Monday, June 2, 2014

GRIEF AND EXERCISE: Dealing with the loss of a loved one

Exercise may be the last thing a person feels like doing when grieving. However the benefits affect many areas of their life. Exercise increases energy, improves appetite, makes us more relaxed for sleep, and can affect such feelings such as our own inner self confidence.

We deal with grief in almost predictable ways...most of them not particularly healthy. Some people isolate, turn to hedonistic distractions -- alcohol, drugs wild promiscuity -- anything to distract from the emotional pain of loss. Yet, if we are honest with ourselves, we do not grieve for them, we grieve for ourselves.

Sometimes the cause of our loss, and the timing, is overwhelming. Consider the situation of Casandra James:
A few years ago, my fiancĂ© died the day before our wedding. The day of the wedding, I had to deal with 200 out of town visitors in town for a wedding that didn't happen."

Devastated and overwhelmed, Casandra found her physical health and vitality draining away. Then, still deep in grief, she turned to exercise. " I definitely credit exercise for getting me out of my grief-stricken mess and into a more positive frame of mind. That's when I started to get my life back."

Casandra offers this bit of advice:  "I would recommend exercise to anyone who is grieving. Just because your loved one has died, it doesn't mean you should give up your own life and destroy your own health. Exercising when experiencing grief will make you feel less hopeless and, slowly, you will find yourself feeling more 'normal' and less 'doomed'. Try it. It really works. And, believe me, your deceased loved one would not want you to feel such intense grief for long. So, don't feel guilty about it either."

As your personal fitness trainer, I am here to help you use exercise and fitness to improve all aspects of your life and health.  Life is for the living, and your life will be better if you use exercise as part of your grief recovery process.  You are welcome to call or email me for a free consultation on the personal exercise regimen best for you and your needs.

Take care of yourself.  The person who passed away, we certainly agree, would not want you to neglect or destroy you own health.  Many people will feel like they are not respecting their loved one if they are not feeling sad all the time. The reality is that we need to have a break whether that’s to go out with friends and have some laughs or to go fishing. It does NOT mean we are not grieving but that we need some space from the pain in order to heal as well.

Grief is our response to loss, which may be a death, divorce, separation or other loss. Grief can affect our thoughts, feelings, behaviours and beliefs, and our relationships with others. Do not try to ‘speed up’ grief or grieving. Some people may need help from a doctor, counselor or other professional. Children and teenagers experience grief and associated emotions very strongly.

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