Your body is the experiential vehicle in the moment of now and nothing disassociates you from the present faster than losing someone you are deeply connected to.

The problem with disassociation is the physical manifestation of the pain can present itself in the body, what’s worse is you may not recognize it is happening. Long term disassociation leads to extended dis-ease which ultimately transitions into disease.

By making these 5 keys a daily practice you will be more equipped to gather support and feel emotionally safe. Don’t wait to acquire the tools, beginning a daily practice is the first step in learning how to use them.

  1. Time. The first thing you must invest is time. Healing takes time. Your body is process oriented. This takes time. Padding pain can cause us to carry on as if there was no healing in progress and this can lead to incomplete or distorted healing. Taking the time to allow for healing is imperative to the healing process. Trust that this can be a cyclical process, not lineal. 

  2. Effort. You must put in effort to heal. Even if that effort is to rest, it is still effort. If you are not present in the healing process, it can interrupt things. When something needs tweaking or adjusting you could miss it if you are not giving your healing process the effort of thoughtfulness.

  3. Nutrition/Hydration/Oxygenation. Your healing is greatly impacted by how you eat, hydrate and breathe. When healing you need quality protein in sufficient amounts for your body to regenerate in heightened states of stress to function properly. You need the right amount of carbohydrates to provide the energy cycle necessary to carry out essential repairs. You need to breathe to provide the amount of oxygen for the energy cycles of repair and life in general. The ONE thing all humans must have to survive is oxygen and not getting enough of it keeps you in a fight or flight response. Breathing also removes carbon dioxide which is the body’s most abundant waste product. Too much carbon dioxide can cause the blood to become acidic. Acid is not the ideal environment for any kind of healing. Hydration is important to help transport all necessary nutrients, oxygen, waste products and so on. If these things get backed up in transport around the body, the healing process slows down or is halted. They must all work together, so it is important that they are applied specific to your individual needs so that your healing can be maximized.

  4. Movement and Rest.

    1. Movement. Movement is very closely tied to key #2- Effort. Movement is important for many reasons. Movement triggers the body to change its structure to adapt to function under stress or to environment. Without getting into the known benefits of exercise it does wonders to shift depressive states of visceral experiences like loss. As the old Proverb says “A rolling stone gathers no moss.” Movement can be active and or passive. It can include exercise, stretching, massage, adjustment or manipulation of body parts by one’s self or practitioners.

    2. Rest. Rest is crucial to healing. During sleep and in complete relaxation is where the greatest amount of healing occurs. The body can work it’s repair and rebuild functions optimally during rest. Learning how rest works in tandem with movement is crucial. There is no one set formula for movement and rest in regards to healing, it is an individual situation. Learning how this works for you will come from trial and error. Guidance for people with past experience in similar situations can help, however, YOU are the person with the final say. Nobody knows you like you do.

  5. Guidance. Guidance in the form of perspective helps to find modalities, suggestions and ideas towards healing that others may have utilized in the past to heal themselves. Not everything works for everyone, so it is important to take perspective with optimism and a grain of salt. Some things will help and some won’t. It is important to explore options that resonate for you that you can pull out of your tool box in times of need. You can even explore ones that do not resonate to try on a new perspective or possibility. Whether things resonate or not, take what works for you and toss the things that don’t work for you. Guidance does not mean that someone has more authority over you, it means that they can guide you in regards to their experience. If application of their experience to yours helps your healing, then by all means take it and apply what parts work for you. 

 By practicing these 5 keys regularly you will be prepared to adapt to any trying circumstance including the loss of a close friend or loved one. Involving a well conditioned body in the mourning process is akin to a basketball player involving his well conditioned body in the game. By exercising your skill set you are preparing your body for any instance. The process of mourning is an instance that often pops up spontaneously without warning. Even when there is knowledge that mourning is on the horizon we are seldom physically prepared for it. These 5 keys when a part of your regimen will improve resiliency and keep you connected to the flow of the healing process.