next, I don’t want to bother to decide. I don’t like all the songs equally, but sometimes I am surprised into liking a song more than expected, and other times a less favorite song might inspire me to do one extra to end on a song I like better.

Indoor walk

Indoor walk inside our house, outside temperature is now up in 90s Fahrenheit - no, thank you. I make leisurely circles inside our home, each circle is about 30 steps, for a total of almost 30 minutes. I used to feel silly doing this, but hey it is inside my own home, no need to feel self conscious. While I walk, I listen to my “mental health” playlist, and one of the songs is “What Does Not Kill You, Makes You Stronger” by Kelly Clarkson, which reminds me of “What does not kill you, mutates, and tries again” (a bit of covid era dark humor).


After the indoor walk, I go shower, since I have a massage in an hour. My very first massage! Peaking outside my comfort zone.

So I was nervous before getting there because I am self conscious about my body, but that turned out to not be the problem once the massage started.

The problem was that I was not sure how much discomfort to tolerate. I mean I know I am tense, and I know that this has to be forceful to be effective. But sometimes it was very pleasant, sometimes slightly uncomfortable, sometimes borderline painful, and sometimes too hard and I was supposed to speak up then but I just did not know what too hard was. I also never knew whether the next move would be pleasant or unpleasant, and that kept me nervous.

Reminded me of yoga when I first started and the instructor was saying make sure your mind and body are aligned, and mine were aligned and in agreement that yoga was awkward. I continued practicing yoga, and it took a while before I learned to like it. But in yoga I am definitely in control of my own body and now I love it.

The reason why I did not like horseback riding was because the horse was in charge, and I decided never to do that again. This also brought back memories of how I never knew when interacting with my father, whether it would be pleasant or very unpleasant.

That experience is probably why being in control is important to me, that and depression which makes me feel no longer in control of my own mind. I did not feel like I was enough in control of my own body during the massage. But does this mean I will never get one again? I don’t know yet, still need to see if the aftereffects on my body and my mind are worth it. Also if I continued, would I learn to enjoy getting a massage like I did yoga?

20:52 UTC


Check In Tuesday

Taking the overall pulse here. How are you? If not well, think whether there are any positives to share as well to balance negatives. But of course, if you need to vent, know we are here to listen.

11:00 UTC


Day 3 of 9 of mental health break

Woke up from yet another problematic dream, not a nightmare but not pleasant.

In the morning I read one chapter in a romance book on the couch and it took a lot of effort to not just stay there and keep reading the mind candy.

I had originally thought to check out a different shaded park nearby but this morning I read that there is only street parking near there and thar it is secluded enough that at least one of the female reviewers did not feel safe walking there alone. So I decided to go to the same park I went on Monday but this time drive there because today the heat wave started here and I did not want to walk 15 minutes in the sun on the way back home from the park, plus I wanted a shorter walk, and so drive and park in parking lot near there and then walk some seemed like a good idea.

Alas when I arrived near the park, the parking lot was under construction. And my mind started trying to persuade me to take that as a sign that a walk is not a good idea today after all. I ignored that thought and found some street parking near the park. Walked for about 40 minutes with a meditation break on a park bench - I tried to meditate, was not focusing well, and was irrationally annoyed at someone walking by listening to music without headphones, while conversely wishing I had brought my headphones, even though listening to birds in the park was part of the idea here. Unlike on Monday when I was eager to keep going, today I kind of dragged my feet and kept wondering whether it would be ok to turn back already and kept needing to persuade myself to keep going a bit longer.

After the walk I drove to the local coffee shop and picked up some ground coffee for home mostly because I knew my husband was yearning for it - I am more of a matcha green tea drinker nowadays.

When I got home I took care of a couple of financial chores that we had been postponing too long. Originally I had not planned to do them during this week but I thought that no longer having that looming might reduce my stress too.

I did a half an hour yin yoga workout in the afternoon as well.

And then I got my hair cut. My hair is much shorter and much lighter in weight now. Just in time for the heat wave. Yay. It is also easier to maintain now which is good too. I got what they call a pixie cut.

Overall it was a good day, though I had some problematic thought challenges, but I would not expect to go from mental health issues to all well immediately. So working through the issues is a good thing.

Now I am going down to start making dinner. My 18 year old is helping me with that today, yay.

22:52 UTC


Mirtazapine Withdrawal Success

Hi friends, I found a post here about Mirtazapine withdrawal that really helped me so I thought I'd put my experience forward in the hopes that it helps someone else!

