Mentally recovering from an injury

Mentally recovering from an injury.

No matter our age, fitness levels or chosen activity, at some point in our life injuries are inevitable. Whilst some can be very dramatic due to an intense sports game, others can simply be as ridiculous as falling over your dog and twisting your ankle.

Either way, injuries are frustrating. They set us back in our daily lives, stop us from doing the things we love and no one likes to be in pain!

The good old faithful remedies like ice, elevation and compression definitely still apply and you’ve been to your doctor and been put on pain management pills, but now what?

It is also important to consider your mental health at this time. Depending on the severity of your injury, you might need to take a moment to understand and assess how this setback has affected you mentally.

You might suffer from some PTSD due to the nature of how the injury occurred, you might have feelings of disappointment because you’re now missing the next match or big race. You could feel angry, suffer from insomnia or lose your appetite. The change in routine is likely to cause irritability, depression and change your appetite causing you to either overindulge or stop eating altogether.

Don’t be so hard on yourself, it's ok to feel this way! We’ve made a list of three useful tips for you to help you cope during your downtime.

1. Focus on the things you can control

Rather than slipping down the dark hole of feeding your feelings with unhealthy foods, control your diet and compensate for the fact that you cannot exercise as normal. Consider your injury. Are you able to still be active? If your arm is injured, continue to work your legs by doing some squats or taking a walk. If your leg is injured, do some gentle weights or resistance work, but remember you still need to rest!

2. Change your perspective

Just because you cannot exercise does not mean you cannot be productive. Rest is absolutely vital as it allows the body to heal. Think about things differently. Consider being grateful for some down time to finally read that book you have not gotten around to, or embrace the off time by inviting round an old friend you have not seen in a while.

3. Commit to your rehab programme

You are not a superhero, so trying to do more than is recommended by your physician is not going to help you heal faster. In fact, its likely to slow down your progress as you’re not giving your body a chance to rest. Make sure you listen to your physician and follow their instructions. On the opposite end of the spectrum, make sure you DO your rehab. Exercises given by doctors after an injury are designed to keep you strong and will make sure your injury is less likely to occur again when you’re fit and healthy.

It is very important to recognize and understand how an injury can affect your mental health. In an excerpt from the Sport Science Institute’s guide to understanding and supporting student-athlete mental wellness, director of athletic medicine Margot Putukian encourages athletes to seek treatment and embrace a strong support system when injured. Knowing your resources during this time is paramount to a full body and mind recovery.

Not only do Body20 Members have access to Relax20 Sessions, which allow you to continue to “work out” whilst injured, speeding up recovery time through EMS technology, but Members also have access to onsite Wellness Coaches who are able to assist with the management of mental recovery.

Remember, you are all you have so take care of yourself!

Book a demo at your nearest Studio and come find out about Body20’s holistic health and wellness offerings

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