Wellness exercises to get you through gloomy days | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

It’s another payday and we are (in all senses of the word) spent. After a high-stress work week, it is all too easy to barrel through a weekend without having done any sort of recuperating, but self-care is a must for even the busiest workers. Take a point or two from this week’s Lifestyle Inquirer Editorial Picks of wellness practices, curated by Fitness expert Mitch Felipe Mendoza, so you’re back and ready to go for whatever life has in store for you. Enjoy your weekend, readers!

1. Outdoor walking

Being in touch with nature while you move can keep you calm and reduce loneliness. Diverting your attention to the trees, clouds, sand and the land can remind you how great life is. At the same time, doing something about your health by exercising can improve your energy and really make you feel good. 

Find a pleasant environment (around your village, park, beach, farm,, or mountain) where you can walk, jog, run or hike alone or with someone. Devote at least 15 minutes a day, daily, to this activity to achieve significant cardiovascular improvements. Increase the duration, intensity, or speed as you get stronger.

2. Strength training

Lifting weights can uplift your mood because of the energy you experience during and after the workout.  The whole experience is empowering because you discover your potential to get stronger as you lift weights or just by using your body weight as resistance. In fact, there’s a 2018 study shows that strength training can help fight depression, regardless of exercise frequency and exercise load.

Make time to lift weights at least twice a week. You can start by doing the most basic exercises even for 10 minutes. Your progress will strengthen your motivation to do something good for your physical health. 

It’s also good to try getting a fitness coach that can guide you with your goals. Having someone to be with and/or talk to while exercising is therapeutic.

3. Get a massage

Overcome stress or emotional eating by pampering yourself with non-food rewards, which can help you lessen the negative emotions. A massage is a form of wellness activity that can lessen your overall stress and relax your mind and body. Schedule your “me time” now and enjoy the whole massage experience.

Aside from a massage, you can also devote time to your most relaxing hobby such as listening to music, reading a book, playing a musical instrument, getting a massage, going to the salon or watching a movie. 

4. Journal keeping

Journaling by spending some time alone while writing down your thoughts can help you cope with stress and negative emotions.  Express yourself by writing down everything that is bothering you or making you feel down and stressed.  Recognizing and accepting your feelings can help manage your issues easily. 

Use your phone, laptop, or any special notebook to write down your thoughts and current feelings at the moment. You can set some goals for yourself.  List the most positive things that are happening in your life – what are the things that you are most thank fun for right now? Enumerate your cation plan to pursue your goals. You can be creative and put some art to your journal.

5. Music-based group classes

Music combined with music can do wonders for your physical energy, mind, and emotions.  Express yourself by moving to the beat of your favorite songs.  Release the negative energy by sweating it out. 

Join a dance class or any group exercise class (online or face-to-face) with upbeat music and an inspiring instructor. Seeing other participants move while enjoying can greatly influence your energy and mood. 

Try indoor cycling classes with motivating instructors who give empowering fitness mantras about believing in oneself, focusing on positivity, and staying strong despite the challenges. 

6. Yoga

Yoga is a mind-body exercise that makes you more aware of your body and breath while you move.  The activity can be challenging, but at the same time relaxing. You will learn to appreciate your body because can discover a lot about the type of energy that you have and how you can control your body while moving and holding the poses. 

Explore various types of yoga that can match your fitness level, personality, and current goals. Some types of yoga like Ashtanga, Vinyasa, and Bikram yoga will challenge your muscular strength. You hold the stretches longer with Yin and restorative yoga.

7. Mindful breathing

Mindful breathing is a form of meditation that enables you to be mindful of the present moment.  This activity keeps your mind away from your problems and worries. 

Start by spending at least three minutes a day on this activity.  Find a quiet space where you can close your eyes, observe the natural flow of your breath and realize how blessed you are for having the time and energy to pay attention to yourself. You can increase the duration as you get used to this practice.

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