Whether it’s a sprained ankle or a concussion, dealing with an injury is never pleasant. This is especially true for athletes and other active individuals who often find their identities wrapped up in their sport of choice and athletic performance.

 

It’s not easy to take time off and let yourself recover. But, it can be done, and it’s possible to come out on the other end of your injury stronger and better prepared to tackle your favorite sport or activity.

Read on to learn more about how you can stay sane while recovering from an injury.

1. Accept the Situation

First things first, it’s important to accept that you have an injury. It’s tempting to try and push through the pain and convince yourself that everything is fine, but this mindset will only come back to bite you later on.

Whether you need to take time completely away from workouts or simply need to swap your favorite training option for something different, it can be hard to accept that a break is the right choice. But, remember that the sooner you accept your injury and start working to recover, the sooner you’ll eventually be able to get back to doing what you love.

2. Follow Your Doctor’s Orders

This second tip goes right along with the first. A big part of accepting your situation after an injury is accepting and following your doctor’s orders.

If they tell you to wear a brace to prevent exacerbation of injuries, wear the brace. If they tell you to spend a few weeks completely staying off your injured ankle, take a few weeks off.

Your doctor knows what they’re talking about, and they want you to recover quickly, too. Listen, and you’ll be able to get back to training faster than if you try to take any shortcuts.  

3. Figure Out What Caused Your Injury

While you’re taking time off from training, it can also be helpful to figure out what caused your injury. Sometimes, the cause is obvious -- you tripped over something while running, you fell victim to a bad tackle, etc. But, other times, you need to do some detective work and figure out why you were so susceptible to an injury. Do you have muscle imbalances or poor posture that needs to be corrected? Do you have tight muscles that are more prone to injury?

Once you identify any weaknesses that contributed to your injury, start trying to correct them so you can return stronger than before.

You may need to recruit a chiropractor, physical therapist, or personal trainer to help you safely work on improving your weaknesses, but the cost will be worth it if it helps you learn the techniques you need to prevent future injuries.

4. Try Something New

Sometimes, you just need to switch up your workouts for a few weeks while you recover.

It can be hard to know where to start when you’ve been doing the same type of training for months or even years. But, targeting different muscles with a new workout might be just what your mind and body need.

For example, if you have to take some time off from running to let an injured ankle or knee, switch up your cardio and use a stationary bike or rowing machine instead. Or, spend some time working on resistance training and corrective exercises to strengthen your muscles and keep future injuries at bay.

You may find that you enjoy some of these other forms of exercise and will want to start incorporating them into your routine on a regular basis.

5. Get More Sleep

Sleep is an essential part of the recovery process. If you haven’t been prioritizing rest, take advantage of your decreased training time and start increasing the amount of sleep you get each night.

Not only will getting more sleep help your body heal faster, but it can also improve your mood and help you have a better attitude toward your current situation.

Wrapping Up

Dealing with an injury is painful and frustrating. But, you’ll make it through your doctor-ordered time off (and wind up feeling better than before) by keeping these five tips mind.

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