When Depression or Anxiety Hits, Badass Up

Although nearly 10% of the US population struggles with anxiety or depression, the stigma around it keeps a lot of people silent.

Yet if anyone knows how to help people with depression and anxiety, it’s my friend, Amy Clover from Strong Inside Out. She’s been through it all and come out stronger for it with help from therapy, fitness, and mindfulness.

Her last article on how to work out even if you’re depressed or anxious really hit home for a lot of people, and is something I wish I read back when I used to struggle with depression as well.

So I’m really happy to have Amy back with this motivational post on how to bring out your inner badass—even when depression hits. Here’s Amy on how to badass up:

Hey Athletes,

Amy from Strong Inside Out here. Today, I want to chat about the importance of embracing your badassery when you struggle with depression and/or anxiety.

What I hope for you to realize by the end of this post is that being a badass doesn’t have to mean doing moves or tricks that 99% of the human race cannot; being a badass is more than that.

Doing badass sh** is the ultimate confidence-booster, mental struggle or not. When you prove to yourself that you can do things you never thought you could before, you learn to trust yourself a little more. Your perception of your capabilities opens a little wider. Your ability to look at yourself in a more positive light gets a little stronger.

The reason we’re all here on 12 Minute Athlete isn’t to do the minimum required amount: it’s to become the heroes of our own lives by facing challenge and barreling through it. We’re here because we give life meaning instead of waiting for meaning to come to us.

That last part is the reason why being a badass is essential when you’re suffering from depression or anxiety. When you’re struggling emotionally, life’s meaning can get a little hazy.

If you’ve ever fallen victim to depression or anxiety before, you might have experience with counting “getting out of bed” a win for the day. Maybe you forget how to talk to people sometimes, making every interaction awkward and painful in your head even if the other person didn’t notice. Maybe you know what it’s like to avoid taking deep breaths because every time you do, it seems to crack the wall that holds back emotions you’re sure you’ll crumble against.

All of these things I deal with on a cycling basis. In my last post here, I described how I was diagnosed with clinical depression and obsessive compulsive disorder (and those are just the most prominent diagnoses; I’ll spare you the laundry list). At times, they win, and that’s when those experiences hit me full-force, knocking me back into self-victimization.

But when I catch it early enough, I know exactly what to do: I badass up.

When you’re wearing depression or anxiety goggles, workouts of any type might seem too overwhelming to conquer. To feel like my badass self again, I choose a workout that feels challenging for me that day, and that changes. Sometimes that’s HIIT or a bootcamp class. Sometimes it’s yoga. Sometimes it’s a 10-minute walk outside. Then, against every warning that fear sends my way, I do it.

Usually, it sucks the entire time I’m actually moving. My fear brain goes crazy throughout about how I’m not strong enough for this, it’s too hard, it’s not worth the work or my favorite: “What’s the point?”

But every second I continue, I prove fear wrong.

Every bead of sweat gets me that much closer to drowning out the depression.

Every pound of my elevated heart beat silences the anxiety until it reaches a decibel I can hear my true self over.

The voice that proclaims that I’m a badass just for fighting comes back, loud and clear.

Being a badass doesn’t have to mean mastering a parkour double vault or beating Krista’s time at a 12 Minute Athlete workout.

The Badass title is earned by getting back up. By doing anything at all when all your depression or anxiety wants is for you to hide from life. By giving meaning to life by deciding it’s worth fighting for.

If you feel me on this, you might dig my program, The Strong Inside Out Bootcamp. It’s a workout program for depression and anxiety with group support, guided videos and Mindset Challenges to guide you back onto the badass track.

At Strong Inside Out Bootcamp, we take the struggle out of getting started. We’re the only health and fitness program on the market designed specifically for people who have depression or anxiety.

I’ve seen Bootcampers’ lives 180 as a result of being part of our safe, supportive group. It’s my hope that you hear the badass call in time to get the guidance and support you need, too.

Doors are open until Friday, February 12th. We’ll all start the program together on Monday, February 15th.

Click here to badass up in Bootcamp with us.


Amy Clover is a fitness personality, trainer and founder of Strong Inside Out, a site that helps people become stronger than their struggle through fitness and positive action.

Check out her site and sign up for weekly inspiration and tips to stay strong. Click here!

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5 thoughts on “When Depression or Anxiety Hits, Badass Up”

  1. Some great points there.
    I remember periods in my life when I had to get out of bed for a run because it was mandatory (army time) and it was boosting my mood almost instantaneously even when things were low.
    Sounds like a great program Amy . Good luck!

  2. I really loved this article. I suffer with PTSD from deployment. When I first came back to the US, the gym was the only thing that made me feel normal. After I got out of the Army, depression and anxiety really began to dig it’s claws in me. Which took a huge toll on my will to go to the gym. This article truly hit a homerun for me!! Keep up the great work!!!


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