Tackling Chronic Depression One Y Workout at a Time

Feb 01, 2019

A ray of sunshine comes through the door when Melanie Nessa Nelson comes in for a workout. She breezes past the front desk, but not without blowing air kisses to the staff as she heads upstairs to the track. 

“After procrastinating for several months, I finally joined the Exeter Area YMCA in January 2018. I had long been interested in giving the Y a try, so I eagerly signed on! Equally intrigued, soon thereafter my teenage son also became a member.

As someone who lives with chronic depression, keeping myself as "in balance" as possible is critical to my health. While I manage my depression in all of the recommended ways--eating right, getting plenty of sleep, taking medication and regularly seeing a therapist--joining the Y has permitted me to add almost daily exercise to my regime. Whether I ride the stationary bike for a half hour, lift weights or simply walk the track (generally while listening to a favorite podcast), I know I am doing something good for my physical and mental health, and that is extremely gratifying.

Finally, and maybe most importantly, I love that the Southern District YMCA is an organization that truly welcomes all people of all ages, all races, all sizes and all abilities. In a world where technology can make us feel connected, but also isolated, I cherish the strong sense of community that the Y offers.”

As she descends the stairs after her workouts, Melanie smiles and waves to the front desk, wishing everyone a lovely evening. Her positive presence is felt long after the Y doors close.

Southern District YMCA is a cause-driven organization that is for youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.