As an athlete, sports are your passion and release from the various stresses of life. For some, it may even be your livelihood. So you can only imagine what it must be like to sustain a serious injury that prohibits you from playing the very sport you love so much. Not being able to play and enjoy the sport can leave you feeling anxious and even a bit down on life. If you don’t tend to your mental well-being as you recover from your injury, it can also take a serious psychological toll on your life.
When an athlete is injured, they experience a lot of psychological factors that can become overwhelming. Many feel as if they’ve lost their identity and their ability to participate in the one thing they love the most – sports. When you don’t know how to cope mentally, injuries can place doubt on the mind, lower your self-esteem, and even force you to lean on the dependency of harmful substances like drugs or alcohol. Of course, if it has reached that point for you, it is important to seek help from service providers such as Georgia Detox before your substance abuse issue turns into a full blown addiction.
Tips to Healing Mentally
Now that you understand the significance of healing mentally as your body physically heals from an injury, let’s review a few ways to get started:
1. Allow Yourself to Feel – The worst thing you could do would be to hide your emotions. You’re entitled to feel, and should allow whatever emotions are on your mind to come out. Suppressing fear, anxiety, stress, or depression can lead to the need to rely on harmful substances and a worsened mental state. Since healing is more of a mind over matter thing, you’ll need your mind in tip top shape. You don’t have to be so macho that you never feel a thing. So go ahead and cry, shout, scream, or vent so that you feel better.
2. Deal With What Is – A lot of times we psych ourselves into an emotional frenzy because we’re trying to think about what has happened, what could be, and what should have been. Trying to beat yourself up about the past or predict the future can lead to stress and a bunch of other emotional issues. Instead, deal with the present and make a plan to work through day by day.
3. Set Goals – Goals can help motivate you towards healing, and can also take a lot of stress off your shoulders. Create small goals for yourself so that you can heal. Make sure that the goals are realistic or else you’ll be setting yourself up for a bunch of disappointments. As you meet the milestones you’ll start to feel better about yourself and the outlook on your future.
4. Get Support – You’re likely not the only athlete on the planet whose dealt with some sort of injury so reach out to others. It can often feel better when you know you’re not alone. Try to talk with other athletes who have similar injuries to yours to find out how they got through it. Sometimes hearing that there is light at the end of the tunnel can make the journey a lot easier to manage.
5. Have Patience – At the end of the day, everyone’s body is different. While it may have taken one person a few weeks to heal it could take you a few months. Just be patient and stay the path.
6. Get Help – If you still find it challenging to deal with your emotions it is ideal to talk to someone professional about it. Speaking with a therapist can often help you get the emotional release you need. They can help you with understanding the realities of your injuries and put the fears, anxiety, and stress at ease. There are online and face-to-face therapy options available to meet your physical needs.
Your mind is very powerful and can greatly impact your ability to heal from your physical injuries. When you’re injured to the point that you can’t do the things you enjoy most, it can be a real bummer. The key to getting past it is to conquer the mental roadblocks. Getting support from others, setting goals, and having patience will ultimately help you make it to the finished line.