I knew all the “right” things to do. But in all honesty, I needed someone to bring me the glasses of water, fix healthy meals, help me not pig out on chocolate and other treats (remember, my youngest daughter is a self-taught pastry chef–and a good one, too!), get me moving. I needed a live-in helper! But I didn’t even have enough umph to ask.
One thing I DID do well–I walked a LOT through the fall. Mostly to process and pray, but it kept me moving, too! So did my regular webcam clients (THANK YOU!). But once the weather got colder and harder to walk, I didn’t replace it with any extra movement. By Christmas-time I lost my stamina. Going upstairs to tuck the boys in made me winded. That plus my massage therapist encouraging me to take better care of myself (she could tell I had LOTS of inflammation going on) finally “woke me up”. I had a spiritual breakthrough right before New Year’s, and then got a little more proactive to move more. Not workouts, but Holiday Hoedowns here, stretching moves there (from Teresa’s Favorite Fascia Stretch Workout on the Floor), and a Holiday Workout here and there. Not much, but enough to help me regain some stamina (quickly, I might add!) AND to help my mental ability. When I finished the Holiday Hoedowns the first time, I was breathing hard and heart was pounding–but I felt a HUGE black cloud lift! YAY!!!!!
I know the power of T-Tapp–January was my 12 year anniversary of starting this amazing workout! Seven years ago on January 16 I certified for Total (and for MORE on the 17th). I became a Master Trainer the fall of 2013. So I know.
But now I really know. What I experienced that day took my knowledge to a new level because I felt the shift in a way I never had before. I could literally feel my brain fog lift and could think more clearly. And in that moment I realized what a beautiful gift Teresa has given us in her method of movement. Not only is it great for shaving off inches and reshaping our bodies, but it is powerful to improve mood and help our bodies find balance–even in the hardest of situations.
This article by the Mayo Clinic talks of how Exercise Eases Symptoms of depression and anxiety. And I love how it includes physical activity, not just planned exercise sessions.
There are also many articles and testimonials on the effects of walking on depression and anxiety symptoms:
“They say when you’re moving, you go into full-brain thinking, which engages both sides of your brain. I often think of solutions to problems I’ve been grappling with when I’m out walking. I notice my brain seems to work differently and the ideas flow much better.
“Another aspect of walking is it connects me to nature. I find it incredibly calming. When I’m out walking, I’m less stressed and take more notice of what’s around me.
~I Walked My Way Out of Depression, Brian Johnston
Walking may also promote feelings of pleasure, tranquility, and well-being and help relieve the pain of depression by encouraging the production of the body’s natural opiates, called endorphins. These chemical cousins of morphine are responsible for the feeling of euphoria called “runner’s high.”
This article, Exercise for Stress and Anxiety, shares fitness tips, even cold weather exercise tips!
You can add just two T-Tapp techniques, to keep it simple, and get even more balancing effect from walking! Shift weight into heels more (vs shifting forward with weight more on the ball joints/toes) and ribs up. Often when we are struggling, we pull in and the shoulders slump forward. It’s a protective posture, but not truly helpful. Think of a string pulling your head nice and tall to the sky.
Just those two tips while you walk can help you feel better! As I walked last fall and processed grief and transitions in my life, those were the only two techniques I focused on. I’m grateful to have been walking–if I hadn’t been moving at all, I can only imagine how much worse my depression might have been!
One thing that became clear after that season, was that I was still who I always was, that all these things seeming to be holding me down didn’t change my reality. It’s only our perception during a tough time that seems to make reality unreal and the dark thoughts real. Of course that’s easy after the fact!
Because of going through that time and realizing once I got moving again what truth in the tough situation was, I knew I needed to keep moving. I decided to at least do a series of stretches from Teresa’s Favorite Fascia Stretch on the Floor, even if I got nothing else in. I also decided to write truths about who I am on a post-it note and put it on my mirror. Of course I still have to believe it–but at least it’s now in front of my eyes, to remind me daily of who I truly am. And I read it out loud because that helps it get more deeply into my mind and soul to read it, speak it and hear it.
Movement and Truth–two powerful weapons in our battle with anxiety and depression!
I still have days where my heart hurts when it hits again that I will not see Teresa again in this life. But I also have excitement and motivation to step into the “new normal” to carry her legacy forward and continue to help others find the power–and the beauty–of the method of movement she was passionate to share with the world to help everyone feel and look their best.
I am a T-Tapper for life and I’m privileged to carry my part of her torch forward as a Master Trainer.
And part of that is being raw and real. I’m in the trenches with you, and I’m offering you a hand-up where I’ve found a spot, so together we can become stronger and be all that we were created to be!
Here are a few more articles about walking/exercise and anxiety/depression: