Strategies for coping with injury is my follow up to last week’s post on the Mental Burden of Injury. It’s one thing to be bogged down by all the emotions and sadness, but it’s another to dig out of it. However, if we don’t overcome,
Honor Your Feelings
I am pretty terrible at this, but honoring your feelings is a critical part of the process. People suffering from longterm injury or illness are going to experience sadness, anger, depression, anxiety, bitterness and a whole range of emotions. Swallowing them isn’t one of the best strategies for coping: it’s ok to acknowledge those feelings and let them out.
Talk To Someone
Sure, it’s cliche, but you have to talk to someone. Anyone. Reach out to your partner, a friend, a parent. Let them know you just need to vent and then let it all out. Sometimes, it helps to have a shoulder on which to cry. Be sure to let them know you aren’t looking for solutions, but you just need to give voice to what you’re feeling. Advice can be great, but in these moments, it’s not always what we need to hear. It’s also more than ok to find a therapist for these conversations, if you need a little more help.
Join A Support Group
The beauty of the internet is that it’s easy to find things like support groups, virtual or physical. While it can be hard opening up to strangers, it’s comforting to know you are absolutely not alone and that others can commiserate and even share their anecdotal experiences. I find it helpful to chat with people who have gone through similar injuries or circumstances, just to know what I’m feeling is normal. Try checking out The Injured Athletes Club on Facebook, as a start.
Redirect Your Focus
While we all know you would rather be running (or whatever your activity of choice is), in this recovery period, it may be time to look at other options. Focusing your unused energy elsewhere may keep your mind off the things you can’t do and help you pass time more quickly. If you can’t be active one way (running), can you do something else like upper body weights or swimming? Maybe you can take up a new hobby if you’re confined to the couch. Learn to knit, conquer War and Peace, start a 5000 piece jigsaw puzzle… Do anything to pull yourself out of your own head.
Be Gentle With Yourself
I know I often fall into a spiral of beating myself up when I’m down. My frustrations center on me not being strong enough or good enough. I get angry that my recovery isn’t progressing as quickly as I might like or that I am so limited in some things. It’s not ok, and I have to remember to be kind. Take the naps. Get the proper nutrition. Challenge yourself but don’t push too hard. Love yourself and show yourself grace. Nothing good can come from constant self-criticism or negative talk, so be gentle as you heal.
Remember, you are not alone. It may not get better on your terms or in your time, but progress isn’t linear and things can improve.
Please visit these lovely bloggers, plus check out some of the other blogs on the link-up, and don’t forget to share your own post, as well!
What are your favorite strategies for coping with longterm injury or illness?
Please remember, you are not alone. If things feel like they are too much or you’re afraid you might hurt yourself or others, text HOME to 741741 in the U.S. (please refer to https://www.crisistextline.org/ for other options) You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or chat online at https://www.imalive.org/.