Managing Your Physical and Mental Health After an Injury

Getting injured or falling ill alters your entire life, especially if you’re immersed in an active lifestyle. An injury or illness can have devastating effects on your physical features and abilities as well as your emotions and mental strength. 

So when it’s time to recover, it can be terrifying. Not only do you have to heal physically, but you also must rebuild your mental health and emotional well-being. Trying to do all of these things at once can be overwhelming, considering the range of emotions you’ll experience and setbacks you’ll likely encounter in the healing process. But managing your physical and mental health after an injury or illness can be a positive experience when you implement good recovery practices.     

Read on for four tips on how to manage your health after a life-changing event.

  1. Invest in Therapy

One of the first things you can do to begin healing physically and mentally after an injury or illness is talk to someone about what you’re experiencing. For example, you’re likely enduring some difficult emotions during this time. And for many of us, it’s natural to keep those emotions inside. But working through those emotions with someone unattached to the situation can prompt you to consider alternatives to help you do the healthy thing: release those emotions.   

Although therapy will most likely require a financial investment, it’s worthwhile if you feel like your mental health is diminishing in the recovery process and your physical health is suffering right along with it. A great therapist can help you navigate the difficulties in the recovery process and keep you moving forward once you’re back on track physically and mentally. 

So, determine whether your insurance covers all or part of the cost of therapy or if you’ll have to pay for services out of pocket. Then, do some thorough research on therapists that could be a potential match for your needs and filter them down based on your plan to pay. Keep in mind that you may have to visit a few therapists before finding the one.   

In addition to therapy, joining a support group can also help you manage your physical and mental health after an injury or illness. 

  1. Join a Support Group 

Joining a support group can be fantastic for recovery. You have the opportunity to form relationships with individuals who understand your physical recovery process and hold you accountable to realistic goals. Support groups can help you better maintain your mental health more than anything after an injury or illness. 

For example, a breast cancer diagnosis is one of the most terrifying, life-altering experiences a person can go through. You’re likely to feel scared, alone, and unsure of the future. These feelings can lead to a negative outlook on recovery. But a breast cancer support group helps individuals navigate their experience by providing ample emotional support, an opportunity to make lifelong friends and maintain a social life, as well as the chance to receive life-changing advice.   

So, use the internet to research support groups for recovering from your particular injury or illness. Look for groups that have been around for a while, with a solid reputation for helping people heal. Search any other criteria that would make you more comfortable opening up, like an all-women group or small group sessions.  

All in all, a support group can help you connect with people who understand what you’re going through. This is a space for you to be completely honest about the highs and lows of your recovery process. But if you aren’t yet comfortable seeking outside support, lean into your current relationships for help. 

  1. Lean on Your Relationships 

It can be challenging to open up to a therapist or strangers in a support group. Fortunately, you can lean on the relationships you already have for encouragement and connection during this time. Even if your circle is small, the people in your life whom you love and trust play a crucial part in how well you heal physically and mentally after an injury or illness.  

You may have convinced yourself to isolate and not burden your family and friends with the difficulties of your injury or illness. But supporting you through a challenging time isn’t a burden on your loved ones. No doubt they’re ready and willing to do anything they can to get you to the other side of your injury or illness. So, take the first step and reach out to someone you feel can help you recover. 

Additionally, managing your physical and mental health after an injury or illness gets a lot better when you can get back to exercising. 

  1. Slowly Get Back to Exercising 

When you’re cleared to get back in the gym after an injury or illness, it can be tempting to dive back into your old routine. If you do, you’ll quickly discover that your physical abilities just aren’t the same. 

But being able to exercise in some capacity is vital to healing an injury or recovering from an illness. Additionally, slowly getting back into exercising will have a positive effect on your mental health. Physical activity boosts your mood, aids mental clarity, and keeps you in a positive spirit.  

First, it’s best to consult with your doctor before engaging in any type of exercise. You want to be cleared by your doctor first to ensure you don’t aggravate your injury or worsen your illness. Secondly, put together an exercise plan with them that’s appropriate for your healing process.    

Ultimately, getting back to an active lifestyle is the goal after an injury or illness. But it’s best to have patience with yourself and do so slowly. 

Conclusion

Effectively managing your physical and mental health after an injury or illness is crucial to making it back to an active lifestyle. Implement one or more of the tips above to restore your physical strength, mental health, and overall wellness.