For reference, I (26, f) was on mirtazapine for 4+ years at 7.5mg. I'm a recovering addict (7+ years clean from opiates, 3+ years clean from abusing SSRIs).

Over the course of 25 days, I lowered my intake. The first seven days, I took 5 pills total (skipping a dose 2 days). The second seven days, I took 4 pills total. The third seven days, I took 3 pills total. I started to feel worse on the days that I had a dose, so the final seven days, I took 2 pills and then discontinued use. During these 25 days, I felt minor insomnia, mild to moderate nausea, moderate anxiety, and a decent amount of dissociation/dizziness.

Once I discountinued the medication, it took about 6 days to get completely out of my system. By that point my anxiety and nausea sky rocketed for about 2-3 days. All symptoms slowly dissipated over the course of 7-10 days. In total, withdrawal and recovery took about 45 days but it was so worth it!

Tips and tricks: (for any withdrawal)

  1. Drink as much water as you can, hydration is so important!
  2. Eat multiple smaller and consistent meals throughout the day. This helps with nausea and mitigating dizzy spells.
  3. Exercise at least 3 times a week, do yoga or light stretching on days when symptoms are overwhelming.
  4. Prioritize sleep, do light calming activities (like reading) if you can't fall asleep/stay asleep.
  5. Build a support network so you have someone to reach out to/talk symptoms through.
  6. Give yourself GRACE. Withdrawal isn't fun or easy, but you're doing it and that's something to be proud of!
  7. Avoid caffeine and alcohol as much as you can.
  8. Chamomile tea helps so much. It's non-caffinated and can help with digestion distress, nausea, and balancing menstrual hormones. I also found it to be calming which helped with insomnia and anxiety symptoms.
  9. In cases of severe anxiety symptoms, I used around 25 mg of CBD (I did this maybe 5 of the 45 days) and found it to be incredibly helpful!
  10. Meditation and mindfulness is also incredibly beneficial, especially when working through the more difficult and distressing symptoms.

For my friends in withdrawal or looking to start, you're so brave and strong! It does get better and there is an end in sight! Withdrawal doesn't look exactly the same for everyone, but I hope this post can help someone in need!

19:11 UTC


Im struggling coming to terms with the fact exercise might not be the same

When I posted here last I mentioned about a knee injury. They reckon it is arthritis so it won’t go away necessarily. Already I miss yoga and doing exercises where I kneel. I loved to exercise. And now suddenly I feel worse about all the times I couldn’t take myself to the gym because I was too sad or too tired. Now it hurts too much to kneel or do certain positions. They’ve caught it early but I know it’ll get worse over time. I’m really upset. I’ve been swimming this morning because I know that’s good for joints. But honestly I keep crying, knowing I might not get to do some of my favourite yoga poses anymore. Just needed to rant. I know it sounds dumb.

16:37 UTC


Mindfullness and Nutrition Monday

Have you been mindful lately? Made any useful observations that have helped you and could help others? Share any efforts especially ones that change your mind or attitude, meditation efforts, positive thinking, and gratitudes.

In addition or alternatively, have you had any successes in improving what you eat? Any good recipes to share?

11:00 UTC


Panic attacks while doing HIIT (boxing/sparring/sprinting)

Whenever I spar or do very high intensity training at the boxing gym (sprints, intervals, bag-work), I get to the point where I start to have mild panic ck attacks. I feel like I can’t breathe, very uneasy, dry mouth and hard to swallow. I used to never experience any of these symptoms until I got Covid in 2020. Does anyone have any advice on how to overcome these panic attacks? It’s gotten to the point where I don’t even want to do the sport I love.

00:39 UTC


Day 2 of 9 of mental health week off

So yesterday I had such a great first day, and when I posted the day was not over yet. I prepared dinner, and after dinner my husband and I went on another walk and it was my idea because I just felt so motivated. At the end of the day I had accumulated 17K+ steps aka over 9miles of walking.

And then the night came, and I woke up at 4am still exhausted and yet unable to sleep. Yesterday my husband and I had thought that maybe this morning we could go on a walk to the coffee shop together, and that is about half an hour each way, but this morning I realized I was alas not up to that.

