Exercise for me is not just about building muscle, increasing my endurance, lifting heavier weights, jumping higher and running faster. Exercise decreases my anxiety, and it helps me burn off the rage that resurfaces from time to time. Women are socialized to be “nice” which led me to suppress a lot of my strong emotions as a girl. I struggled with my temper throughout puberty. I figured out ways to channel my emotions: basketball and acting. This approach served me well throughout high school and college.
Flash forward to motherhood. The hormonal shift combined with sleep deprivation, PPOCD, PPD, and PPA made me an emotional wreck. My emotions came at me in waves, and they threatened to consume me. Once I finally got diagnosed, I focused on my emotional and my mental health. It took me nearly a year into my recovery before I started to focus on my physical health. Exercise is now a key component as part of my self-care routine. It improves my mood. It enables me to sharpen my focus and get out of my head. I find my best ideas when I’m exercising.