What are the benefits of walking for grief?
Improved mental and physical health
Walking is not only a great way to keep physically fit and healthy, but also mentally fit and healthy, which is extremely important for someone coping with grief. According to research by the mental health charity MIND, walking reduces the risk of becoming depressed by 30% - emphasising the power of exercise on the overall health of your mind and body.
With this in mind, it’s important to take things slowly after someone dies. You may have days where you feel like walking for miles and others where you’d rather stay inside. So always be gentle with yourself and take things at a pace that feels right for you.
It can be easy to feel lonely after a loved one dies, especially if you lived with them or spent a lot of time with them. Walking with others can help you connect with the people around you, forming a strong support network of people you can talk to about your feelings and even memories of your loved one with.
Improved sleep quality
Grief can cause feelings of stress and upset, which can affect your sleep quality. Sleep is important for maintaining a clear and healthy mind which is essential when coping with the complexities of grief. Taking a walk is a good way to promote healthy sleeping patterns and reduce feelings of stress.
Reconnecting with your loved one
Walking in a meaningful location that is special your loved one such as where their ashes were scattered, or somewhere they enjoyed visiting when they were alive, is a great was to connect with them and cope with the grief of losing them.