“You should get out more, have you tried working out?”
Oh goodness, I am not even sure where to begin with this one! Our society absolutely glorifies any type of physical fitness as the cure for any type of ailment. Are you feeling depressed today? Go to the gym! Are you feeling anxious? Go to the gym! Do you feel stressed or just exhausted with how your life is going? Go to the gym! Are you having relationship problems? Go to the gym! I want to be very clear, I am not minimizing the importance of physical fitness for our mental health and overall well being – this is something I take very seriously! However, as a society we tend to push this agenda on anyone and everyone whenever we can. The last thing I wanted to hear from friends while in the darkness of my grief, was that I should go to the gym. This can make you feel unseen, and misunderstood. Yes, going to the gym can lift your spirits, release your endorphins, and make you feel better…sometimes. But not only will it not bring this person back to life, it can actually make your grief feel so incredibly small, that a short and simple trip to the gym can cure this immense amount of pain you are feeling.
It may seem so simple to those not grieving. Get out and escape, stop being trapped alone wherever you are, sitting in your grief secluded from the world. A person may not be ready to escape this particular part of their grief yet. Instead, offer company, offer to bring coffee or tea, offer love and support. Offer to join them when they are ready to venture out, and keep asking if they are ready. Even if they continue to turn you down. Continue to show up.