There is no doubt that being injured can be a very stressful period. Do not fear though, the rehabilitation phase can rebuild you back to your old level, and in some cases you can even come back stronger! Coming back from a long injury requires a high level of mental toughness which can be used when you do return to exercise.
One of the main reasons that people take longer to return from injury is that they try rushing back, I can’t stress enough that you should not return to full exercise until you are ready. There are still many things while you are injured you can do to help speed up your return, both mentally and physically.
Negative feelings are obviously going to be there at first if it’s a bad one. After the shock has gone away you can start to focus on returning, little short term goals are extremely useful in this situation as they bring you closer and closer to making a return and reduce feelings of frustration as you make it to each short term goal. Setting realistic targets are a good way of making you feel better as well.
Returning from injury requires real character, your personality will influence whether you can return. Everyone copes in a different way, it is important to realise that there is light at the end of the tunnel and with the right support a return will happen. Obviously if you have a slight hamstring tear, you won’t be feeling as negative and you just need to focus on not rushing back. Keeping a diary of thoughts I think is a helpful way of helping you through your return for some people, writing down how you are feeling can help release some of the tension you are feeling.
Your social support group (family, friends, colleagues, team mates) are very important in helping you stay mentally strong, it’s hard to do it alone so don’t be afraid to ask for help! Support from friends and family can make you feel more confident and also stop you from feeling isolated.
There are many things you can do while you are injured that help, relaxation techniques and massage can help you feel physically and mentally better. Why not try talking to people and associate yourself with people who have been injured and returned, advice from them can help massively. When you are ready, important to gain approval from your doctor before returning to any type of exercise first, try exercising other parts of the body, this will help you feel physically stronger and will prepare you for when you need to start work on the injured area.
So just remember to take advantage of the people around you … at bad times you realise just how many people are there, that can help you. So many people make successful returns from injury so remember to stay confident and believe that you can return … and in most cases, you will!
Thanks for reading.