My Schizoaffective Anxiety Can Make Exercise Stressful

December 22, 2022 Elizabeth Caudy

My schizoaffective anxiety makes it hard to go outside and exercise daily. Here’s why.

Introducing This Schizoaffective’s New Walker

To start with, let me tell you what I’m doing for exercise these days. After all, I’ve been a runner, a walker, and a dancer. Right now, I’m back to walking. However, because of my arthritic knees, I’m walking with a walker that my husband, Tom, picked up at Walmart. It has a seat, a little pouch to carry small things, and wheels. The seat allows me to sit down during my walk if my knees need a break. It’s very fancy. Our neighbor calls it “a Cadillac.” She has had double knee replacement surgery, which may or may not be in my future, and, yes, I stress out about that.

So, with this wonderful device, why would I feel anxious about exercising outside? Well, I get overwhelmed by the idea of undoing the padlock, for one thing. We live on the second floor, so, yes, with arthritis in my knees, I still have to walk up and down stairs to get to the walker. That means we can’t keep it in our apartment. We have to keep it outside at the bottom of the back stairs, and we keep it locked to a pole. Getting it out and putting it back in place, locked up and all, are the hardest parts of the walk.

This Schizoaffective Is Trying Not to Be a Perfectionist About Exercise

But another thing that’s hard is the weather. I don’t mind the cold that much, but I do mind the rain. And it hasn’t snowed as of this writing, but when it gets snowy and icy out, as it will, Tom and I are planning to go to a big indoor mall where I can walk around without the schizoaffective anxiety of navigating with a walker through the snow.

Pushing myself to run every single day a few years ago, no matter what, and being a perfectionist about it is what killed my running, an activity that was really good for reducing my anxiety. So, I’m trying not to be a perfectionist about walking with the walker. It’s hard, though, because that’s just the way I am. My therapist suggested I walk early in the day, so it’s not hanging over me all day, and that has been helping.

Another thing that’s helping is that the walker brings relief to my knees. They’re still really messed up, but the pain is concentrated now in the kneecaps instead of all over and in the back of the knee. Maybe my knees will improve as time goes on. We’ll see. Also another cool thing is that I take pictures with my phone on the walk. That makes the whole thing seem like sort of an artistic adventure.

It stinks that I started doing this at the beginning of winter, but I’ll just have to keep going as best as I can until the snow and ice hit. Anyway, I’ve walked daily for at least the past two weeks. Here’s to one more perfect week--or, if not perfect, that’s okay, too.

APA Reference
Caudy, E. (2022, December 22). My Schizoaffective Anxiety Can Make Exercise Stressful, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, May 26 from

Author: Elizabeth Caudy

Elizabeth Caudy was born in 1979 to a writer and a photographer. She has been writing since she was five years old. She has a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA in photography from Columbia College Chicago. She lives outside Chicago with her husband, Tom. Find Elizabeth on Google+ and on her personal blog.

Leave a reply