Exercise and Emotions: We Need Both

This 9/11 let us meet the grieving process in a compassionate, constructive, and healthy way. Our bodies take quite a beating when we experience such high levels of stress, making it vital to remember a few steps to put in place to help us along the way.

Grief can cause back pain, joint pain, headaches, and stiffness. The pain is caused by the overwhelming amount of stress hormones being released during the grieving process. These effectively stun the muscles they contact. Stress hormones act on the body in a similar way to broken heart syndrome.” (Mindcafe, 9/10/20)

Below are a few steps to keep in mind when grieving:

  1. There is No Time Limit – grief is not something that lessons with time, fades away, loses its hold, or falls from your mind. As you allow yourself to incorporate more and more active, consistent, expressions, of YOU, you will experience such.

  2. Draw No Comparisons – your grief is uniquely your own, others experience similar reasons for grief and that can be shared, but each individual experience of loss in very unique and worth honoring.

  3. Be Purposeful in your time grieving – what we resists, persists. Denial, avoidance, blocking out are emotional steps through the process of grief that come in any order, at any time.

  4. Allow yourself to be socially supported – it is normal to withdraw and isolate, it is important to your mental health and healing to allow social supports, not limited to just talking about your grief. Ex) sporting events, coffee with a friend, join a book club.

  5. The other emotions are ok too – grief is not just sadness, there is no right or wrong way to grieve and equally so, no right or wrong emotion to have on any one day or another. You are a complex and incredible being capable of many emotions at once. It is ok to experience joy, disappointment, fear, any and all of them.

  6. Remove the judgement. Healthy expressions and experiences include all the emotions we are capable of having in life.

  7. Self-Care is a Non-negotiable – one of the most unattended to parts of the grieving process is the time taken to exercise the mind and body consistently and on purpose. The upheaval naturally throws schedules, routines, and calendars of even the greatest organization, on its end. Those routines of health are vital to the healing.

  8. Consistently select clean foods to eat. Letting go of the habit of healthy eating, turning to the Doritos, alcoholic beverages, high sugar foods, can be easy when we come out of mindfully eating when coping with grief emotions.

  9. Consistently move your body daily. As your energy drops and you feel less and less like engaging, your habits of healthy habits must be exercised. To gain energy you must move. To retain your mojo and joy, you must step towards the activities that previously anchored you. Painful emotions can also be released through the process of actively engaging in physical exertion regularly.

  10. Consistently spend time with yourself; court yourself, date yourself, treat yourself to quiet time outs, naps, early bedtimes and stepping away from the daily grind. Gift yourself a daily check in with how you are showing up in your life

For immediate help or support with grief you can contact National Mental Health Association or call 1-800-969-6642

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