IF YOU ARE LIKE ME being active is a way of life, a past time or passion. You may be one of the many athletes that have succumbed to the nature of personal injuries. As an athlete, it can be very easy to hurt ourselves on a daily basis. Even though severe injuries are more common in professional sports, we can’t forget about the amateur athletes and those who just are doing what they love. Professional or not, the love for physical activity remains the same. It becomes a way of life.
IT WAS IN 2015 where I experienced my first severe injury. It was then for the first time in my life I witnessed before my own eyes, the sinking feeling following the realization I may never be able to lift the same again. Shortly after breaking my collarbone, I got rear-ended by a large semi-truck which led to speaking with a personal injury lawyer in regards to my recent surgeries and new damages. Losing your ability to do what you love is difficult for everyone. An artist who breaks their wrist and can never hold the paintbrush the same again. The race car driver that lost his or her vision in a near-fatal car accident or even the football player that experienced one too many TBI’s during their career. If you are like me, you want something better. You strive for that feeling of self-accomplishment and thrive to find a way to achieve that.
Here are three simple steps to follow to help bring you back. To lift your spirits and find the joy in remaining active in your own way:
Learn New Coping Strategies & Perspectives
If you feel like you are falling into a depressive state after an injury, it is vital that you take a look into what is causing that feeling and why. Coping with an injury in a healthy manner is the difference between rebounding back or not.
First, make sure that you get ample amounts of food and sleep and stick to a regular sleep schedule. A majority of anxiety that can stem from a personal injury accident comes from people worrying about re-injuries. Working with a physical therapist or following up with your surgeon regularly are things that could help curb your stress.
Establish a Sense of Greater Self-Worth and Purpose
For a hard-working blue collar citizen, a physical injury could mean no longer being able to support his or her family the way they’re used too. For a professional athlete, the same concept applies! This is why medical professionals recommend players and to have back up plans or other hobbies, just in case. Picking up another sport or activity after the injury heals is a great idea. Redirecting the energy into something else is recommended by many psychologists. It can be easy to feel like you have lost your purpose after an accident of this magnitude, but its even more important to realize that the world has so much more to offer.
Take Responsibility Without Blaming Yourself
Studies have found that self-criticism can, in fact, hinder the healing process. Of course, this is easier said than done. Most of us, don’t intentionally hurt ourselves so it’s important to understand that repeating our failures is most likely not going to aid in our recovery. Sometimes, your doctor will not exactly know what to do in healing your specific situation. Which is why you need to keep searching for a cure for YOUR specific situation. When it comes to recovering after an injury, a majority of the fight comes from our attitude and willingness to take action and go through the trial and error of rehabilitation. Understand that the path to recovery isn’t easy and that you must take it one day at a time and keep trudging on. Never give up because progress is slow, but not impossible. Just have to remain consistent.
Out of Darkness Comes Light
Excuse the cliche heading, but it could not be any truer. In the big scheme of things. This injury is only a 3 month to 1 year set back depending on the severity out of a 100-year lifespan! Actually, it’s not even a setback, its a sit still. A chance to learn about yourself and re-evaluate your life and do some soul-searching.
If you are feeling down, take a step back from the present situation and remind yourself that the world is your oyster and that the human body is a lot stronger than you have been giving it credit for. Through these darker times, you never know what you will learn about yourself. New hobbies, new states of minds or even a new motivation. I believe most things in our lives happen for a reason. So could that mean the same for a life-changing injury? I’d say so, if it wasn’t for my injury I would not be where I am today or have the mental strength to see the positive side of things. Never give up and remember to celebrate the small victories.