Working Out To Work Within

 

As some of you may know, I am currently going through a very difficult time in my life emotionally and mentally, so I designed a way to help me get through things while time heals my mind and heart. I hope that this might be helpful for others. 

My workout schedule designed not for physical fitness, but rather for mental healing. 

My workout schedule designed not for physical fitness, but rather for mental healing. 

This is my workout schedule. I made it not because I want to get in shape or even to get healthy. I made it as a tool to help me through this time of grief. You'll notice that there are no numbers written out, and that's on purpose. During times of grief, the hardest part to deal with is the restlessness throughout the day. It's those times when you have nothing to do but sit by yourself and be tortured by your own thoughts. If you have gone through a great loss, then you know that I'm not talking about the depression moments; I'm talking about the downtime in-between them. At those times, I know that I don't usually have the motivation to do anything, least of all something strenuous like exercise. So I left the numbers blank because when those times hit throughout the day, and I feel like my heart is going to explode out of my chest, I can just get down and do that specific exercise until I clear my mind. I may end up doing regular sit-ups numerous times randomly throughout the day; maybe 5 push-ups here and there, or maybe 50. I don't want to put the pressure on myself of having a schedule right now. If I don't set expectations for myself then I can't disappoint myself if I don't reach that goal (which would only add to my grief). In time, I will add the numbers, but for right now this is not about building strength, but rather having a system set up to distract myself. The actual exercises are organized to be most efficient for my muscles, so I don't strain a specific muscle group too much. Again, this is not about working out, but rather about managing my life so that I am still allowing myself to be depressed and cry when I need to, but I'm filling the spaces in between so that time can do its job on my heart in the healing process. If you choose to use this, remember that this is about mental healing, so don't put pressure on yourself by adding goals; there's plenty of time in the future to fill in the blanks. Healing is not a race.

If you're unaware of some of the terminology on this, here is a description of some of the lesser-known exercises listed:

Flutterkicks:  Lie on your back, put both hands under your tailbone or butt, hold your feet together and lift your legs about 6 inches in the air. Then alternate between lifting your left leg and your right leg, as if you were walking. Be sure not to let your feet touch the ground.   

Planks: Arrange yourself into a push-up position, except lean on your forearms with your hands in front of you. Stay in that position for x-amount of time.  

Airchairs: Lean your back against the wall and then slide down until you're in a sitting position, with your back against the wall, your feet about 6 inches in front of the wall, and your butt is hovering in the air. Stay there for x-amount of time. 

Incline Push-ups: Take an object and put your hands on it, about shoulder-width apart, and then lower yourself into a push-up position. As a visual, picture yourself doing a push-up with your upper body lifted higher than your lower body.   

Decline Push-ups: Take an object and put your toes on it, feet together. Then put your hands on the ground about shoulder-width apart, and lower yourself into a push-up position. As a visual, picture yourself doing a push-up with your lower body lifted higher than your upper body.   

Crunches: Lie down on your back with your hands interlaced behind your head. Lift your knees until they are in a straight parallel line (your thighs are in a straight line with your knees closest to the ceiling), and cross   your ankles. Then lift your head as close to your knees as possible, and then bring your head back to the ground. This position is very similar to the sit-up position. 

Please let me know what you think. Do you have your own version of this? How does it work for you?