Today was all about choices of what I was up to and what I was not up to. Morning walk to coffee shop, no. Unload dishwasher, yes. Clean my CPAP, that can wait since I am usually really good about cleaning it regularly so a delay in that is ok. Water my houseplants, I did that. Go to church and stay for coffee-hour to socialize, yes, but I spent more time sitting down in a chair during that coffee hour instead of walking and mingling.

I was going to ask my husband to do grocery shopping ob his own due to my energy being so low, but it is father’s day, and we needed quite a lot of groceries this time, and it is so much easier to do that together, so grocery shopping was a yes. But then getting lots of ice cream for our freezer and indulging more than I usually would.

Then there came lots of rest and some napping on the couch for most of the afternoon, followed by a virtual peer support mental health meeting in the app Innerworld.

I have walked only 3,000 steps today, so a very sedentary day. I am thinking to now go and contribute to the making of dinner though I am really hoping to not have to do it all myself and getting others to help with this.

So yes, today was not as good as yesterday, but it was mostly a much needed rest day and all about balancing out activity and rest. And I do realize I cannot have active days like yesterday without a counterbalance of rest.

22:29 UTC


Success and Selfie Sunday

Care to share your successes of this week, whether exercise or others? What went well, what is promising, what do you feel good about? If you have any selfies and progress pics to share, now is your chance

1 Comment
11:00 UTC


Intense suicidal ideation after exercise, but I've never been suicidal. What to do?

I started bodyweight exercise for the first time 10 days ago.

I've never really done any kind of exercise in my adult life before, other than very very long walks (sometimes as much as 60k steps in a day). I swam competitively as a kid but I would never get in a pool again as I am traumatised by the way my coaches treated me.

Wanting to get fit and do exercise to combat my depression I started just working out in my bedroom. Squats, lunges, planks, push-ups, dead bugs. I did stretching routines, either gentle or deep (for my hamstrings which are chronically tight). Gave myself rest days for some parts of the body (e.g. days where I didn't work on my legs), and 'full' rest days where I only did gentle stretching.

For reference, my mental health hasn't been great in the past year. A lot of depression and low self-esteem around issues at work. And my more general self-esteem has across my life been not good, it took many years of therapy for that not to be debilitating.

About half of the time after exercising, my mental health has been BAD. Like, unprecedentedly bad. I am really not used to experiencing such intense feelings of failure and worthlessness from such specific stimuli. My feelings of worthlessness outside of exercise manifest themselves much more as a kind of passive depression - lowness and numbness. But when exercising it was manifesting as extreme anger and disgust at myself. I kind of never experience anger at all so it was quite shocking and honestly a bit debilitating to experience this.

Last night I checked into a hotel as I'm on vacation and today I decided to exercise in the hotel gym as I'm sharing my hotel room with a friend. I realised that it was the first time ever I had worked out in front of a mirror, and therefore the first time I could observe my form.

My form was appalling. Just really atrociously bad, my body looked nothing like anyone I've seen doing the exercises and it was so visibly apparent that I wasn't doing the exercises right. I felt such an onset of shame, dread, paralysation, and suicidal ideation. I really badly wanted to kill myself. I've never, ever had this feeling in my life before. Ever.

I immediately stopped exercising as my mind was racing too much. I went back to the hotel room and ran a bath. As the water was running I started hitting myself, again and again and again, because of how much self-hatred I felt. I now have quite a nasty bump on my head from hitting myself really fucking hard in the same spot. I told my friend I hit my head on something, because how the hell would you even begin to explain this to anyone?

I've done a search on Reddit and this isn't the only instance I've found of people experiencing suicidal ideation during exercise. But there hasn't really been much advice to the people suffering from it. Like I said, I am shocked by this. I am the least angry person out there and I barely even experience anger in my most depressive episodes, let alone in general life. And the ideation?? I've never ever felt that in my life, and I've never hit myself before??

I completely lost control when I exercised. The clear stimuli were my bad form and being able to see it so visibly in front of a mirror. It may also have been exercising not in the safety of my own bedroom. But even when I'm in my own bedroom there's pretty extreme negative feeling toward myself, though not as bad as today.

I immediately reached out to a P.T. (something I was considering anyway as I have had a strong suspicion my form is wrong for the entire time I've been exercising). I am intent on fixing this, on making my form not so appallingly horrible, so I can get any benefit out of exercise and not hate myself as much.

But on the more mental side, I am just reaching out again to see if anyone has any advice for the feelings I'm encountering when I'm exercising. I don't know how to work with this, self-soothe, or honestly even go back to exercising after this. I'm kind of still in shock.

