Working out with Depression

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    Working out with Depression

    Anybody else here have depression and as much as they want to get up and start working out and working on themselves they just can't find the mind or energy to do it? I've been planning on starting the Foundation Light program for months now and every night i tell myself "ill just start tomorrow". It's not out of laziness, my depression just makes it so hard to do things I need to do to better myself or some nights even just get off the couch. Anybody going through the same or have gone through the same?
    I'm not looking for any negativity or "just get over it"s, thank you.



      , when i started I was often in really bad mindset about exercising and wanted to give up, because i saw no results. But i kept working out with the idea that it is a long run, that eventually pays off. And my mind was getting better and better after each completed exercise. Yeah some days were more exhausting then others, but you mostly feel surge of good mood (endorfin) and it feels great. After few months i pretty much lost negative thinking, started to enjoy live more and my self-confidence improved.
      Tldr: give it a try and remember that it is a continuous process, that will pay off

      P.s. Sorry for my rusty english, it was not used in years.


        Perhaps try to do exercise with a different mindset. Instead of seeing it as something you have to do...

        Focus on the fact that you will feel mentally better AFTER you have done it.

        Also, try adding it at the end of a habit chain. For example... if your routine goes like this in the morning >> Get up, Bathroom, Brush teeth,

        modify it to this >> Get up, Bathroom, Brush teeth, Exercise.

        You can even put your mat in the bathroom beforehand and do the exercise there.

        Its often easier to do something when you link to an already existing chain of behaviours that you do automatically.

        We have numerous of these chains we do during the day, and none have them have a set end... they work kind of like dominoes. The first behaviour is the cue for the next one.

        When you do the modified chain for long enough, exercise becomes automatic later on.


          I usually end up listening to music transforming it into aggression, which sometimes isn't best, but in a work-out point of view, helps me get motivated.
          As Black Flag states "Depression's got a hold of me. Depression, gotta break free"
          So that's what I do, for me, working-out feels like I am breaking free
          Not really sure if this is the most practical answer really
          As stated by others above, the feeling you get afterwards will put you in a better place, so keep that in mind


            Not exactly depression, but gender dysphoria did that on me when I was starting working out, and it keeps doing that same number on me to this day. What worked for me was a combination of different things:

            1. Making it a routine; a habit. It doesn't 100% guarantee that you'll work out no matter what, but it is a good way to start. Take at least one hour from your daily schedule just to exercise and work out, no matter what, is the best way to start. At the beginning is hard, but eventually you'll find yourself wanting to exercise instead of procrastinating.

            2. Make a long term goal shorter by making several short term goals. When I started, my goal was to lose 25 kgs in that year alone. However, I was impatient, specially when I hit plateaus. My mistake was focusing only on losing those 25 kgs when I could have divided it into something like "this week I lose 1 kg, then the next one I lose another...", you know, reachable short term goals. Best way to do so: forget about scales and mirrors until you see something different with your body. Less stressful that way.

            3. One of my favorite quotes comes from an advertisement made by Mr. Doctor to recruit members for his band Devil Doll: "A man is less likely to become great the more he is dominated by reason: few can achieve greatness – and none in art – if they are not dominated by illusion." I'm putting this up here because, originally, what I was looking for is to achieve a more femenine looking body (due to the fact that I have no access to anything LGBT related in my country). That was my illusion. Having an illusion is a good way to discipline yourself to achieve your goals. Visualize yourself in the near future and make that your illusion. Then, turn your depression into a caricature that looks more like the devil who is always looking over your shoulder, to make sure you always fail. Then, trump that devil by doing exactly the opposite of what they want you to do.


              If I could see how many times I've been to the gym since I joined up, I could probably count them on the hairs on my head (not many, as you can see!). Sometimes that's just laziness on my part, I will admit.

              Honest question (no negative intent): What is stopping you from exercising? I guess this comes back to the root cause of your depression (we don't judge here, so if you don't feel like sharing with complete strangers that's completely okay ) and what's getting in the way. As others have said, maybe try and get into the routine of doing it. If you're only starting out, get into the habit of doing a few minutes at a time to start with (e.g. level 1), just so that you build up a rhythm and some momentum. As you get into it a bit more you will find it taking a bit longer as the programme progresses. Then maybe try level 2 which will take a bit longer again due to the greater number of sets. Or maybe change it up.

              Let me know if any of this makes sense....


                Ahhh, yes. This is a familiar question.

                I have some diagnosed mental illnesses myself and some not diagnosed, though the patterns are there. Although I've technically been exercising on and off for several years, sometimes it's a matter of falling off that particular wagon because something will happen that will give more issues than I'm used to having, and then I need to stop and for months I'm derailed not just from the actual thing itself, but from this inevitable feeling of failure and lack of self-worth.

