If you ever find yourself in a situation where you’re seriously injured, you’ll discover just how jarring it can be to your life. From your career to your personal life, an injury has a way of fundamentally altering everything that was previously normal. But if you make your recovery a priority, you can overcome it and move on.
4 Tips for Recovery
Bodily injuries can be tough to overcome. Not only do they cause physical pain, but it’s also common for psychological issues to stem from the underlying problem. In order to prevent an injury from wreaking havoc on every area of your life, it’s important to be proactive and purposeful with your recovery.
1. Adopt a Positive Mindset
It’s only natural to feel angry, sad, frustrated, and disappointed after an injury. But you can only afford to wallow in despair for a couple of days, after which you have to shift your mindset.
“With serious injuries, you simply have to realize that your life has changed. It’s tough, but you need to move old goals to the back burner and start finding new ones,” says Brenna Schwert, who once dislocated her pelvis while downhill skiing. “Comparison is the thief of joy, so try not to view your current situation through the lens of your former self.”
Embrace your new normal and develop some goals that are challenging, yet achievable. With something to strive for, you’ll feel a sense of purpose and accomplishment that simply isn’t present when you’re down in the dumps.
2. Get Your Financials in Order
On a practical level, you need to make sure your financials are in order. Depending on the severity of your injury, you could have medical bills, rehab expenses, and even lost income from excessive time away from work.
While nobody wants to get caught up in a complicated legal battle, it may be worth consulting with an attorney to see if negligence was involved in the injury. Doing so could provide you with enough money to avoid debt and move on with your life.
3. Eat Right
“When your body is threatened, it sends out an inflammatory response to go fight off the invader,” Rachael Shultz writes for Shape.com. “A small amount of this is good—it’s what heals cuts and helps repair damage, including that to muscle fibers.
But when your body is in a prolonged state of inflammation—from, say, a major injury or a super inflammatory diet—your immune system is chronically in high gear, which over time can not only inhibit progress on healing, but can actually lead to more swelling and damage.”
Diet and nutrition play a crucial role in recovering from an injury – particularly if it’s an injury to a muscle, tendon, joint, or tissue. You need to focus on reducing inflammation and providing your body with the nutrients it needs to repair the damage. A diet that’s high in fruits and vegetables is ideal.
4. Exercise Regularly
The old notion of bed rest is just that – an idea of the past. Except in very particular cases, doctors no longer advise patients to remain in bed around the clock. Mobility is good and helps with circulation and rehabilitation.
“The idea is to get you moving as soon as possible — short of actually reinjuring you,” massage therapist Paul Ingraham writes. “A great deal of scientific evidence suggests that the stimulation of movement, especially in the early stages of healing, is a crucial part of recovery from injuries and surgeries.”
Speak with your doctor and physical therapist to develop a plan that is smart, yet aggressive. Listen to your body and get plenty of rest, but don’t sit back and expect a full recovery to happen on its own.
What Defines You?
You have choices in life. You can choose where to eat dinner on Friday night. You can choose which sports team to root for. You can even choose which country to live in. But sometimes choices go much deeper than this.
You can either let circumstances dictate your happiness, or you can choose what defines you. Will you let a debilitating injury determine your attitude and direction? Or will you decide to push past injury and choose a different outlook on life? Ultimately, only you can make that decision.