17:03 UTC


Slight Stinging wrist pain when using bar bell bench press equipment.

I have never used bench press bar bell before until tonight. Out of safety I didn’t add in any of the weights on the bar bell at first in case I couldn’t lift it with the added weights on but thankfully I had no issues with it however once I put added 10kgs on each side I felt a slight stinging pain on my wrist, then I dropped the weights down to 5kg in case it was too much but the same thing.

Is it normal to have a slight stinging pain in the wrist when using the bar bell. Because I don’t get it from dumbbell bench pressing? Should I talk to my personal trainer at the gym about this?

On the side note, I am not feeling any pain now in my wrist.

15:03 UTC


Social Saturday

Socializing can help depression, as can thinking of others, community service, caring for loved ones. Care to share any social activities that you have participated in this week or are planning to?

11:00 UTC


Day Before 9 Day Mental Health time off

So starting tomorrow I will be on my 9 days off of work for my mental health.

Why am I taking it?

Getting up in the mornings has been taking more and more effort. Being motivated to do stuff has become harder. I often do not feel a sense of accomplishment even when rationally I know I would if my mental health were better.

I was unwilling to let go of any part of my routine which used to serve me well when I was feeling well, but had become more of a burden lately without room for spontaneity and often even rest not being restful enough.

Some days / some hours my mood dipped quite low but most days I was okish without too many highs but also not too many lows.

I have been remembering my dreams more, and mostly they are anxious overwhelmed dreams of murderers after me or house too much of a mess or dream bathroom renovations.

Note: I am still highly functional but I did not see a good way of continuing to work and improving, so I scheduled this week off - told my team and boss a week ago that I am planning this.

What are my plans?

I have on purpose made few plans to allow room for spontaneity. I will try to not follow my usual routine and I will try to use my phone less and increase my mindfulness.

What I have scheduled for this week: haircut on Monday, a massage on Tuesday (I never had a professional massage before), and therapy appointment on Friday. That’s it. I have also contacted a couple friends to find out if we can get together: one responded that sadly too busy, have not heard from the other yet.

Tomorrow I plan to go on a walk in the local park that is walking distance from our home. It is a long park that has a paved path but follows a stream and is shaded by trees. I think that will be a good start to my week off. I am thinking to post here on r/EOOD throughout this “mental health” week what I did, and how I am feeling etc.

Please comment if you can relate to anything I write or if you want to share in exchange what you did that day for your mental health.

Edit: yay, my other friend responded, and I am meeting her on Wednesday for lunch :)

00:04 UTC


Rest and creativity Friday

How have you unwound this week? Any creative projects you would like to share?

1 Comment
16:00 UTC


A workout reset my mind

I woke up this morning at 5am as dawn was breaking. I was shaking with fear after a nightmare that seemed to have gone on all night. I wont go into the details as they are personal. I drifted back to sleep and the nightmare started where it left off.

I forced myself to stay awake when I woke up again. I know from experience that once my mind gets into giving me nightmares it wont give me a break. Eventually my alarm went off to get me up and get on my rowing machine. My wife rolled over and went back to sleep. That's ok.

"Well I might as well row as I am wide awake", was my thinking. Get up. Pull on yesterdays underwear, put bandana on head. No need for anything else to wear. It would only need washing. Lace up my old Chuck Taylor boots. Put on headphones and my ever faithful gym playlist I have had for 8 years or more. Set up the Concept2 app for todays session, 6500m.

Row, just row. Only two things matter. The metres ticking down and the average watts output. It doesn't matter how long it takes to row 6500m I am going to do it. I am not going to quit. I will do it.

I can honestly say that for the majority of the time I was not thinking beyond that. I wasn't even aware of my body moving. Watch the screen. Metres and Watts. Nothing else matters. It was only when I finished and looked down to see the puddle of sweat under the machine that I realised how hard I had been working. Then when I took my headphones off I realised how hard I was breathing.

Drink cold water. Take a long, ice cold shower. Wash what's left of my hair and beard. Brush my teeth. Get dressed and go to my home office and here I am. The nightmares are a rapidly fading memory and I am ready to face the day and start work.

I guess neurochemical people will say I flooded my brain with happy chemicals, brain electrical activity people will say I activated different neural pathways. Psych people will say I entered into a different mental state. It really doesn't matter. Exercise made me feel better today.

07:40 UTC


Workout Thursday

Which workouts are you currently focusing on? What have you done to EOOD this week??

