I had a good reminder about exercise on Monday. I had dealt with a 3 hour crisis at work, followed by a few more hours of work without a break. I was so completely focused on handling the situation that at 4:30 pm I realized that I hadn’t had anything to drink since 9:30 that morning- yikes! I had been planning on biking when I got home from work (using my new bike trainer!), but after the crisis I was pretty wiped out.
That’s the thing with adrenaline inducing events. It allows you to focus in the moment, but leaves you pretty drained and tired afterwards. I had about an hour of thinking that I wasn’t going to bike because what I really wanted to do was sit on my couch and eat a warm bowl of soup (I did that later on in the evening anyways).
Instead, when I got home, I made a decision based on what I cognitively knew was healthy, not based on what I really felt that I wanted in the moment. After 40 minutes of spinning my extra energy out, I felt much better. I was able to relax the rest of the evening and I slept pretty well. I don’t think I’d have been nearly relaxed without spinning it out.
It was a good reminder to me how much our mental and physical health is connected. There are plenty of things in our life that happen that make us want to sit instead of exercise at the end of the day. While sometimes that definitely is the right call, for me the decision to bike even though I didn’t feel like it at the moment was the best decision that I could’ve made.
Taking care of ourselves mentally means taking care of ourselves physically. I biked, took a shower, ate a warm bowl of soup, and watched a few episodes of NCIS… because really, what goes better with a mental health crisis than some murder? I mean- fake, scripted murder. Not real life.
Motto of the story- go ride a bike, or run, or do pilates, or swim- just move, even when you don’t necessarily feel like it. It’ll be good for you physically AND mentally.