Sometimes we get thrown a curve ball that knocks us for six. One of the key things that can shake us up the most is a health scare, or an injury. We take our health for granted, and once it’s been compromised it can take time to get back to your regular way of thinking. Here are four tips to help you mentally heal from a change in physical circumstance.
You need to understand why you’re feeling so low, so that you can seek a solution, but also so you can be kind to yourself! The chances are high that following your change in circumstance you’re sedentary or certainly limited in your ability for movement. Lack of movement can profoundly affect your mood and ability to manage your thoughts about your injury by the restriction of the production of endorphins. Even if you aren’t a sporty type, being unable to go for a brisk walk or do the housework will affect your body’s natural feel-good response to any physical exertion. You may also be feeling socially separated following your injury, and feel that life is continuing without you.
You need to ensure that your friends and family can support you during your recovery. You need two types of support: informational and motivational. Your doctors and healthcare providers will give you the information that you need about your physical injuries. However, it’s your friends and family that will give you motivational support to combat the emotional feelings that may come with your injuries: disappointment, hopelessness, pity, anger and sorrow. You mustn’t assume that they know everything about you need as they aren’t mind readers. Ask for help, but communicate clearly how they can help you.
Reduce Your Stress
The greatest mental challenge to your ability to heal is stress. Your body’s healing is limited when you’re stressed, as the stress hormones cortisol and epinephrine inhibit the movement of healing cells to the site of the injury and weaken the immune system. You need to try and minimize the stress in your life. If your injury was caused by an accident that wasn’t your fault, you can apply for pre-settlement legal funding which will provide you with an advance of the compensation money you’re due. You don’t have to carry the extra burden of financial worries during your time of recuperation.
Be mindful that people will always want to know the reason for your illness or injury, and so be prepared! You don’t want to have to go through the trauma of having to explain in fine detail the ins and outs each time you have a visitor. Have a few set responses that you can comfortably reply, and that don’t distress you. You don’t have to share your medical information with people just because they ask!
Adjust Your Goals
You’re going through a challenging period of your life, but this doesn’t mean that it’s for your whole life! You need to identify some goals that you would like to be able to achieve within a given timeframe; perhaps you have a target set by a physiotherapist that you would like to complete, or perhaps you have a family event that you would like to be able to attend. Make sure that you’re setting achievable targets so that you can feel that sense of accomplishment when you hit them.