I’ve always been scared of getting injured. These pasts months I was pushing my body a lot and my body started to feel tired and to give me signs for help. But I was obsessed with the physical and I felt I was the toughest person in the world so I ignored all the signs. And I went to a yoga retreat. There, after plus 10 hours of yoga and a massage that went wrong I got my shoulder injured. The shoulder and neck pain were unbearable. The doctor confirmed what I had suspected: I had to stop exercising.
To put it into context, my yoga practice is my time to heal, it’s my restoring time, my me time, my passion. I had not only lost the enjoyment I feel when I go for an easy run, I had lost the thing that keeps me sane too. And all I could do was surrender.
I had to allow myself to be in pain. I was VERY angry. All the people surrounding me where trying to help but I was too upset to even let them make me a cup of tea.
And now that I’ve started to get better and I’m well enough to sit and write I wanted to share some tips that helped me deal with it better. I’ve done lots of reading about recovery and I thought I’d share what I’ve found out.
- Cultivate your mindNow that you can’t work on the outside of your body, take this opportunity to work on the inside. This tip my yoga teacher gave me was the key to stop feeling sorry for myself and start looking for something to do. I used my 30-day free trial from Audible and downloaded The Urban Monk. I haven’t finished it yet, but it’s such a great book. If you’re injured I’d encourage you to pick up a book you’ve always wanted to read but you didn’t have time. And feel the magic of getting excited after feeling a bit sad about your injury.
- MeditateThis one is about cultivating your mind too, but in a different way. I took the extra time to get into a meditation routine. It’s always said that people who don’t have the time to meditate are the people who need to meditate the most. Though meditation is a very tough thing to learn to do, it’s incredibly helpful to quiet the mind and get out of the hectic lives we live. There are many great apps out there that offer guided meditations. I downloaded the app calm a while ago and it’s only now that I’ve booked in my timetable meditation breaks. This has helped me massively to accept the reality and avoid all the negative thoughts that come along with an injury. Look inward and grow.
- “No exercise” doesn’t necessarily mean “no exercise at all”The doctor was very clear with this “no exercise” rule. But two weeks after the injury I asked if I could start doing leg-workouts or go to yoga therapy class. She said that as long as my neck and shoulder were safe I could do it. Up to this date, that has been one of the best days of my life. I couldn’t go for a run, but I could go for a walk, I went to yoga classes where I spent half of the class lying on my back or sitting on a yoga block. But it made a huge change in how I felt just to be surrounded by the yoga vibe. So maybe you can still do a bit of something that makes you feel better even if you’re injured.
- Be patientThis one is still the toughest for me. I feel the need to jump in back to my usual workouts. I wish I was healing faster, but you can’t rush it. And it would probably be worse if I ignored my body this time. I have to learn to embrace the pain and the healing. I really want to be on my mat, but my body has decided otherwise and I will respect it this time. I’ve been telling myself that it’s a great opportunity to cultivate some patience (something I haven’t been gifted with). I would recommend to you to use your injury as an invitation to rest, repair and heal your body and mind.
This is all my injury has taught me and I trust that I’ll only learn more until the day I’m back to normal. I’m learning to enjoy the journey, but most importantly, I’m learning to listen to my body. I’m finding out so much about myself I can even say I’m grateful for this injury.
Now, your turn: have you ever been injured? If so, what helped you deal with the depression of being injured?