Let me start off by telling you how much I dislike going to the dentist. I have a small mouth so my dentist’s giant man hands never seem to have enough room without me being a millimeter shy from dislocating my jaw. I literally had my dentist (a family friend) tell me once, “For someone who talks as much as you do, you sure have a small mouth.”
Anddddddd my dislike for the dentist has nothing to do with the analogy that I’m going to make.
When talking to people about exercising for their depression the most common questions I get asked is, “How do I find the motivation?”
My first response is always compassion. I understand first hand that depression robs you of energy and motivation. But the truth is it’s not about motivation it’s about commitment.
For example, I don’t feel particularly motivated in the morning to brush my teeth, but I do because I’m committed to my dental health.
You might not feel particularly motivated to go on a 20 minute jog, but if you were truly committed to your mental health you would.
“….but that’s different Amanda,”
No, it’s not.
I don’t mean to sound harsh but you need to know that both are choices.
Dentists don’t say, “Hey take this pill and your teeth will get better, have a great day!”
No, it’s hey if you want to improve your dental health you need to brush your teeth, floss, gargle and check your progress every day.
YOU HAVE TO SHOW UP EVERY DAY AND CHECK THE BOXES.
So why are doctors saying, “Hey here’s this pill that’ll hopefully help your mental health, have a great day!”
I know that’s not every doctor, but I’ve heard this story from too many people to know that it’s not the case for THOUSANDS of you.
You need to show up every day and check the boxes for your mental health. You need to build a Lifestyle Prescription that you follow whether you feel “motivated” or not because IT MATTERS.
You may not get the instant gratification the way you do with minty fresh breath but I’ve never once had a client come back from a run or check in after a workout and say, “I regret doing that.”
So quit waiting for motivation, it will fail you 90% of the time. It’s time to be as committed to your mental health as your dental health!
Here’s some research supported boxes to add to your mental health checklist:
- Exercise 2-4 days/week, 20-30 minutes/day at a moderate to high intensity
- Meditation, 10-15 minutes/day
- Nutritional and Supplemental Adjustments (see the Lifestyle Rx program for details)
Click here for more guidance in creating your Lifestyle Rx.