How to Overcome the Mental Hurdles of Athletic Injuries

Injuries are unfortunately common in many athletic activities. It may seem like you are at the top of your game one minute, and everything is going great. Suddenly, your world is turned upside down when an injury occurs. Many injuries are debilitating and require months of surgeries, therapy and recovery time. In addition to being cooped up in bed and dealing with incredible pain during this time, you may know that your team is carrying on without you. This sudden shift in your life can be emotionally and psychologically difficult to deal with. As anguishing as this experience may be for you, rest assured that there are a few steps that you can take to move past this issue and to return to your sport in great health.

Set Realistic Expectations

You understandably are eager to get back on the field or court as soon as possible, but you should not rush through the healing process or push yourself before you are truly ready. The body needs ample time to heal, and you should follow all treatment and recuperation recommendations established by your medical team. Your medical team may estimate a recovery time frame for you, but understand that this is simply an estimate. Each body is unique, at an exact return date cannot be given. You need to mentally and emotionally prepare yourself for the road to recovery in front of you and for the extreme about of attention and focus you need to give to recovering properly. Setting unrealistic expectations can result in an emotional letdown if you are not fully healed at the time. In addition, it could cause you to try to rush back into your sport before you are physically able to do so.

Seek Psychological Therapy

Depression is relatively common when athletes are injured. This is partially because you may spend many long hours each week or even each day working out, training and more. When you are injured, you may find yourself lying bed. You are suddenly inactive and perhaps even bored. You may feel as though your team is moving on without you, and this can make you feel disconnected and isolated. These are only a few of the factors that can affect your psychological health after a sports injury. Understand that feeling low and depressed at this time in your life is normal. It is acceptable and even beneficial to recognize the signs of depression and to seek psychological help. You do not have to go through this experience alone. You also should not feel like you are the only person who has ever experienced this setback.

Use Your Time Wisely

While you may no longer be able to physically train or play, you can use this time to improve yourself in different ways. For example, you can watch videos and read books about your sport so that you can become better educated about techniques strategies and more. You can also attend your team’s training sessions to observe and to stay up-to-date. Some athletes even make healthy adjustments to their diet to promote ideal health and wellness. These steps can help you to more easily return to your sport after you have fully healed. In addition, you may notice that the time flies by when you are focused on positively improving yourself in different ways rather than dwelling on the fact that you are injured and not playing. These efforts to improve yourself may even make you a better athlete in the long run.

Athletic injuries can occur in any type of sport or activity, and they can be physically and mentally difficult to endure. You understandably may not feel like yourself after an injury, and you may have concerns about what the future holds for you. You may even wonder if you will ever be able to play your sport again. Despite the physical pain that you are feeling and the impact on your mental health, you may be able to return to your sport before you know it. You simply have to accept your current health status and seek any support or assistance necessary or beneficial. When you follow these helpful tips, you may find that the recovery process is easier to navigate through.


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