Living an active lifestyle is a total game-changer – better mood, better sleep, more energy, and even increases memory…but I don’t need to tell you all this right? Chances are if you’re an active person, you’re aware of the countless benefits.
But what happens when the body you are honoring through exercise, gets injured? Ugh. The worst, right?
It can feel like the train has fallen off the tracks, the last song has been sung, or really, that your whole life is over.
But what if I told you that an injury isn’t the end game? And that this time of recovery can actually turn into some of the most beneficial moments in your active life?
Yep – you probably have to get creative here, but there just might be some blessings in disguise. Here are a few tips to get you through:
Tip 1: Take a Breath.
Like seriously…unclench your jaw, roll your shoulders down, soften your gaze, and breathe.
This can be overwhelming, right? Suddenly the body that you’ve lived in for years needs some help working properly, and that can feel really stressful.
But you are not alone in this, and your body is an amazing thing. If you breathe, treat yourself with kindness, and nourish your body from the inside out with positive energy…you’d be amazed at what you are capable of.
Tip 2: Use Positive Self Talk.
Speaking of being kind to yourself, practice speaking to yourself in gentle and kind ways. It is normal to feel frustrated within the recovery process, but try switching your mindset from what you can’t do to what you can do!
Celebrate yourself through every little hurdle within recovery; it’s a great way to appreciate your body and treat your mind! Here are some examples of what I mean:
- Replace “Ugh I can’t do anything. My body is so stupid” with “My body has been through a lot. I am proud of what I am able to accomplish with it.”
- Replace “My body is so weak and useless” with “My body is relearning how to do lots of things. I respect the hard work that it still is doing.”
- Replace “My body can’t do this” with “My body allows me to do so many things that I love”
Tip 3: Find a new hobby.
How many of us have a “maybe later” box? You know, the box full of books that we have yet to read, the crochet project we only did two rows of, or the painting that was left unfinished?
This could be a physical box, or a metaphorical box, that is filled with things that once brought us joy, but had to take a seat on the bench while we tackled life.
This is the time to crack open those boxes again. Filling your time with new things to bring you joy can help make the healing process seem less daunting and scary!
Tip 4: Focus on the present.
The human mind is full of imagination. We like to wonder about things from our past, worry about the present, and dream about the future. But this “daydreaming” can create feelings of worry and panic about what is to come.
Focusing on the present however, allows us to tune into our bodies, and creates lower stress and increased mindfulness.
If you struggle with tuning into the present, try practicing some meditation or breathing exercises. As always, you know yourself best, so be patient and kind to yourself when trying out these new activities.
Tip 5: Accept help and support.
“We don’t heal in isolation, but in community”-S. Kelley Harrell.
It can be easy for a college student to get wrapped up in the spirit of independence, but remember that it is OKAY to accept help and support from those who care for you.
Times of recovery can feel a little isolating, so reach out to those around you and let them into your circle.
Injuries are not the end of you, I promise! The body is really good at adapting and healing the parts that need some extra love to work properly. Your body is a powerhouse, your mind is amazing, and you are a force to be reckoned with!