Dealing with an injury can impact you mentally as much as it does physically. It is extremely important to look after both your mental and physical wellbeing, and often working to maintain one will positively benefit the other.
But first, I would like to point out that much of this is personal experience. I am not a doctor and I would advise speaking to a professional who can give you the most pertinent suggestions.
Nonetheless, I have learnt things from my own experience which I feel are worth sharing.
A physical injury can be very life limiting, particularly if you’re typically an active person. It is likely that part of your recovery may be prolonged rest. This can be mentally taxing as you can no longer take part in activities you had previously enjoyed. Luckily, I have found a solution that has worked for me and allows me to rest assured that I am maintaining my cardiovascular health: sit down cardio!
I went from playing netball, tennis and running, to not being able to do any of these. However, sit down cardio provided me with the perfect balance, helping me maintain my physical health. It has also helped me enormously with mental health. As someone who equally struggles with health anxiety, doing some physical exercise allowed me to stop worrying about what a period of inactivity due to rest was doing to my health. Furthermore, sit down cardio is ideal as it’s low intensity, my injury is protected and the exercises can be easily adjusted if they don’t work for you. Here are a few of my favourites…
Equally important is looking after your mental health. Health anxiety is huge when dealing with a physical injury, fuelled by incessant googling. It’s important to keep distracted and find things you enjoy doing away from the internet. Many of my newly discovered lockdown activities continued to form part of my wellbeing routine, namely painting and writing. I’ve also found that I can keep my health anxiety at bay by remembering to eat well and maintain a healthy diet, of course allowing myself the occasional indulgence! Health anxiety aside, being kind to yourself and surrounding yourself with a caring support bubble is equally important.
If you are reading this and relate to any of it, I wish you the very best of luck and hope I’ve managed to provide you with some reassurance and new ideas to help you help yourself!