                What I found the best to work for me, though, is focusing on my favorite kind of exercise and building a routine on always, no matter what, being able to do that several times a week. For me, that exercise is running. I know if you're looking at Foundation Light, you may not exactly have an exercise that you love doing like that - or if you do, your body might not be in the best shape to do it yet. But maybe you could turn exercising into finding the one exercise you love enough that you look forward to doing it so much that it is part of what helps you get up. It doesn't have to be something intense, but maybe you find out you really like push ups or flutter kicks or burpees at first. That isn't too bad of a place to start, yea? The only trick for this is that this may be a long term goal that is difficult to grasp - so while not a bad idea, it might be better to focus on stuff that is easier to visualize in the near future. That brings me to my other idea

                The first is that if part of the problem is not being able to get up from the couch, why not focus on workouts on the couch? Here's some couch workouts that Darebee has. While some of them are harder or would require a bit more than what you might be able to do, Sofa Abs and Movie Night might be feasible. Here's a link to them all, though: You can also look online for couch-friendly yoga or even find a couch friendly challenge in the programs here. Hell, you could even do something arms or abs based. Do 20 punches every day for a week while on the couch. The next week make it 30 punches each time, etc etc.


                  It's harder to workout at home coz of being easily distracted, try joining a fitness group and make sure you go.


                    Hi Katherineskywalker

                    I don't have the same but I tend to think that I suffer a little bit of body dismorphia, hope the spelling is right.

                    I train, yes I have a bit of fat around the stomach but I tend to think my body is worse than what it looks like.

                    the above answers have been tremendous, I have to agree with them.

                    certain things can help you change your mood bit by bit when you work out.

                    things like not seeing results, we are all in a hurry to get what we want.

                    music can put you in a particular mood to train.

                    ViciousSaint has some good points there, in fact, reread the above statuses and you will also see that you are in the right place for your training success.

                    good luck in your journey.



                      I am coming out of a crippling depression that lasted years now with the help of darebee (and a therapist). I thought I was fatigued forever; every attempt left me depleted beyond functioning. Eventually I realized it was extremely important for me to start very light; for days I completed only the "classic warmup" when I woke and more frequently when it started to feel like it gave me energy. As light as that sounds I felt better.

                      Once I got my warmups flowing and started coming back into my body I tried doing 1 set here and there on top of it (I really liked battle angle fwiw).

                      Wishing you luck and it's most important to just get moving daily, very light, try to reconnect your mind and soul to your body. I'm running 5x a week now and getting sweaty twice a day after 3 weeks from the baby step approach.


                        Something I watched on Netflix I Am Maris: Portrait of a Young Yogi

                        You are only as sick as the secrets that you keep.

                        Tormented by anxiety, depression and a life-threatening eating disorder, a teenage girl confronts her buried emotions through yoga.

                        With infectious authenticity, I AM MARIS paints an unguarded portrait of mental illness and recovery, using Maris’ own words and vivid artwork to illustrate her inspiring journey.

                        I AM MARIS is a story about mental health, self-love, and the power of one person’s voice.


                          I'm not diagnosed with the depression, but I have often considered getting it checked because of how I feel in my day-to-day life.

                          I can relate to the feeling of post-poning exercise because you just don't feel like you can today. It's a pretty nasty feeling. You're always second guessing yourself and you're often wrong.

                          ​​​​​​Even having been able to get in a 30 day workout routine and it making me feel amazing, getting back on it has not been the easiest. I have started doing Daily Dares for a few days to get me in the swing of things hopefully.

                          I suggest starting your own check-in thread, if not just to hold you accountable. Also, try to discipline yourself to not indulge in things that might distract you (if you are sitting the couch I'm guessing you're probably watching TV or the like) as time sinks like that are gonna make it harder for you to take some time off to exercise. Even I am guilty of doing this so I know what I'm talking about.

                          Music definitely helps get in the mood of exercising. If you could get someone to partner up with you, even better.

                          Or maybe you're like me and you hit a F%&$ IT! point of life and you just do it cause you're mad at the world.

                          All in all I wish you good luck, and may you grow strong enough to slay your personal demons.


                            working out at a high enough intensity doing cardio activities ( biking, running, etc) stimulates the chemical reactions to get endorphins that help you feel good. This needs to happen for at least 45 min each session and for at least 5 days a week. This is the basic knowledge for working out to combat depression and other mental challenges.


                              So it's weird but something that has started helping me is looking at it from a 'might as well' standpoint. You might as well workout. For me that mindset is helping. I tell myself 'I might as well workout.' and it seems to be helping the self-defeating thoughts that depression likes to throw at people if they Don't work out. I find it takes the pressure off. It takes it from an "I Have to do this for my health." to a much less critical sounding/feeling "Meh. Not doing anything else right now; let's try and see what level we can do this workout on." For me that gets me started. And once I get started I usually enjoy the workout and it ends up giving me at least a temporary boost. Your mileage may vary of course. We all have different motivations.
                              (And I would highly recommend; if you haven't already; If you're in a place where you can find a therapist/doctor who works with depression that can help massively)