The Role of Health Through Grief

By Rachel Levitin

Rachel Levitin

Rachel Levitin

If your mental and emotional health takes a major hit, as they tend to during times of grief, it’s likely that your physical health will feel that hurt too. I speak from experience when saying that it’s not only possible but probable. My physical health declined while dealing with the initial sting of grief’s scolding torch. Instead of feeling a healthy burn from a daily workout I’d either feel the burn of bourbon and beer rolling down my throat or heart burn in the wee hours of the morning while trying to sleep due to poor dietary choices.

Not only did I suffer physically but that lead to living a lackadaisical lifestyle, one of which I had never lived before. I moved into a studio apartment which, until this past week, looked like a 20-year-old frat boy lived there. I decided to say “No more!” though. I’m a 24-year-old woman, “It’s time to live that way,” I told myself.

So I put my thoughts into action. This past February I joined Weight Watchers and have gotten back to a healthy size. I ran my first 5K in May which was a great success. I fit into clothes I couldn’t fit into two years ago. I can even run a 10 minute mile (…even if my goal is to get that down to around 9 minutes) now! I was always active as a child and teenager so it’s nice to get back into that kind of lifestyle. But here’s the question that I need to answer for you, the reader: How did I do it?

Here’s the thing: grief runs a different course for everybody. What works for me might not work for anyone else. But maybe what I tried can help you generate a few ideas of your own.

I tried to trace my memory back to a time where I thought I “had things figured out”. The last time I was in superb shape was high school. So I asked myself why that was. It was because I was a two-sport athlete who had a daily routine. Wake up, go to school, play music at school during the day, go to team practice after school, go home and finish my homework, then I’d finish it off with some time online or watching TV (most of the time it would be both).

What was lacking from my 24-year-old life that what an essential part of my 14-year-old life was exercise. Now that exercise is a daily part of my routine whether it’s taking a walk during lunch or running when I get home, my day feels different. I find it easier to wake up in the morning. I find it easier to fall asleep at night. And all-in-all, I feel like the person looking back at me in the mirror is finally me again.

What worked for me, in order to get “myself” back, was looking back at what worked in my past and applying it to my present. I know that I’m still a work-in-progress but it’s safe to say that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.

Rachel Levitin is a 24-year-old with a B.A. in Journalism and a minor in Music Theory/Music History from The American University. She moved from Chicago to DC in the fall of 2005 and spent the first 18 years of my life in a home within a 5-15 minute walking distance of Wrigley Field. For more information about Rachel’s writing and music go to her blog, The Chicago to DC POV.

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  1. […] In The Role of Health through Grief, t2a contributor Rachel Levitin chronicles her health and wellness path after her father’s death. Her piece is brutally honest and inventively hopeful. This line, “What works for me might not work for anyone else. But maybe what I tried can help you generate a few ideas of your own.” inspired this month’s topic: Staying Happy and Healthy Through Grief. Where is the connection between healthy living and the grieving process? Everywhere. Treating your body well is essential after a loved one dies. Now that I have made the most obvious statement in the world, what should we do about it? There is no draught of diet books, articles and suggestions out there for eating well and exercising. Let’s focus on the positive. All of these options are available to us for the picking. We know eating well and exercising makes us happier, gives us more energy, helps reduce our stress levels and best of all sets a good example for everyone around us (especially children). There’s no trick. It requires hard work so when picking a plan, we have to select a workable one. Your assignment: Please comment below and share any quotes, tips, personal stories, books, articles or advice you’ve found helpful in staying healthy. Please be respectful of one another’s comments.   T2A Community Objective: Support, inspire and encourage one another.  Eco World Content From Across The Internet. Featured on EcoPressed Gulf Oil Dispersants Advertisement LD_AddCustomAttr("AdOpt", "1"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Origin", "other"); LD_AddCustomAttr("theme_bg", "ffffff"); LD_AddCustomAttr("theme_border", "222222"); LD_AddCustomAttr("theme_text", "666666"); LD_AddCustomAttr("theme_link", "000000"); LD_AddCustomAttr("theme_url", "999999"); LD_AddCustomAttr("LangId", "1"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Autotag", "health"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Tag", "health"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Tag", "rachel-levitin"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Tag", "september-2011"); LD_AddSlot("wpcom_below_post"); LD_GetBids(); Share this:StumbleUponEmailPrintFacebookRedditTwitterDiggLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

  2. […] In The Role of Health through Grief, t2a contributor Rachel Levitin chronicles her health and wellness path after her father’s death. Her piece is brutally honest and inventively hopeful. This line, “What works for me might not work for anyone else. But maybe what I tried can help you generate a few ideas of your own.” inspired this month’s topic: Staying Happy and Healthy Through Grief. Where is the connection between healthy living and the grieving process? Everywhere. Treating your body well is essential after a loved one dies. Now that I have made the most obvious statement in the world, what should we do about it? There is no draught of diet books, articles and suggestions out there for eating well and exercising. Let’s focus on the positive. All of these options are available to us for the picking. We know eating well and exercising makes us happier, gives us more energy, helps reduce our stress levels and best of all sets a good example for everyone around us (especially children). There’s no trick. It requires hard work so when picking a plan, we have to select a workable one. Your assignment: Please comment below and share any quotes, tips, personal stories, books, articles or advice you’ve found helpful in staying healthy. Please be respectful of one another’s comments.   T2A Community Objective: Support, inspire and encourage one another.  Eco World Content From Across The Internet. Featured on EcoPressed Gulf Oil Dispersants Share this:StumbleUponEmailPrintFacebookRedditTwitterDiggLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

  3. […] In The Role of Health through Grief, t2a contributor Rachel Levitin chronicles her health and wellness path after her father’s death. Her piece is brutally honest and inventively hopeful. This line, “What works for me might not work for anyone else. But maybe what I tried can help you generate a few ideas of your own.” inspired this month’s topic: Staying Happy and Healthy Through Grief. Where is the connection between healthy living and the grieving process? Everywhere. Treating your body well is essential after a loved one dies. Now that I have made the most obvious statement in the world, what should we do about it? There is no draught of diet books, articles and suggestions out there for eating well and exercising. Let’s focus on the positive. All of these options are available to us for the picking. We know eating well and exercising makes us happier, gives us more energy, helps reduce our stress levels and best of all sets a good example for everyone around us (especially children). There’s no trick. It requires hard work so when picking a plan, we have to select a workable one. Your assignment: Please comment below and share any quotes, tips, personal stories, books, articles or advice you’ve found helpful in staying healthy. Please be respectful of one another’s comments.   T2A Community Objective: Support, inspire and encourage one another.  Eco World Content From Across The Internet. Featured on EcoPressed Gulf Oil Dispersants Advertisement LD_AddCustomAttr("AdOpt", "1"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Origin", "other"); LD_AddCustomAttr("theme_bg", "ffffff"); LD_AddCustomAttr("theme_border", "222222"); LD_AddCustomAttr("theme_text", "666666"); LD_AddCustomAttr("theme_link", "000000"); LD_AddCustomAttr("theme_url", "999999"); LD_AddCustomAttr("LangId", "1"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Autotag", "health"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Tag", "health"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Tag", "rachel-levitin"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Tag", "september-2011"); LD_AddSlot("wpcom_below_post"); LD_GetBids(); Share this:StumbleUponEmailPrintFacebookRedditTwitterDiggLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]



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