Re­hab Your Mind

You’ll be fo­cused on the di­rect phys­i­cal ef­fects of an in­jury, but don’t ne­glect the men­tal side

Runner's World (UK) - - Recovery Service -

‘It be­came clear to me that the psy­cho­log­i­cal im­pact of an in­jury is just as de­bil­i­tat­ing as bro­ken bones, if not more so,’ says Ironman leg­end Chrissie Welling­ton, re­call­ing the pe­riod fol­low­ing a bike crash. ‘For me the key cop­ing mech­a­nism was to main­tain a pos­i­tive out­look. I be­lieve you can de­rive pos­i­tives from any mis­for­tune, and en­sure that it makes you a stronger, more fo­cused, flex­i­ble and re­silient ath­lete and per­son.’

For Welling­ton, those pos­i­tives in­cluded tak­ing own­er­ship. ‘Tak­ing con­trol meant pre­par­ing my­self emo­tion­ally and phys­i­cally for the road ahead,’ she says. ‘It helped al­le­vi­ate some of the frus­tra­tion, and fear that comes from not know­ing. This meant re­ceiv­ing early di­ag­no­sis and look­ing at the range of treat­ment op­tions, re­cov­ery time and the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion process.’

Shep­herd agrees you must al­ways fo­cus on the end goal. ‘But en­sure you time that end goal ap­pro­pri­ately or you’ll be­come dis­con­so­late,’ he says.

Also con­sider that your lack of en­ergy ex­pen­di­ture could dis­rupt hor­monal lev­els and sleep pat­terns, so make sure you get enough quality sleep.

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