Letter to the Editor: Mental exercise is important

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Former Councilor Rob Krupicka. (File Photo)
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To the editor:

The holiday season often brings out the best and worst of our mental health. Depression, anxiety, stress and more. I’ve been open about my personal struggle with bi-polar two for a number of years now. I’m thankful that I end each year, good or bad, knowing more about what works for me and what doesn’t to get through tough patches. I’m thankful that I’m ending this year in a better place than I have been in years.

Improving mental strength is not just a once a year thing, nor is it just for people with diagnosed conditions. Mental strength, my term for the capacity for our mind to overcome and manage through stress, depression and other tough spots, is important for all of us. We all benefit from improving the way we relate to others and ourselves.

I have doctors and a routine of medical care I follow for my condition. But the most powerful things I’ve discovered have been the non-medical things I do to improve my mind’s fitness. These include meditation, yoga, running and other physical and contemplative activities. The more I do these things, the more I’m better able to take on whatever is thrown my way, regardless of whether it is part of my condition or just part of life. When I am getting worked up, I go for a run. When a situation is causing stress, I know how to step back and slow it down so I can respond appropriately.

This is why I’m excited to invite people to participate in Ease Yoga’s New Year’s mental strength program. I have worked with the great team at Ease to design a four-session workshop to exercise our mind and build up some mental strength.

We all have the ability to train our minds, just as we exercise our bodies, to be better able to handle life’s curve balls. The new year is a great time to start exercising, but it is also a great time to start building up your mental strength.

-Rob Krupicka, former member, Alexandria City Council

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