It is another sunny Friday, the first day of April. Things are looking up a little bit since last week. Firstly, the horrible month that was March is over. Good riddance. For the first time in a month or so I went to a yoga class, which was nice. I also went running twice, over 5 km each time, for the first time in a month. There are no quick fixes, but being able to exercise again definitely helps.
This afternoon I got out and ran about 7km or so. It was nice to be outside. The weather was beautiful, a clear blue sky, strong sunlight and just a little bit of a cool breeze. The cherry blossoms are starting to come out now, and soon the parks will be full of people having hanami (Cherry-blossom viewing) parties.
I took my iPod along but didn’t bother to listen to it, I just ran. I’ve heard that putting too much pressure on the heel of the foot is bad, so I am trying to change my posture to land more on the front of my foot. It felt a bit awkward, but seemed to help. Exercise is essential to managing my mood, and having the continual small injuries that come from running incorrectly is not helpful at all.
There are many things that I would like to do or achieve, but until I can manage my depression more effectively I can’t do them. And the most effective way of dealing with the depression seems to be exercise. It doesn’t fix the underlying problems, but it helps my mood lift and gives me a chance to start working on other things, rather than being crushed under a cloud of misery, loneliness, and confusion.
As well as exercise being generally beneficial, I have found that ordeals like climbing Mt Fuji or running a marathon can provide a focus that allows everything to make sense, at least for a short time, for everything to be devoted towards a single goal. I’m not religious in any sense, but for me there is something transcendent in those experiences, and having them more frequently would probably be a good idea.
A couple of days after the earthquake I signed up to do the first Osaka marathon. I’m not sure if I will get in, as it will no doubt be popular. I should find out in May. But if not, there are other marathons that I can sign up for. I don’t think that running, or any kind of exercise by itself can help one banish depression entirely. But I think it can definitely be a major help.
March was a tough month, with recovering from the marathon, the earthquake and all its consequences, plus yet another visit from depression and anxiety. But March is over now. The sun is out, the flowers are blooming. In Japan, the fiscal year and the school year begin in April. The last month, the last year, were very rough. I’m looking forward to a new beginning.