We all have injuries or setbacks at some point in life and it is how we deal with these injuries and setbacks that determine our progress. So how do you cope and stay motivated when you are in this situation?
Here are 6 ways to cope or stay motivated when managing an injury.
1. Accept your new normal is only going to be temporary – this may be the hardest part, but accepting that this new normal is going to be for a short period of time can help you focus on the comeback and get through the period easier. You may be limited to what you can do for now but trusting that the comeback (or the upswing) will be stronger than ever before. It is normal to feel down and negative about the situation, but you have the choice to change how you react and how you go about the weeks you have been told to rest and recover. You are much more than just your physical ability to workout.
2. Redirect your energy during this recovery time – take your mind away from the injury or pain with some mindfulness such as meditation. This will help to get yourself out of that down and negative feeling. Redirect your energy and work on strengthening your mindset during this time so you are ready for the comeback.
3. Focus on things you can control – try not to focus on the things that have been taken away from you. For example, exercise or your normal daily routine. Instead try and take on all the advice that the health professional/s you are working with are giving you. Follow what they are saying, listen hard and take on all the education they provide. Ask yourself how you may be able to help yourself understand and prevent this injury from happening again? Focus on things you can control such as your rehab, your studies, or educating yourself during this time. Another big one that sometimes goes out the window during this time are your eating habits. Use this time to focus on your eating habits – I know sometimes you might think that you need to give into your cravings to make yourself feel better and you might want to go and eat a whole lot of food that you know won’t actually serve you or help you achieve your goals. Conquer your eating habits in the down time so that when you go back to your normal routine, you will already have the good eating habits sorted to compliment your training again.
4. Do not obsess over the lost results – physical muscle loss typically takes around 3 weeks. You are not going to lose everything you have worked for in a few short weeks. If you can keep moving and keep yourself mobile and focusing on maintaining – no, you won’t be hitting any PB’s and you may not be working or moving at 100%, but don’t beat yourself up about not making huge progress and allow yourself the time to recover, as you will get back to your best – if not better! Do not obsess over loss progress, as you are progressing in other ways.
5. Set new goals – at every stage of your journey there are going to be different types of goals. Talk to your GP or therapist about when you can return. Once they give you a set date or period, it is best to then work back from the date they have given you. Work towards that goal and let it drive your motivation for recovery. Once you know this time frame, arrange a date with your workout buddy or book an event knowing you are going to be doing all the right things to meet that date/or event. Set these goals and take daily inspired action to give yourself your best chance to achieve that goal.
6. Try different exercises or low impact training – This is a good time to try something outside of the box – yoga, water aerobics, Pilates, flow/stretch classes, and/or different types of training. For example, you may have sore knees or lower body, so why not try some upper body work instead or take a yoga class. Focus on the rehabilitation exercises that you have been given and do not overstep your boundaries and work within your capabilities. Movement is the best medicine.
It is time to put yourself first – that means allowing your body time to fully recover so that you can achieve all your goals you set out to. We know you can handle whatever life throws at you – now it’s time you believe it too.