I have a magnet on my refrigerator that says:

In my life, this is so true. I run for health. I run for enjoyment. I run because I need to exercise. But I also run to leave my troubles behind. I run with friends to talk and process what is happening in our lives. I run, not in isolation, but in community, because that is what I am made for.

So what happens when you don’t run for a week during a pretty stressful time?

Let’s just say this: it ain’t pretty.

A crazy week last week, followed by a running attempt that ended abruptly with a back that completely tightened up on me and stayed that way for a few days has sidelined my running for almost another week. And I’m struggling. When I don’t run, I find excuses to eat badly. When I don’t run, my overall mood is darker. When I don’t run, I hurt – both physically and mentally/emotionally. In other words, no running makes for a grumpy Chrisy.

So in the midst of that, I have to find other means of “therapy.” Sometimes that is sitting with a book. Sometimes that is watching the Olympics. Sometimes it’s listening to music (although too much Kenny Chesney has me ready to run away to a tropical beach somewhere these days.) Sometimes that is getting my nails done. Sometimes that is letting my kids brush, straighten or otherwise play with my hair. Sometimes that is writing in my journal. Sometimes that is reading my Bible. Sometimes it is setting time aside for prayer. Sometimes it’s just going to bed early. But all of the time it is work to find what it is that I need to do in order to have some “therapy” time. And that requires me to choose those things. Which is hard. It is easier to just be grumpy. It is easier to hide from life. But I can’t choose easy.

I hope to be up and running again by the weekend, even though my therapy partners are off doing a race. But in the meantime, I’ll continue looking for therapy times in other ways.

What things are therapeutic for you and how do you deal with it when those things aren’t an option?