Milford Personal Trainer: The 4 Stages of Grief of COVID-19

We are in unprecedented times as a community and nation, and even now as we look ahead there is still uncertainty on when COVID-19 will end. If you’re like most of us, you may be experiencing grief. 

Grief? Yes, grief!

That anxiety, anger, sadness…all of that has to do with the fact that you are, in fact, going through the stages of grief as you mourn your ‘old’ normal and move towards your ‘new’ normal. No one has been unaffected by COVID-19. For many, it’s affected work, family relationships, and totally shaken how you operate on a day to day basis. Maybe you’re working from home, or not working at all; maybe you haven’t seen your grandchildren or friends in a month; maybe you had a vacation planned, or a wedding, and are forced to reschedule. 

The bottom line is that the world is going to look different after the fear of COVID-19 is over. Much like what happened after 9/11, things will change, and what you do now as you navigate through the four stages of grief will determine what that ‘after’ looks like for you.

There are four stages of grief when it comes to COVID-19. 

1. Denial – You may have begun saying things like ‘oh it will stay in Asia, it will get controlled, it isn’t as bad as people think’ and scoffing at the news coverage. 

2. Bargaining –  Then, you transitioned to saying things like: ‘we’ll be back to normal in a few weeks, my business won’t have to shut down, we can still hang out with people.’

3. Sadness – This phase is the hardest: you may not be able to see your family and friends and you start to feel sadness, you start to mourn. 

4. Acceptance – You accept the new reality.

Ask yourself: what stage am I in? If you are not in the acceptance stage, your goal is to move their as soon as possible. Once you begin to move in the direction of acceptance, you will start to develop your new norm. Some things to think about while you establish your new norm that will dictate what success looks like post-COVID-19: what habits will serve me? what can I focus on now that I have some extra time that will make me more productive? what can I control?

Of course, we are going to speak to the fitness side of things, but those questions apply to all the different areas of your life: marriage, finances, work, spirituality. 

When it comes to your fitness goals are you spending this time to hone in on skills you can sustain? Things like nutrition: are you getting better at cooking, trying new recipes, monitoring what you are eating? Are you exercising? Are you taking time for your mental health?

All of these things are important, because if you’re like our clients you had goals before COVID-19. Just because society is shutting down, doesn’t mean that your body is doing the same thing. Your body doesn’t know that COVID-19 is happening, all it knows is what you are eating and what you are doing for movement. If you eat poorly and don’t exercise during this time, your body will show it when quarantine is over. Likewise, if you take this time to eat well, exercise, and stick to your goals, your body will show it when the world opens back up again.

The clock doesn’t stop ticking because of COVID-19.

Some things to think about when it comes to pursuing a new normal and establishing healthy habits during this time is an accountability partner or coach. Watching trainers train on FacebookLive and trying to follow along is not accountability. Trying a Pinterest meal plan is not accountability. Having a  real live human being that can help you work through challenges and guide you on what’s best for YOUR body during this time is what you need.

While many gyms are closed, we are still serving our clients 100% remotely with both our personal training and our nutrition coaching. If you want to come out of COVID-19 20 lbs lighter, fitting the clothes in the back of your closet, and having the energy to conquer the new world, send us a text at 302-689-3489.


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