15 Things To Do While Recovering From An Injury
Your injury can be the best time to start doing things you’ve been pushing aside with the common excuse of: “I’ll do it when I have the time.” I fractured and dislocated my right ankle in 2012 and I started my job/passion as a patient. I didn’t know at the time that this would become something huge, but it all actually began with that missed step and fall.
You might not want to start your own business, but from my experience, I know that the recovery can be pretty long (I spent the first 12 weeks more or less in bed). And a person can only watch that much Netflix.
So here are some creative ideas for you. I hope you’ll have an amazing recovery and that these help you in any way.
#1 Start Writing Letters
When was the last time you got a letter written by hand? Being bombarded by emails, online news, social media and so on on a daily basis, a handwritten letter not just stands out but also has a personal touch. Write a letter to an old friend you’ve lost touch with during the years, or a family member you don’t see often. Old fashioned mail is the best way to go when sharing your thoughts and stories with loved ones.
#2 Research And Plan Your Next Vacation
What could be more fun than knowing where you’ll go when you recover from your injury? Having a goal in your mind helps you reach it easier, plus having something to look forward to in this unpleasant situation is really good. You can also visualize how it will make you feel once you reach your destination. This will reduce your stress hormones and help you recover faster. A complete win-win!
#3 Start a Blog
…and inspire others. Every one of us has a story that can help someone else in difficult times. In 2012, when I fractured my right ankle and wrote the whole story of my recovery, I didn’t expect it to be visited and read from all around the world – everywhere from Chile to Namibia, and all the way to Japan. So many people find comfort in the story. They see the light at the end of this dark tunnel and it helps them a lot. You can write about your injury or any other topic you’re interested in.
#4 Learn To Play an Instrument
Years ago, when I was a child, I was learning to play the violin – twice per week (if I remember correctly) I went to music school. Since you’re injured, you don’t have to leave your house. You can hire a teacher to come to you and help you out, do the lessons via Skype or try out apps if you wish to do it on your own. If you’d like to learn guitar, piano or ukulele, try out Yousician. Another option is UberChord or JoyTunes. After a few sessions, you can maybe even write a song and express yourself in a different way.
#5 Join an Online Course
I wanted to do so many things before my injury but never found the time. If you have to rest a lot, take advantage of this and learn about things you always wanted to learn about. And some online courses will help with your injury recovery as well – for example, Iron-Built Flexible Ankles if you injured your ankle, or Guided Healing Meditations for any kind of injuries. It’s true – people who meditate regularly recover faster and better.
#6 Write a Book
Many people have dreams of becoming published authors, but for most of them, they remain only dreams – because they just never find the time to start. Writing a book does take time – and right now you have plenty of it on your hands. Grab this opportunity and run with it. The time will pass anyway – so make something great and memorable with it. If not now, when?
#7 Join a Support Group And Share Your Experience
Being surrounded by people who get you, your recovery, and all of the challenges you’re facing can be extremely beneficial. You feel you are heard, supported, non-judged and your stress levels can drop, which all helps with better healing. These are just a few of the reasons why at the beginning of 2017 I created the support group Injury Recovery BFFs. When choosing a support group, make sure it feels right for you – in my humble opinion, it’s better to choose those that focus on the positive.
#8 Practice Meditation
When you are relaxed, stress hormones drop and you make a healing space for your body so it can do what it does best – repair itself faster and with ease. Healing meditation can be the best non-medical way to treat an injury. The calmer and more supported you feel, the faster you will recover. If you’re not a person who meditates constantly, even a few minutes can make a big difference in your recovery and life.
#9 Learn a New Language
This can go really well hand in hand with #2 above. If your dream destination is a foreign country whose language you do not speak, now is the perfect time to learn a few basic phrases or even become fluent. Duolingo and Memrise are just two of many apps you can use to get started. I used both of them and I love their simplicity and game-like approach. Nothing better than to learn a new language while having fun!
With decluttering you’re not only helping yourself (yes, you’ll get rid of things you don’t need) but can help someone else as well. Donate what you don’t use and need anymore to charity, or give directly to someone in need. Decluttering also helps your brain focus – a more organized environment leads to a more productive and concentrated mind. You’ll be able to do a lot of the things on this list better and more efficiently. Yay!
This one might be more suitable for a later stage of recovery – so if you’re just at the beginning of your healing journey and spending your days in bed or on a couch, come back in a few weeks or months. And if you’re already mobile and love helping people and other living creatures around you, this can be your thing. It can be anything from playing board games with senior citizens or shopping for your neighbor, to helping animals in a shelter near you. Giving back and being kind is good for you too. It can make you happier, and research shows a 20% decrease in mortality among volunteers compared to non-volunteers.
#12 Start Your Own Business
Have you ever dreamed of being your own boss? Perhaps you’ve been toying with the idea before your injury, and never had enough courage to move on it. Now you have an amazing opportunity to make these dreams come true – you can even turn your favorite hobby into a potential (side-) business. What are you really good at? If you’re interested in plant-based business then I recommend checking this podcast.
#13 Train Your Brain With Online Games
Crosswords are not the only way to stimulate your brain (and eventually also avoid brain decline). There are many online games that will not only help you pass the time during your recovery, but also train your brain and keep it in a tip-top shape. Luminosity, Brain Metrix and Dakim are just a few sites with great cognitive games where you can challenge yourself and track your improvement.
#14 Teach Your Non-Dominant Hand To Be Dominant
Ever tried to do something a bit differently than usual? Just brushing your teeth can become challenging when you switch hands – not to mention writing. Learning to do everyday things with the opposite hand exercise a new part of your brain. Who knows – at the end of this recovery journey you might even become ambidextrous.
#15 Make a List Of Inspiring Books
…and then read them. If reading is not an option (for whatever reason), search for audio books. Having something that lifts your spirit up in this difficult situation is important. Also, search for books about similar injuries to yours – reading someone’s story and how they conquered their challenges will definitely boost your optimism. Injury recovery is difficult, and knowing that someone else went through the same exact things you’re going through will help you feel less alone, and more certain that there is a light at the end of this tunnel.
Your turn: What is your favorite thing to do while recovering from an injury? Share it below!