How Taekwondo Helps Me With My Depression

This is me and my kiddo. I look pretty normal for the most part, right? Ok, don’t answer that. But would you know looking at me that I have bi-polar depression? Probably not.

I might seem like I have a TON of energy and enthusiasm one day. And I do. Those are the times when I’m going through a manic episode. You have no idea how much cleaning I get done on those days. Since I work for myself, I also get a lot of work done on my manic days.

And then I have my down days. Those are the times you won’t see me on social media or around town. If I have someplace to go that day, I more often than not find a way to cancel or reschedule. It’s hard for me to be around a lot of people on those down days and it feels like my mind is going to go insane.

Example: I had to run to Target a few days before Christmas for some last minute shopping items. There were SO many people there that I went in a dressing room just to get away from everyone and cried for 45 minutes straight. Yeah.

Why? I take medication for a chemical imbalance in my brain and when something triggers it, like being around a lot of people, it can be really hard to control my reactions. My palms get sweaty, my heart starts racing, my mind starts going a million different directions, and I can’t control my emotions. It’s truly one of the most awful feelings in the entire world.

So one might ask the question, how in the world do you have time for martial arts when you have all of that going on and is it hard to focus? Let me tell you.

On those days when I don’t want to leave the house, I usually don’t. I generally go to Taekwondo on Wednesday and Friday nights and sometimes life gets in the way. Even though I’m not physically in class, I take time on those nights to practice things like focusing my body and grounding myself. The thing is, martial arts isn’t all physical, it’s also mental and these are the times where it helps me the most.

On the up days, I have boundless energy. I’m still working on getting in shape but something that I have problems with on manic days is controlling that energy. I LOVE to go to Taekwondo on those days because it gives me a place to focus that energy, such as a punching bag, or even in the form of pushups or jumping jacks.

And then I have days where I’m pretty leveled out. I love these days because they are best for bonding with my 8-year-old in class. I’m able to encourage him better and focus myself more as well.

All of that being said, martial arts isn’t for everyone and having a mental illness can definitely throw a wrench in things. But we’d love to have you come and see if it’s something that might help you. If you’re feeling nervous about trying something new, I’m more than willing to come to your class with you as a support!! Just reach out to us on social media or call us at (720) 344-3030 and mention my name if that is something you are interested in. We offer a 30-day-free trial because we want to make sure that it’s a good fit for you!

Jolene Rheault

Jolene works as a marketing professional but full-time as a mom. She lives in Highlands Ranch, CO with her 7-year-old son, husband, 2 cats, and a bearded dragon named Jerry.

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