When we lose a loved one, grief can have a significant impact on our body and mind. From losing sleep to lacking motivation, it’s important to look after yourself after suffering from a loss. Exercise can be a great way to alleviate the impact of grief whilst looking after your physical and mental health.
Exercise may not stop grieving, but it’s a useful tool in helping manage the impact of grief. Physical activity releases chemicals in the brain called endorphins which help relieve discomfort and boost our mood. In addition, many experts recommend healthy eating and light physical activity when experiencing loss, as exercise and a healthy diet can reduce stress levels and help you sleep at night.
A study released in 2021 found evidence that physical activity can benefit the physical and mental health of those who have lost a loved one. The study suggests that physical activity may alleviate feelings of depression, anxiety and the experience of post-traumatic stress disorder; whilst also creating a sense of freedom, enabling the expression of emotions, providing a distraction, and an escape from grief.
When we exercise, our brain releases a chemical called endorphins, responsible for relieving discomfort and boosting our mood. Grief often invokes feelings of sadness, anxiety and depression. Many experts believe physical activity is a great tool for combating these feelings.
Exercise can also help bring back a feeling of control, which is something that can be lost when someone passes away. Taking a bit of control back, even just by going for a walk daily, can help grieving people feel themselves again.
Sleep problems are a major part of grief and can exasperate the feelings of grief, causing mental and physical health problems. In addition, sleeping problems are linked to health problems such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Exercise can help introduce a healthy routine and improve sleep to calm the negative impact of grief.
Grief can be all-consuming, from making arrangements for your loved one’s passing to being around family and friends who are also grieving. It’s important to take breaks from the grief-associated environment. Exercise can give you a small break a day from that environment and some time for self-care.
The 2021 study by Sports Med Open on physical activity and grief found that different types of physical activity helped with different forms of grief. Twenty-two types of physical activity were measured, from yoga and walking to rugby and football. In addition, some people may prefer group activities for a social and competitive element while others prefer solo activities such as swimming or hiking.
Walking was found to be useful in supporting grief following pre-natal death (stillbirth). Walking was also found to be supportive for widowed individuals following the death of a spouse. In addition, walking has many health benefits, including cardiovascular fitness, mood, memory, sleep and increased energy levels.
Yoga was also useful for supporting grieving pre-natal death such as stillbirth and miscarriages. In addition, yoga improves your strength, relaxes you, and helps you sleep better.
Gardening is a brilliant way to get exercise because of the stress relief and self-esteem boost you can get from watching your garden grow throughout the seasons.
Swimming is good for alleviating stress and providing low-impact exercise, which can be useful in grief when tougher exercises can be too much.
Team sports are great for reducing the loneliness that can come with grief thanks to the friendly supportive environment. Team sports can also bring a sense of accomplishment if they’re competitive and can be a distraction from complicated grief.
Getting up, dressed and to the gym can greatly improve getting back into a routine after grief. It’s important not to rush into intensive workouts, however, as you can be at risk of injury or a feeling of failure if you cannot perform as you did before.
No set time is best for exercising after losing a loved one, as it’s different for everyone. Instead, it would be best to take your time and only do what feels right for you. Exercise can be a great way to relieve grief, but you can risk injury and feelings of failure if you go back too soon.
It would be best to rethink your definition of exercise when you’re mourning; you don’t have to perform as you did before. Stay in your comfort zone and build up slowly; some people can use exercise in an unhealthy way to cope with exercise, so be gentle with yourself. Set realistic expectations – exercise probably won’t remove all feelings of grief, but it can help.
Making your reason to exercise personal can be a great way to motivate yourself. For example, taking part in a Cancer Research charity run in memory of a loved one.
Grief can impact all areas of your life, including your diet. It’s difficult to remember the importance of food in keeping your mind and body healthy. So, follow some tips to help manage your diet during times of grief.
Appetite is often diminished when suffering grief, leading to significant or mild weight loss. This change in appetite usually comes with other symptoms, such as loss of concentration and a lack of interest in previous hobbies.
Suffering from a loss? Please don’t hesitate to contact us for advice on the difficult process of choosing the right memorial for your loved one.
We would just like to say how pleased we are with the Headstone, it is more that we imagined and its wonderful.
Many thanks to all who were involved with the works carried out.
Best wishes and kind regards,
On behalf of the whole family.
Kate C. Sent by email: 06/02/2020
Very professional and so helpful, they will help and guide you through the whole process and you don’t have to worry about a thing, nothing Is too much for them. I would highly recommend, the headstone was installed much earlier than expected and it looks amazing. Really happy thank you.
Tunbridge Crematorium, Kent.
Sarah S. Google Review: 19/05/2021
I would like to thank you for the efficient and friendly way in which you have dealt with the order. I have been to the cemetery and the memorial looks absolutely beautiful. If my family are looking down, they would be very proud of my legacy to them. Thank you once again for all your help.
M J Beczkowicz Extract of a letter sent by post: 05/09/2020
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