It's been a tough couple of weeks for me but I am working through it. Between a sinus infection and losing a furry family member, I have rediscovered the healing power of movement. Thankfully, movement is my job. Teaching, assessing, and training are all part of my professional repertoire. For this, I am grateful. When it is your job to get up, get out and move, it is a whole lot easier to make yourself do it. I did take a couple of days off which is always tough for me because I do not get paid sick days. A fever and/or chest congestion require rest and recovery, both best done by staying home. I try to follow my own advice, so home I stayed, resting as much as possible along with plenty of fluids.
Losing my pet is more difficult to recover from, and I am grieving. My other dog still requires his daily exercise and my responsibility to him as well as my own teaching/training schedule has gotten me out the door every day. There is a fantastic book by John J. Ratey, MD called "Spark". This tome is filled with research on the positive impact of exercise on mental health. Though much of the information is about the influence of aerobic activity on neurological function, the take away is that movement heals.
Another testament to the effect of exercise on overall health is the global initiative by the American College of Sports Medicine called Exercise is Medicine. The idea is to use exercise as a preventative treatment to ailments such as diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. http://www.exerciseismedicine.org/
None of this is news to me, or perhaps those reading this blog, but when you feel movement healing you understand that it works. Anecdotal? Sure but the science is there to back it up.
Still, in my sadness I may not have had the desire to move regardless of my awareness that it helps. Unlike the physical recommendations for knowing when you are too sick to work out, there isn't really a standard for deciding if you are mentally ready after experiencing a loss. This comes back to knowing yourself. I was out walking my dog immediately. This was something I could do without really interacting with other people when I didn't feel ready to do so. I enjoyed the beautiful weather and a sense of normalcy. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131028163003.htm
As for work, since I am a professional, I was able to get out of my own head and focus on my job. This was beneficial in not allowing myself to dwell. Once I could talk about it without losing composure, I told students and clients. I was warmly supported without feeling that I made anyone uncomfortable and continued to do my job. One of the greatest gifts is to know that you are not alone. If you need to be alone that is one thing but feeling alone is entirely different. I have the best of both worlds in that I can experience movement in solidarity as well as in unity. I still find myself tearing up at times but I know I will move through it.
If you love science, you'll love this site!