We can all agree that it is no fun to have a foot or ankle injury. Breaks, sore muscles, and torn ligaments can keep us away from the activities we love, and they can be quite painful to boot. But did you know that injuries can also have an impact on your mental health?
As noted in a recent Refinery29 piece, after an injury, many people feel sad, frustrated, depressed, anxious, nervous, and fearful. Sometimes that’s because of the lack of control you have over your situation, including the limitations of your body. You might also feel like being away from sports, workouts, and other interests that depend on mobility keeps you from being your true self. In short, it’s no fun, especially in a city like New York, where everyone seems to keep their schedules packed with activity.
Regardless of your expected recovery time, it’s important to remember that injuries are usually temporary and you can be back to your regular routine soon. That being said, here are some tips for moving forward with an injury and keeping a healthy mind as you go.
Talk about it
It’s important to understand that feelings of frustration and disappointment surrounding your injury are normal and valid. Don’t feel like you have to go through the process alone! You might find it helpful to speak with a therapist about your concerns and address them head-on instead of ruminating over them. You can also connect with others in similar situations through online support groups. Or maybe you’d just rather speak about it to a trusted friend or loved one. It doesn’t matter who you decide to approach, it’s just important that you let out your emotions to someone who can help.
Focus on the good
A foot or ankle injury might make you feel a little overwhelmed or lost. Instead of worrying about how your injury could impact your life down the line or how the injury occurred in the first place, focus instead on the present and enjoy time away from your hectic schedule. For example, you can use your recovery time to catch up on a TV show, read that book that’s been collecting dust in the corner, or focus on a craft or puzzle that doesn’t require much movement. Focusing on alternative activities can keep you in a healthy frame of mind.
Keep things in perspective
Try thinking about the abilities that you still have despite your situation. It can be easy to feel down as you slowly get back in the groove of things, but setting even small goals throughout your recovery and celebrating milestones (like the first time you walk without help) can help keep you moving along with a great outlook. With surgery, physical therapy, and time to heal, you’ll be back to your normal activity soon!