Girl Journaling

Wellness

How to Cope with Stress During an Injury

May 22, 2021

Have you recently injured yourself and have now been reduced to strict physical limitations? Are you typically an active individual, prior to your injury? 

I feel for you. 

I was teaching fitness classes twice a week, attending yoga class once a week, and would hike for over 2 hours on Saturdays and Sundays. So I would consider myself an active person. 

Exercise was my ultimate stress coping tool.

Before I broke my foot in a reckless dirt biking accident. 

 

My Recovery Timeline:

On day one, the doctor refused to give me painkillers with the explanation being that because I was younger, I was more susceptible to becoming addicted to them. So I spent 7 full days bawling my eyes out in pain, unable to get adequate sleep.

Four months of wearing my aircast and depending on my crutches to get around. Which also meant sitting on a bucket in the shower just to clean myself. I was also dependent on others to drive me around, and was off work.

Five months and I was finally able to walk without my crutches or aircast. It took a lot of physiotherapy support. I was finally doing yoga again, on a daily basis.

Six months and I was hiking for longer periods of time, without suffering from the pain.

Ten months later, I could finally jog and jump. The only issues I had leftover were minor, such as the discomfort from walking barefoot on hard surfaces. As long as I keep staying active, my body will eventually get back to how it used to be. And that is the amazing thing about the human body. 

 

Why I had a Delayed Recovery:

The doctor diagnosed me with what was originally called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, which is now known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. CRPS is a broad term describing excessive and prolonged pain and inflammation that follows an injury to an arm or leg. CRPS has acute and chronic forms. Symptoms of CRPS can be pain and depression.

So don’t you worry – I am sure your recovery will go much faster and smoother than mine did.

Anyway, the reason why I am sharing my story with you is because I want you to know how I got through it, mentally and emotionally. 

 

How to Cope with Stress During an Injury

Journaling:

I spent almost every single day writing in my journal, letting out my feelings of; embarrassment, low self esteem, insecurities, anger, frustrations, self pity, sadness, you name it. But note this: I never once finished my journal session on a negative note. I would make a habit of letting all the negative out, then giving myself no choice but to write out the positive. Gratitude journaling had specifically helped me get through that time. I would write down how grateful I was to have the simple things, like; my friends and family, my bed, food, TV, books, my computer, etc. Reminding myself everyday of how good I had it made me focus less on the fact that I couldn’t walk. That I could find joy in other ways.

So are you feeling down? Try writing it ALL out, then try writing down what you’re grateful for. You will soon realize that it could be a lot worse, and remind yourself that this is only temporary.

 

Meditation: 

I spent almost every single day meditating. I would meditate as soon as I woke up, and right before I would fall asleep at night. I couldn’t start or end my day any other way. I found that it helped alleviate the pain I was having in my foot, so I kept doing it over and over. 

Do you think that maybe the pain from your injury is worse due to the thoughts in your mind? Then maybe try calming your mind by meditating, and pay attention to how your body relaxes more, easing the pain. There are so many meditation resources available these days, on YouTube, Spotify, and there are many apps, like Insight Timer, that you can try out, if you’re new to meditation and need guidance.

 

Asking for Help:

This was perhaps the most difficult one for me, personally. It was really hard to ask others to drive me to appointments, go grocery shopping, do my recycling, etc. I didn’t want to feel like a burden on anyone at all. Not only was it hard to ask for help regarding chores, but it was even harder to reach out for emotional support. I definitely held back on how I was feeling with friends, and had a hard time expressing myself to my boyfriend. But I was able to work through all of that. 

Do you feel like you’re being a burden on others by asking them to help you out while you’re injured? Or feeling extremely lonely and sick of sitting at home alone all day? Then I highly recommend you reach out now. Let them know you’re struggling, and they will support you. That is what they are there for. As humans, we need social interaction and support. 

 

I really hope that this advice was helpful for you. 

Remember, this is only temporary. Stay strong.

If you could relate to this blog post and need some journaling prompts, tips on meditating, or want some more support, please feel free to comment directly below, or DM me on FB or IG 🙂

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