Hax Philes: Exercise-free endorphins?

March 21, 2014

From the March 21 chat:

Hi Carolyn, I have always managed my mood disorder and just regular bad days through exercise – biking, weightlifting, walking the dog, riding horses, etc. I’m not skinny, but I’m healthy. Or, I used to be. I currently have back-to-back injuries forcing me to rest longterm ( I can barely even walk). We have had the worst winter in recent memory (one of my mood disorders is SAD), my job has recently been stressful and upsetting, and I currently CAN’T EXERCISE.

This means I have basically no idea how to deal with my issues and let off steam. I’ve been resorting instead to treating myself to a beer or two after work, which I’m not concerned about in an alcohol-consumption sense but isn’t ideal in a caloric-intake sense. So exercise is out for the forseeable, alcohol isn’t a sustainable option (and by definition neither is indulging in desserts, plus I am susceptible to sugar-related mood drops), I hate baths, I don’t like phone conversations and talking out my issues with my husband doesn’t help……..what else is there?

I don’t need anything to appreciate my life in the larger sense – I know my life is great – but in the short term, I need something to serve the same purpose as exercise in helping me get through bad days, and just in general helping me deal with this forced rest. I did try to brainstorm a list with my therapist but it was pretty much a no-go. I have since stopped seeing her as she wasn’t very helpful to me (bad fit). Any ideas?

All yours, folks. What can you recommend?

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Carolyn Hax started her advice column in 1997, after five years as a copy editor and news editor in Style and none as a therapist. The column includes cartoons by "relationship cartoonist" Nick Galifianakis -- Carolyn's ex-husband -- and appears in over 200 newspapers.
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