Tips For Recovering Mentally After a Sports Injury
Injuries, accidents, and unfavorable events are part of life, but most of us love a good comeback story. We like to hear stories of how someone raised beyond their challenges, especially in the world of sports. Whether you play sports professionally, in school, to train, or for recreational reasons, injuries and sports often go hand-in-hand.
However, a lot of us fail to understand how sports injuries and the recovery process impact our mental health. Injuries often fuel feelings of frustration, isolation, and depression, especially if you had a very physically active lifestyle prior to the injury. Missing out of your competition and being physically restrictive can affect your emotional and social well-being, and how you see yourself.
Hence, along with your physical recovery, it is very important to be mindful of mental recovery and health after a sports injury.
Here are a few tips for recovery mentally after a sports injury.
Set more realistic goals for yourself
When you are playing a sport or if you are an athlete you often naturally tend to be a goal setter. You get used to keeping track of your progress and collect data to achieve results and goals.
However, when you have recently recovered from an injury, it becomes easy to push yourself in order to achieve your prowess as a sports person or athlete as before the injury. But, pushing yourself too much can turn out to be very bad for you especially if your body is not ready to take so much pressure.
Hence, it is very important to set clear and more realistic goals for yourself and avoid comparison your skills or results from before the injury. That said, it is also a good idea to continue to visit Cedar Park chiropractor or the one in your locality to give your body the additional strength to slowly increase the intensity of training.
Besides, setting clear and realistic goals will give you a sense of achievement and help you accept the small improvements and give your body the time it needs to get back to the before-injury self without getting frustrated with yourself.
Visualize a healthy version of yourself
When you are recovering from a sports injury the fear that will you ever be able to go back to your physical self from before the injury and that becomes the cause of challenges for your mental and emotional health. However, visualizing a healthy version of you can be a very powerful way of sending positive stimulations to your brain.
Go ahead and visualize yourself sprinting across the field in full stride and playing the sport of your choice. It can even be the motivation you need to allow your body and mind to completely heal as a way to make your visualization come true.
Focus on the present
There is no point in thinking too much about the past and the future. However, when we are ill or recovering from an injury, we tend to do that. The truth is your injuries need time, attention, and patience to heal, and by focusing on how you can actually enable yourself to recovery faster.
But it is very important to understand your present situation and what your body needs to get to the next step.
We all know challenges and difficult times are just part of life, but still, when we face some of the biggest challenges of our life, we at times can’t help stop our minds from going to the negative thoughts. Hence, make sure to connect with your inner sportsmanship.
It may help to keep your mantra around you all the time. You can have it written or on the nightstand. Other than that, it is a good idea to surround yourself with things that motivate you. Positive affirmations can be effective as well during this time.
Acknowledge your feelings
It is okay to feel down sometimes and it even alright to feel sad. If playing sport is a big part of yourself as a hobby or career, you are naturally going to feel disappointed and upset about your ability to participate for some time. However, it is very important for your mental health to allow yourself to feel and acknowledge your own feeling.
Recovering from a sports injury can be difficult especially if you have been very active in past. Hence, you may even experience the five stages of grief, including denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance. Recognizing and accepting these feelings is the first step to healing and be able to manage your mental and emotional progress.
Accept the help and support you get
Some people tend to isolate themselves and cut out all the people that are trying to help and support them from their lives. Even if you feel like wanting to be alone, make sure to give space to your close friends and family to help you during these challenging times.
It is also recommended to get professional help, no matter how strong your support system is, a sport psychologist can make a big difference in guiding you and helping recover mentally. It might be a good idea to talk to a professional even when you are back in the field and training again.
As a sports person, it can be very frustrating to feel powerless when you have been in an injury. However, even if you are not able to control the actual healing of a broken bone or torn ligament, you can make conscious choices that can affect your recovery like when to rest and when to push yourself. Hence, it is important to accept and take control of your situation, by owning your condition you can take the control back and make sure the injury doesn’t have power over you.
As an active sportsperson, getting an injury can be a very challenging time professionally, emotionally, and mentally. However, make sure to focus on your mental health along with the physical recovery, as it not only supports your healing process but it also helps you get ready for the come back stronger than before.