Have you been feeling on edge since mid-March? Hmmm, I wonder why? Perhaps you are human. We’ve been dealing with a lot in the world lately between COVID, loss of work, black lives matter, and a general sense that we don’t know what the future holds or how to bring about changes we may desire. And, we’ve been going through a lot of it in some degree of isolation—never a good thing for humans. We are social animals. Even if you are one of those people that say you prefer cats and dogs to your fellow humans, you need people and support.
Does Rest Still Work?
I’m a big believer in a rest day from exercise, but I’ve found that it hasn’t been an option. Prior to COVID I could take a rest day. If I took three or four in a row, I’d start to get antsy. (Matt might use the word grumpy.) But now, if I don’t exercise one day, by midafternoon I’m not in a good place. Movement is such a useful tool for me. It makes me feel better. It helps my sanity. Moving boost my spirits. But perhaps most important right now it gives me a sense of control in a world that constantly reminds me I only have a little.
Signals for What We Need
There are certain requirements human beings need to survive: food, water, sleep, and sex (an a very literal level if we want the species to survive. All these needs come with generally very clear cues that indicate we need something. When we are hungry, we eat. Thirsty, we drink. Tired, we sleep. Horny, and we all do our best to get what we need.
Let’s Add Movement
I would argue that to live life to our fullest potential, we also need to move. Movement, like food and water, is vital to our overall well being. Moving is like a magic pill. It makes us happier, reduces depression, helps us sleep, relieves stress, boosts confidence, reduces pain, increases strength and flexibility, helps with weight loss, and enables us to live a longer, healthier life. The problem is that we struggle to learn what signals the body gives to encourage us to move. They aren’t as clear as the signals for hunger and thirst.
And, sadly, often the signals that should encourage us to move actually backfire and turn us off from movement. Feeling depressed? It’s hard to get motivate to move when breaking a sweat would help. Dealing with pain? We often fear moving will make us hurt worse (but not moving is proven to lead to more pain). Tired? Rarely is movement the first idea we have to get an energy boost. Instead we often turn to sugar and caffeine. (No judgement here. I do it myself.)
Tips if you are feeling on edge:
So if you have been feeling antsy, tense, irritable, angry, depressed, scared, uncertain what your next move should be, first and foremost you need to know you are not alone. I think most of the world is right there with you. We are all feeling on edge. But secondly, know that movement is there for you. It’s a tool. Use it.
If you are not sure where to start, consider these options:
- Take a walk –it’s free and you can make it as long or as short as you want.
- Search YouTube for a fun workout video. We’ve got a bunch on Personal Euphoria’s YouTube channel. If you want to subscribe you’ll see every new video we post!
- Play with balance and make it fun. Here’s a balance workout.
- Play Chubby Checker’s the Twist and twist until you can’t twist no more!
- Go work in the garden. It might not be what you think of as movement, but it’s functional movement. You have to get up and down (which is basically a squat).
Do you have more ideas of ways to get and KEEP MOVING? Let us know your favorite options in the comments below!
Read about Maggie’s mishaps with meditation!
Reflections on Being Present.
Or maybe you want some tips for building arm strength!
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