Stretching for Space

Now that my sunflowers have been repotted, they have a lot of extra space to grow. I’m sure it will grow much quicker now!

Many articles talk about not only the physical but also the mental benefits of exercising. As someone struggling with anxiety, I decided to see if getting back into exercise would help my mental health.

It has been 10 months since I deliberately exercised, excluding hikes and bikes rides to get to places. I have been feeling bad about this for some time, even though I was never an athlete or  the type do exercise daily. I just couldn’t find the motivation to do it. I never let myself go without exercise for so long, though. So, I decided to change that.

For the last week, I have been trying hard to move my body again. Now, I haven’t exercised long enough yet to give you an accurate result of the effect of exercise on anxiety, but I can tell you about my experience after a few times of exercising. I started with a simple 15-minute at-home cardio exercise video, which killed me and seemed to last forever, but I was proud of myself for doing it. I did have to endure the muscle pain for days afterwards though, because I forgot to stretch.

A few days later, I ventured into the gym. It’s an intimidating place for me, as I’ve been to the gym maybe 4 times in my entire lifetime. The complicated equipment seem to challenge me to try to use them, see if I don’t look like an idiot when I use it the wrong way or struggle with the functioning! But I was able to use my boyfriend’s fitness card, and wanted to use the treadmill. Stepping onto it, I thought about how when I used to go jogging, I was able to do 6 km without stopping, which was a personal achievement for me. Would I even be able to do 3 km, having been out of practice for such a long time? Huffing and puffing, I pushed myself and managed 4 km, which I am happy with! Afterwards, I wandered around the rest of the fitness, eyeing the equipment and sometimes daring to go sit on one and tentatively try it out. I didn’t forget to stretch this time, but I’m sure I will have a lot of muscle pain tomorrow.

What I can say is that exercise definitely has a positive impact on my body. When you’re sweating so much and exerting yourself, you cannot start overthinking. You cannot think about all the things you still have to do and overanalyse every situation. You’re just focussed on trying not to die. Kidding.

All jokes aside, I realised it did help me feel better mentally. Maybe sitting idle for 10 months did cause extra anxiety after all. I will definitely continue exercising and try out different types of sports, and I’m positive it will help my anxiety. And with a new hobby, I’m sure my sense of identity will become stronger.

Interested in the evolution of my sunflower? Take a look at the gallery! Or read my next blog post:

One thought on “Stretching for Space

  1. Pingback: Anxious Leaves

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