Serious Illness and Caregiver. Movement Tool. Woman Stretching Her Arm Behind Her Back.

When we think about stress, we often associate it with being high-strung or anxious. However, depression is also a common symptom of stress – and it’s a widely recognized public-health concern because it is a leading cause of disease.

In fact, depression and illness exist in a vicious cycle.

Depression leads to illness, and illness leads to depression. Meaning that depression can worsen health outcomes associated with serious medical conditions, and the circumstance of being a chronically ill individual can increase chances of depression.

If you are the loved one of an individual with a medical condition, you may also recognize this cycle. Your stress over the individual you care for may lead to you becoming depressed and perhaps even physically ill. When this happens, you are less available to care for yourself or for your loved one.

So, what can we do to halt this cycle? One widely studied and supported strategy is movement. Moving the body benefits not only the body but also serves as an antidepressant for the mind.

The Movement Tool within the BMB Emotional e-Toolkit explains how inactivity is detrimental and how exercise of any kind can be beneficial. It delivers an easy-to-use research-based guide, as well as an accessible video, so you can incorporate movement into your life, no matter how mobile you are.