STAY ON THE PATH: Healthy Choices to Feel Better

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Posted December 6, 2013 by Melissa diLeonardo in Life After Five

ponies and rainbows

I am afraid of the world today. Despite a full day of work in front of me, all I want to do is stay indoors, rock some baggy sweatpants, and eat comfort food.  Sound familiar?  It happens to us all.  Maybe it’s hormones, maybe it’s the early stages of seasonal depression, or maybe I need to find ways to pick myself up – remember I’m not the only one who feels like this – and find ways to survive until I get my good-mood groove back.

I know how good I have it. I am fortunate to have a great career, loving spouse, and supportive family. I have good health, a meal on the table, and a roof over my head.  (Thanksgiving was only a week ago.)  Funks happen to us all.

Here are my action steps to stay on track and avoid sinking deeper into this rut.

  1. MOVE. Staying on top of my fitness routine is essential today.  I know I will want to bail and dread it all day.  ALL THE MORE REASON TO GET TO THE GYM.  Getting my blood flowing and physically working out some of this…BLECH is necessary.  Sweat makes everything better. If I get to the gym and am not feeling 100%, I can modify my routine or communicate with my trainer/teacher about ways to work through the tough spots. After all, if I skip my workout I am more likely to feel worse and hate on myself.
  2. STAY ON TRACK. I want candy and doughnuts. (Sigh.) Comfort foods provide immediate relief, but most often, I feel less-than-comfortable after over-indulging in these foods. Again, I need to weigh how I will feel after I choose less-than-ideal behavior.
  3. MAKE MY OWN JOY. Instead of waiting for the rainbow and ponies to appear outside my window, I will listen to my favorite songs, sing them out loud (in the car with the windows up), and maybe find a minute or two to dance it out.  Never underestimate the power of good music.
  4. MAINTAIN SOCIAL INTERACTION.  If I surround myself with others who respect and appreciate me, how can I be cranky?  Seriously, smiling is contagious.  Seek out positivity whether in person, social media, or on the telephone.
  5. BREATHE & REST. Throughout the day, when feeling anxious, inept, stupid, (insert insecurity here), I need to pause, breathe, and remember all the good in my life.  Place one foot in front of the other, get the job done, and – at the end of the day – rest.

Speaking of the end of the day, it’s here. I made it. Self-care is essential when battling the blues. I stayed on track and can honestly say I feel more at ease.  It’s time for bed. Tomorrow is a new day and it already feels brighter.


About the Author

Melissa diLeonardo

Melissa is an East Coast native who has made Chicago her home! She has worked in the health and wellness field for over six years and lives to bike, hike, run, lift, and play. As a ReebokONE Brand Ambassador, Certified Personal Trainer via the American Council on Exercise, and a Registered Yoga Teacher, Melissa is down with good health. Voted “Best Personal Trainer” in the 2013 Chicago Reader’s Annual Poll and selected as a global finalist in the 2013 Life Fitness Personal Trainer to Watch Contest, Melissa instructs fitness and yoga classes throughout the north side of Chicago (spinning, boot camp, strength training). She a proud member and assistant coach at CrossFit Chicago and Master Trainer for Life Fitness Academy . Co-founder of the Chicago-based wellness collective, true-2-life.com and Program Manager for Corporate Movement at Life Fitness Corporation, you can follow her on twitter @mdsapphire. Now let's dance!

2 Comments


  1.  

    Hi Melissa, I agree that exercise is one of the best ways to improve your mood. When I workout in the morning, I am more focused and have more energy throughout the day. Especially when it’s cold outside, it’s tempting to stay in bed and skip the gym. But, once I’m at the gym, I’m always happy that I showed up.

    It’s awesome that you practice self-care even when you don’t necessarily feel like it. Wishing you happiness!





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