Recovering from an injury can be difficult regardless of the severity. It interrupts your everyday life and prevents you from doing what you love to the fullest. When healing your body and getting back in shape, don’t forget to take care of your mind as well.
As an athlete, your physical health is incredibly important. When you’re not able to do the thing you love due to something out of your control, your mental health can take a hit. In fact, sports psychology indicates that individuals who deal with an injury have to cope with multiple waves of psychological stress. From handling the initial shock of the injury, to processing information given to them by doctors and then managing the recovery process, athletes have to cope with a lot of stress.
Maintaining your mental health while recovering from an injury can be as hard as the physical recovery itself. We’ve outlined some helpful tips below to keep your brain in shape.
Resting and healing is just as productive as going to practice.
While it might feel like it, letting yourself rest is not wasting time. Resting at home or on the sidelines is key to injury recovery and preventing re-injury. Pushing yourself back in the game too early can cause an injury to become worse, resulting in an even longer recovery time.
Recognize and focus on what you can control.
You can always control your attitude towards your health and your recovery. You can control the healthy foods you put in your body and the movement you’re able to do. Focus on doing any positive things you can for your physical and mental health.
Consider going to therapy if you’re struggling.
If you’re feeling continuously down in an emotional slump, consider talking to a therapist. Therapists are great listeners if you need to vent, and can provide some positive direction. If you’re willing to work at improving your emotional health, therapy can be a great option.
If you are in a crisis situation, we encourage you to reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.