I've started to exercise at least twice a week in January, and since then, I've been looking forward to it every day. Walking and jogging around the neighborhood have given me the endorphin reserves that I need to combat my down swings. And as the weeks go by, I find myself walking and jogging not just around the neighborhood but also at the park nearby.
When this year started, I conditioned myself to actively do something to fight depression. I don't have manic states in the sense that I dance on tables and think I'm a goddess when I'm extremely happy. My bipolar disorder is more of a mood dysregulation disorder. I switch from feeling okay to being extremely down in a matter of minutes, and when I'm down, it's so difficult to lift my mood. In the last few months of 2015, I had no strength to do anything, not even to get up in the morning. I felt so weak and drained. But now, I'm doing something to change that.
Exercise makes me feel good, that's why I look forward to it. I'm not that fit (my heart pounds hard and I'm out of breath after jogging less than a kilometer), but it makes me feel good. What makes it even better is having exercise buddies. Last week, I jogged with my friends Maika and Steph. Last night, I bumped into Steph and her friend Apple at the park. Running and gasping for breath become less punishing when there are two or three of you doing the same.
On Saturday, I'll jog with my newfound friend Issa. She did my makeup during our staff photo shoot, and we've become kindred spirits since then. My psychiatrist recommended 120 minutes of moderate exercise for me every week. Now that exercise has become part of my schedule, I won't have a hard time meeting that quota.