Like many people, I struggled with my mental health through quarantine. I was very unproductive and was constantly distracting myself with my phone. I developed bad physical and mental habits. I felt angry over quarantine at myself and the people around me. I was afraid to express this anger and my feeling of anxiety and stress because I knew my family members and friends were dealing with their own problems.
The weather in Pittsburgh is getting warmer again and it’s been a good reminder for me to get outside more and try to stay active. I have seen the huge positive impact exercise has on my personal mental health and it can also help me control the weight gain side effects of my current medications. I often neglect physical activity because I feel like I don’t have time in my busy schedule or I’m too afraid of “gymtimidation.” I’m working to care less about what other people think of me or my body, but in the meantime, I’m finding ways to stay active outside of the gym.
I was recently swiping mindlessly through my friends’ Snapchat stories when I came across one who had storied a flyer from her gym titled, “Maintain, Don’t Gain!” that quoted the “statistic” that, “the average American will gain 5-10 lbs this holiday season.” The point of their flyer was to encourage users to sign up for more fitness classes this season.
I was told time and time again that exercise would help my anxiety. I was hesitant to believe it would have any major effect on what I was feeling.