Staying healthy in times of grief/depression

This is a hard post to write.

We recently had to euthanize my cat. He was quite sick for about two weeks, during which we tried different treatments for his liver disease. Ultimately though his condition got so bad that we knew it was time.

I was devastated.

This cat was my life. Well before my husband ever came along, it was just me and my cat. We’ve moved from city to city together, heck, even to a new country. He was my best friend. My baby.

Saying I was ‘grief-stricken’ doesn’t quite capture it. There is a giant hole in my heart and although I know it will get easier with time, it will never really go away.

One thing I did find that helped was to continue to work out. I did this during his sickness as well. Going for a quick run helped me to think and clear my mind. My first reaction as to lay in bed depressed. That’s a natural reaction and if you need to do that for a bit go right ahead. But I knew I couldn’t continue to do this. I asked myself: “is this going to make me feel better?” I knew the answer was “No.” Laying in bed thinking about my baby was only going to make me more depressed.

Sure, it hurts so bad that sometimes I can’t breathe. And I’m not going to say that working out is going to make you feel better instantly. It won’t. But it might help. It’s well-known that physical activity can help reduce symptoms of depression. Furthermore, sticking to a routine (such as an exercise schedule) as much as possible is known to help in times of grief and loss.

Ultimately nobody can tell you how to grieve. It’s something that you need to do in your own way. But just remember to be kind to yourself. For me, being kind includes healthy behaviors such as regular exercise.

 

 

 

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