Protect Your Mental Health During Recovery
Bumps and scrapes, scratches, grazes, sprains and boo-boos. We’ve all had them. When we’re very young they are, in fact, a vital component of our education. They teach us when to slow down, when to take care, to look where we’re going, and to avoid the activities that may cause us harm. While we might react to them with tears and howls of anguish, they’re generally forgotten within an hour.
In the fast paced and unforgiving realm of adulthood, injury can strike from a variety of places. Whether we’re at work, on the road, at the gym, or just crossing the street, accident and injury dog us at every step, no matter how cautious and careful we’ve conditioned ourselves to be. In many cases their effects can be far-reaching both physically and psychologically.
While we can’t avoid physical injury of some nature during our lives, we can mitigate the effects of that injury on our mental health. Living with the pain, discomfort, decreased mobility and potential loss of earnings that comes with injury can take a toll on our mental health which in turn can impede the recovery process.
Use the tips below to bounce back quickly and completely…
Easier said than done, sure. When you’re injured, your response is the same as that of any other animal; retreat to somewhere safe and hide from the world. This can lead us to spend days or even weeks at home, binge watching Netflix, loading up on junk food, and avoiding the outside world.
While initially comforting, this can lead us down a dark path when it comes to our psychological health. It’s up to you to get back on a positive track.
- Set goals for recovery and reward yourself for achieving them.
- Pursue justice by seeking legal help if it’s relevant.
- Listen to uplifting music.
- Get as much access to natural light as you can.
- Be as active as you can without further injuring yourself.
- Spend as much time with others as you can.
It’s important to stay as positive as you can during recovery. Don’t overdo it, but get outside, spend time with others, and find a “new normal” as you heal.
Stay as Mobile as Possible
Even if you injured yourself at the gym, the only person who loses if you avoid physical exercise of some kind is you. That rush of post-workout endorphins as well as the feeling of physical capability can prove vital to your recovery while also ensuring balanced mental health and wellbeing. Exercise has proven especially effective in recovering from head and brain injury.
The great news is that many of the foods that are proven to aid mental health and combat depression are also great for injury recovery. As tempting as it may be to immerse yourself in a vat of ice cream or a bottomless bag of potato chips after an injury, plate after plate of fresh veggies, lean proteins, grains and pulses can aid a quick recovery in every sense.
Create a Plan
Finally, it’s important to learn from your injury and use it to put a plan in place to prevent it in the future. Repeated injuries, especially head injuries, have been proven to increase the likelihood of mental illness by as much as 400%. Thus, it’s essential to take steps to avoid the risk of repeated injury so you can live the life you want while enjoying healthy physical and mental health.
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