11:00 UTC


Feeling Alienated

Hello people of reddit, just figured i’d write my thoughts down in case anyone could relate and make me feel a tiny bit of relaxation. Very recently i’ve been getting bad anxiety, to the point where I sometimes convince myself i’m not going to live much longer. I’m 24, 5’11, and 165 (i vape and smoke) not sure if that’s important. I work almost everyday if not 6 days out the week so i’m not lazy per se but when I get home after a 6-8 hour shift I usually sit at my desk and play video games or just surf the web. I’m an artist at heart and have always been since I could remember, but around March of this year is when I started to overthink and get anxiety a lot, to the point where i’d get random chest pains or the “hollow” feeling I SWORE only I was having lol. Up until that point I never really anxiety, and i’m not sure what caused it really. Around that same time I also started working with my family and my cousin has had anxiety, ADHD, and a couple more things that I can’t name off the top of my head but he doesn’t take medications. I’m just curious on if his energy is somehow latching onto me and making me feel the same way, if that makes any sense? I’m not sure if I have depression, because i’ve always been a “happy go lucky” type of person as people in my family say, but sometimes when I have anxiety I start to feel like an alien or that i’m not real and that makes my anxiety worse. Now OBVIOUSLY i do the pinch trick to make sure i’m not dreaming and i’m alive but I just thought i’d come to reddit and see if maybe anyone has any tips or tricks or maybe just a relatable time.

Thanks for reading this mess and have a great day or night :?

04:38 UTC


Since on antidepressants no motivation to exercise! Help!

Hi all! I have been on lexapro for 3 years and Wellbutrin for a year and it has been absolutely amazing for my mental health. Unfortunately off of meds one of my biggest obsessive tendencies was around exercise. Obsessively over exercising and being so critical of my body. Now that those tendencies are gone I have not figured out a way to change my relationship to exercise or find the motivation to start my exercise routine.

Has anyone else had anything like this happen? If so what are some things you did to find a new way to enjoy exercising.

02:56 UTC


What's working Wednesday

Have you tried something new that has helped you?

It doesn't have to be exercise related at all. Books, music, podcasts, tv, websites, organisations all help. Or it could be something someone said in passing that helped you and they have probably forgotten all about.

11:00 UTC


Some things to do when you are walking or running to occupy your mind and keep away from dark places

This is just a random list

  • Notice nature
    • I can identify most common British birds by sight, I am trying to learn their song now
    • If you take the same route you can see plants growing, flowers opening, tree leaves in the autumn etc
    • look out for critters, squirrels, hedgehogs and the like. Ok its not nice to see signs of rats but it means that you are paying attention
    • insects can be fascinating. Not just the cute butterflies or busy bees.
    • if you want to really get down to it try and see if the moss in a particular crack is spreading or shrinking
    • seeing a rare or uncommon bird or animal can be a real boost. Ok not if its a bear or other large carnivore up close.
    • Getting next to a body of water like a river or lake or the ocean is proven to be calming
    • a bit of foraging for fruit and nuts makes a walk interesting and tasty
  • Develop an interest in architecture
    • The small town I live in has a huge range of buildings. Its interesting to compare different styles of building and work out why someone build that in the way they did.
    • notice how tower blocks change the light and even wind patterns.
    • try and work out why the streets were laid out the way they are. Do they follow the contours of the land or cut across them?
  • Notice peoples gardens
    • There is a beautiful Zen garden in a neighbours garden here. They regularly rake the gravel into new patterns. Its a highlight of my walk.
    • See what plants seem to do well and what do not
    • notice different styles of garden. Not all gardens are a slab of grass with borders.
  • do something to help others or the environment
    • take a friend their groceries on your walk
    • call in on an elderly neighbour
    • pick up litter
    • cut back overgrown trails
    • find and report pot holes in the road
  • Look out for art
    • I used to stop and look in the window of the local gallery when I lived in a town years ago
    • look out for new graffiti
    • notice public sculptures
  • Count random things
    • Red cars, litter bins, different types of road signs, Maintaining a count of about 6 different random things will occupy your mind wonderfully.
08:18 UTC


Having SMART goals when you exercise

If you work in IT you will have heard of SMART goals. SMART stands for Specific Measurable Achievable Time-bound. In IT the idea is used to stop people setting crazy goals like "Build the new app now" or "Learn Rust programming". Of course the idea can be used with exercise too.

