Staying Positive While Recovering from an Injury

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Staying positive while recovering from an injury can be difficult! Learn how to shift your mind and mood for a healthier future.

No one likes to be injured. An injury means that you are in pain, you have to take a break from your usual routines, even time off work, and that things like sleeping become more difficult. If your injury is very severe, you might struggle with the simplest of tasks, and your range of motion might be significantly reduced. Some injuries even require surgery and physiotherapy to help you return to normal without pain. 

While your body is working hard to recover, or even to get used to its new limitations, your mind and mood also face an uphill struggle.

Woman helping sportsman with staying positive while recovering from an injury during cardio training

Why Do We Struggle to Stay Positive When Injured?

Injuries don’t just affect our bodies. An injury might mean that you can’t train or practice the hobbies that you love. You might not even be able to work or socialize normally. This can mean a big change to your routine. 

If you were training for an event, it could be a significant setback, which is upsetting after all of your hard work. An injury can make you feel worthless, and as though you have to depend on other people. You might worry that you’ll never feel the same again. If your injury is very painful, you might also find that living with constant pain leads to depression and anxiety. 

Why It’s Important to Keep Your Spirits Up?

We all struggle with ups and downs in life. It’s normal not to be happy and smiley 100% of the time. Exercise is one of the most effective ways to boost your mood and confidence and is excellent for your mental health. If you are unable to exercise as you usually would, it can be challenging. Leaving your low mood unchecked can lead to more severe depression and anxiety, which in turn can make it harder for your body to heal. 

What to Watch Out For?

Being annoyed or feeling down about an injury is common. But, if it’s more than this, you should speak to your doctor, who could offer further advice. Signs that you may be becoming depressed include:

·       Not wanting to see people and avoiding social gatherings

·       Not being able to sleep

·       Not eating, or having little interest in food

·       Losing interest in the things that you enjoy

·       Worrying about the future, or not being able to imagine a future without your injury

·       Not trying to get better, or having no interest in your recovery

Getting the Help That You Need

Crutches against light white wall

First things first, to be able to stay positive, you need to know what’s wrong, what needs to be done, and what you can do to help yourself. You should never simply live with an injury without taking the time to get the help that you need to recover

You may want to know what happens during knee replacement surgery, or how long it takes for a sprain to heal. You might wish for a detailed treatment plan and an expected timeline. You may also need medication and other therapies. So, make sure you are getting the help that you need from a medical professional and not trying to go it alone. 

How to Stay Positive

So, what can you do to stay positive while you are recovering from an injury?

Focus on What You Can Do

There might be things that you can’t do, but there’s still plenty that you can. Focus on what your body can still do, but also on the improvements that you can make. The exercises that you will be doing on the injured part of your body might not be as intense, but they are still crucial to recovery and overall strength. 

Use it as an Opportunity to Try New Things

An injury presents an opportunity. It’s a great chance to explore cross-training, working the parts of your body that might not get too much attention when you are at your fittest. This can increase overall strength and fitness. You could also try things like yoga and Pilates, which could help you to stay positive and stress-free. 

Away from exercise, ask yourself what you could do with any extra time that you might have? 

Eat Well

Your body needs a healthy diet with plenty of protein, water, and vitamins and minerals to aid recovery and improve your mood. Make an extra effort with your diet, so that you know that you are making positive changes and giving your body the best chance. 

Get Out and About

It can be so easy to take the advice to rest far too far and to go into hibernation away from the world. This isn’t good for your mood. Yes, you do need to rest, but you also need to see friends and family and stick to your usual routines as much as possible.

Be Realistic with Your Expectations

Injuries can take a long time to recover from fully. Some, we never fully recover from. Make sure you are realistic with your expectations so that you aren’t disappointed down the line. 

Celebrate Successes

In the early days, successes may be small, but they should still be celebrated, even if it’s just congratulating yourself or sharing your progress on social media. 

Don’t Worry About Lost Time

Yes, your body might take steps backward. Your fitness levels, strength, stamina, and even weight may suffer. But, if you cross-train, eat well, and look after yourself, you could one day be stronger than ever. Don’t see this as lost time, and don’t worry about it. 

Learn to Listen to Your Body

Pushing yourself too hard is the biggest mistake that you could make. Learn to listen to your body, and give it what it needs. Progress might be slow, but at least you are moving in the right direction. 

When injured, it’s important to have all of the information so that you understand what you can and can’t do, and don’t risk making your injury worse by pushing yourself too hard. The facts will also help you to adjust and learn to accept your body the way it is, with a rough idea of how long it might last. But, it’s equally important that you get the information from the correct sources. Speak with your doctor, ask questions, and make follow up appointments if you need to. Try to avoid Dr. Google as much as possible. 

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