As a sports person, you become quite prone to injuries. According to a survey in America, 8.6 million sports-related injuries are reported annually.
With the help of advanced medical facilities, dealing physically with a sports injury is manageable. However, recovering mentally can become pretty challenging. Stress and depression are bound to come and can make it difficult to focus on the game.
Hence, it is essential to recover physically and mentally to maximize your playability and produce exceptional results. This article will discuss six easy ways to help you recover mentally during a sports injury.
6 Ways to recover mentally during a sports injury
1. Grasp positivity
Injury time can become pretty frustrating and stressful. It is because the brain gets occupied with negative thoughts and hard feelings. Staying motivated during this time becomes difficult. Hence, it is essential to stay optimistic.
Ways to stay positive during injury:
Try to focus on positive thoughts like ‘I can heal’ or ‘I will win.’ Take help of positive affirmations and quotes. You can even experiment with reading a motivating book that can help you stay positive.
Moreover, research has shown the more you use your energy elsewhere, the more positive you feel. Divert the time you spend on exercise or training. Adopt a new hobby like cooking or painting or take time for a side hustle. Meditation is a wonderful way to deal with stress and frustration. Listen to soothing music for a better experience.
2. Set small and realistic goals
Setting goals and tracking down progress each day is a crucial part of any athletes’ journey. They are used to analyzing data and monitoring growth to achieve desired results.
Adopt SMART goals strategy:
- S – Specific
- M – Measurable
- A- Attainable
- R – Relevant
- T – Time-Bound
Specific– Try to run at least 6K speed before the injury.
Measurable – Keep a check on your pace and distance covered.
Attainable – Start with small goals. Do not force yourself to achieve challenging goals. Healing will take time, but soon you will be back to your routine.
Relevant – Start with the exercise you enjoy. Then progressively, move to the complex ones.
Time-Bound: Keep track of your progress regularly. Let healing take time. Improve your training week by week.
Healing is a crucial process. It is essential to let your body reset itself and come back with maximum playability.
3. Take help of the magical benefits of Cannabis
Cannabis is a natural compound that comes with several magical benefits. The presence of cannabinoids or CBD in Cannabis makes it practical for chronic pain. It does not get you high and manages pain to a great extent. It is due to the presence of CB1 receptors that interact with the Endocannabinoid system of the body. The Endocannabinoid system is responsible for the various activities of the body like sleep, appetite, and mood. Hence, making you recover quickly.
According to a 2020 review, cannabis gummies help relieve pain, enhance sleep, and improves mood. Moreover, depression and anxiety are common during injury. Cannabis works as an excellent antidepressant. It interacts with the CB1R receptors and influences serotonin levels that are responsible for fear and anxiety symptoms. According to a 2019 study, 300-600 mg of CBD substantially managed anxiety symptoms.
Cannabis also regulates insomnia. Due to fear, anxiety, or disappointment, athletes find it difficult to get substantial 8 hours of sleep. Cannabis can prevent insomnia and induces sound sleep. According to 2019 research, CBD is effective for anxiety and enhances sleep. Apart from this, Cannabis can mend broken bones and makes healing faster. It also treats PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) symptoms.
4. Dream of a healthy you
Imagination might play a crucial role in your recovery. Several studies have shown that when we visualize an action, we perform better in that action. It is because we facilitate the same regions of the brain.
For example, if you are recovering from tennis elbow, imagine yourself playing dominantly on the court. Or if you have a broken ankle, imagine yourself running at full pace and breaking your old record.
It will not only stimulate your brain cells but will also help you to stay positive and motivated. Moreover, it enables you to generate creative ideas to achieve desired results.
5. Prepare a journal
Writing is one of the most effective practices to manage mental health. It can stimulate self-awareness. During an injury, stress management is one of the most challenging tasks. However, various studies have shown that writing helps to reduce depressive thoughts, anxiety, and stress. You become more familiar with your strengths and weaknesses and hence, can work productively.
Keeping a journal for your injury recovery will help you to analyze your past experiences clearly and sincerely. You can track the pattern that helps in fast and better healing. Furthermore, you can recognize the strategies that help you stay motivated and energetic. Similarly, you can also monitor the patterns that hinder your progress.
Also, writing a journal will help you efficiently utilize your time, and you might develop a new hobby.
6. Focus on the present
Most athletes want to recover quickly and rush back to their training. However, the truth is, healing is a time-bound process and requires patience. Instead of feeling anxious about future competitions, it is advisable to focus on your present. Let your injury take its time for healing. Do not force yourself into complex tasks.
Instead, you should think about your present. Eat the right food, set simple goals, and stay optimistic. There is no point in worrying about coming competitions. It will not make your recovery faster.
You can even utilize this time for your hobbies for which you were not getting time due to your training. Or try out a new skill to make efficient use of your time.
Wrapping it up
Lows and highs are an invincible part of life. Sometimes, you will have good days and sometimes bad. What matters is how you are dealing with them. Being an athlete, you become prone to injuries. However, never let any injury torment you mentally and hinder your performance. Let your recovery take its time and then come back in complete form. Follow the above six ways precisely to deal with your mental health during this time.