March 21, 2018, by Agata

Take care of your body and you will take care of your mental health!

In the busy life of PhD student taking care of the health of your body may be really forgotten. Spending all day in the lab and no regular meals can influence not only on our body but also mental health! It is not a new fact that many PhD students develop symptoms of anxiety and depression. There are many reasons behind it, however, there are also many solutions to that too! One of the solutions is … regular exercising!

Recently, I completely stop doing any exercises, and because of the cold weather, I even stopped cycling to work for the last 3 months! Then, I realized that my mental health starts getting worse and worse.

Once I start observing these concerning symptoms I decided to look for some solution and has chosen to sign up for the gym (actually renew after over half a year my gym membership). I thought: ‘no pressure, let’s just give it a go’! So I went to my first class and … oooh! I didn’t expect that only one class can already make a massive difference in my mind!

After the class, I was really positive smiley and more energetic for the rest of the day! Over next days (apart from the fact I was sore in my entire body ;D) I noticed many changes. I became more open to people’s suggestions and started thinking differently regarding some decisions I need to make and plans I need to do. Also, I slept better that night, which made me woke up earlier the day after. It all encouraged me to be more active!

Wow, is that possible that only 45 min of exercise can change that much in the brain?

I start thinking back to the times when I used to exercise quite a lot (running, gym, Zumba etc). Physical activity helps you to set up new and good habits. You are better in a self-control. You are more self-confident and therefore you start making braver and better decisions. Working out makes you being open to new possibilities, open to new people and you just became a better version of yourself!

So the next time you see your mood is down, try to exercise. You don’t need to do immediately a massive commitment to working out every day. This could actually cause you more stress than you actually have already. Just try to observe your body and mind and take action whenever it is needed: when you feel upset and down. You don’t need to become a gym freak. Just take care of yourself!

Posted in Agata