Another thing that has helped me immensely has been taking the time to focus on my health after losing Cora. Physically, delivering her and dealing with the grief of losing her left me in pain. I needed to spend time resting because I was so exhausted. My time of rest was needed, and I still need to take breaks.
But the time came that I needed to move. I needed to exercise to take care of myself. So I started slowly. (Sometimes I did too much because it was so nice to not sit down.) And I decided to try and exercise. I wanted to be outside as much as I could, so I started a Couch to 5k program. I thought that the shin splint issues that have plagued me since I was a teenager would take me out of the program after a few weeks, but the plan (and app) would help me get started.
So I started. And I really enjoyed it. And it got me outside three times a week. And I’ve kept going, and hit a milestone yesterday. I ran for twenty minutes straight. I have never been able to run that long. I was so proud of myself.
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I struggle with labels. I struggle with calling myself a #writer, a #professional, with calling myself anything. I genuinely feel like a fake. I've never thought of myself as an #athlete, and I've always struggled with my #weight and my self image. I've been working hard to get in shape after losing my daughter in August. I want to take care of myself. Today, I hit a milestone. I #ran for twenty minutes without stopping. I've never be able to do that before. (I've been doing a #c25k program.) So many people that I love are wonderfully accomplished #runners, and today, I'm going to be brave and give myself a label. I'm a #runner too. I'm slow, but I'm doing it.
Having an exercise goal has been so good for me. I’ve been physically taking care of myself, I’ve been focusing on a positive goal, and God reminds me that He gives me strength for each day. And exercise makes me feel better.
When a loved one goes through a loss, when the time is right, encourage them to physically take care of themselves through exercising. It’s so easy to get swallowed up in grief and to decide to not care for your physical body, even though God commands us to do that. Exercise is good for their hearts, too. When my emotions are in turmoil, moving helps calm my emotions. It helps me turn my focus from my sadness to God.
So when you go visit someone who’s gone through a loss, ask them if they want to go for a walk. It might help them clear their head a little bit.
Throughout the month of October, I’m writing a series titled “Hopeful Grief” with a fabulous group of writers, doing the Write31Days challenge. To catch up, or see new posts, click here. Interested in last year’s Write31Days posts? Click here. Know someone that this series may touch? Share as you see fit.
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