A specific goal might be "get my parkrun time under 30 minutes" or "Bench 3 plates" or "break into the starting line up or first team". They are all measurable too. Either you run that fast or you don't, the weight didn't go back up and your spotter had to step in, you are still on the second string.

Setting an achievable goal means not going in at the deep end. To use that metaphor directly its no good saying "I will do a triathlon but I can't swim" (my brother said that, he is still learning to swim). Set yourself a goal of learning to swim first.

Time bound is tricky. You could set yourself a goal of running a marathon. It might take several years to get fit enough to do that and you have no idea how long that process takes when you start.

A good thing that thinking like this encourages is breaking big goals down into a series of small goals. So if you want to run a marathon you do couch to 5k to begin with. Then you do a park run, then you do park runs regularly, then you work on your park run time and run longer distances in the week, then comes your first 10k race, then a half marathon and eventually the big day comes. Each step is a SMART goal within the larger more vague "run a marathon" goal.

So how does mental illness come into this? It screws with our thought processes, that's pretty much the definition of it after all. Three common problems with many forms of mental illness especially depression and anxiety are overthinking, perfectionism and catastrophising.

Overthinking is when you spend days researching the "perfect" exercise program by reading dozens of studies and blog posts, debating the merits of cardio vs strength online or whether sumo deadlifts are cheating and not actually exercising. Perfectionism is telling yourself that your whole workout is ruined because you didn't make the last rep in your last set or that your run is a waste of time because you had to stop as your lace came undone and that cost you 10 seconds. Catastrophising comes into both of those but it can also be "I won't get better as I can motivate myself to start exercising"

Setting SMART goals helps with these problems. We break big scary things into small manageable steps. We don't lie in bed thinking the only way to get better is to run a marathon, instead we start couch to 5k. When we achieve a goal no matter how small we can celebrate our success. That's a huge mental boost. We progress. We get better, physically and mentally.

That's the secret we want everyone to know. It does get better but only if you keep trying. It does get better though.

07:50 UTC


How to workout in severe depression?

I tried today but I got 3 mins in before I gave up to play video games. I'm on the skinnier side, but working out is one of my favourite things. Idk what's wrong w me lately, the last 2 weeks I've had 0 motivation to workout at all. And I'm scared to eat if I don't workout because I'm not burning any calories sitting in bed all day. I'm moving in a few days so I'm stressed about that and don't wanna do literally any workout til then but I don't like to feel lazy either. Idk how to motivate myself. I don't even wanna go skateboarding or go for walks because the place I currently live sucks, the neighbourhood sucks too. I'm just sad and want to move already so I can go for long walks and skateboard along the farm roads, not this trash city I'm in.

22:01 UTC


Does exercising really get you out of severe depression or just get you out of bed?

I feel like in time I can get myself to exercise but I will still be depressed. Maybe a tiny bit less depressed, but still depressed.

I go for a 20-30min walk every day and am still severely depressed

20:28 UTC


Check In Tuesday

Taking the overall pulse here. How are you? If not well, think whether there are any positives to share as well to balance negatives. But of course, if you need to vent, know we are here to listen.

11:00 UTC


How to get myself to gym if severely depressed and can barely get out of bed and can’t stop crying outburst?

I just want to give up it’s gotten so bad I don’t see myself getting better

23:45 UTC


Mindfullness and Nutrition Monday

Have you been mindful lately? Made any useful observations that have helped you and could help others? Share any efforts especially ones that change your mind or attitude, meditation efforts, positive thinking, and gratitudes.

In addition or alternatively, have you had any successes in improving what you eat? Any good recipes to share?

11:00 UTC


Take a full spectrum multi-vitamin and mineral tablet every day. Its one of the simplest things you can do to benefit your mental health

Its something I forget about as I have been taking one daily for years. I started taking them on the recommendation of a doctor when I was on a psych ward.

It doesn't have to be some fancy brand with a marketing campaign. Cheap generic ones have all the same things in them.

Of course its not perfect but it helps. If it helps its good.

08:21 UTC


A handy tip from my wife if you are following exercise videos and can't see the screen.

You know when you are following a video and it tells you to turn around so you can't see the screen then gives you more moves to do? You have literally no idea what the person on the screen is doing and feel like a fool.

My wife watches the video through first without doing anything. Then when she has her back turned she has at least some idea what to do. Of course if you follow the same video multiple times it helps too.

07:56 UTC

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