Sometimes days, I feel like a total imposter. I’ve worked as a physical therapist for 10+ years and love helping keep people active and healthy, however I have been ‘sidelined’ for the last 15 months, recovering from my own back injury and surgery. Healing from my injury has challenged me to re-wire and re-look at every aspect of my life. It has given me a new perspective that healing requires a far more holistic approach than I ever imagined.
It’s hard to not get down on yourself when you can count on one hand how many times you have been able to get in the ocean and surf- go for a jog-work.. even sneeze without pain in the last year. ..
The reality of the situation is that I know that there is temperance in everything, but when you are working through the drudges, the thick of having your life hijacked by an unwanted injury, it can be hard to see that.
So here’s some ideas I’d like to share with you that have really been key / critical players in helping me get through this less than optimal time.
2) Find ways to surround yourself with people who lift you up. If this is not possible, at least try and minimize being around people who energetically pull you down. You may find during this time of healing that certain people who you thought were ‘there for you’ may not be… and it may be worth reevaluating where you place your energy in your personal relationships during this time.
3) Create a meditation practice.. even if it’s just 2 minutes in your day. There are 23 hours and 58 other minutes that you can let your thoughts take you away. I find that using a guided meditation app like Calm or Headspace really can help.
4) Seek other ways to connect to your spirituality. For me, before my injury, surfing was my spiritual time, my community, my exercise, my stress relief.. it was the anecdote to so many ‘life issues’. It took me a few months to realize that I was spiritually starving. I began taking more spiritual walks, praying and connecting to a higher power.
5) Write, draw, paint, photo..Expressing emotion through creativity has the power to heal and raise your mood.
6) Remember that this is YOUR healing process.. and no two journeys are the same. Easily said than done, but no two people are dealing with the same set of circumstances, so try to hold off on ‘comparison mode’ of someone else who may have gone through something similar.
7) Consider that there are other underlying reasons as to how you got here. I’m not suggesting that you could have necessarily changed the outcome or the circumstance that lead to your injury, but it’s worthwhile to look at ‘how you got here’ as well as ‘what is this teaching you’?
8) Consider looking at this phase in your life as a time for ‘full spectrum’ healing.. and it may require some radical life changes in order to get through. This is legit. It’s probably the dooziest-doozer on this list in terms of overwhelm and reality check. Cutting out things/food/people/energy/ places that no longer serve you can be terrifying, yet critical to your healing.
9) Make a gratitude list.. this can be difficult to do if you’re feeling down in the dumps, but finding even the smallest of things (it CAN be a cup of coffee) can help shift your mindset on the tough days.
10) Get help. As much of it as you can… PT, acupuncture, pilates, coaching, therapy, sound healing, yoga… Whatever it takes! It’s worth the investment… Don’t minimize this. Oftentimes people depend on your health insurance to find the professionals that are going to help you get through this time… but consider that many experts may not be available via your health insurance.
I realize injuries change financial pictures, making things even more stressful, but this is not the time to be bargain-hunting simply in the name of saving money. Recognize that this is definitely one of the areas that ‘you get what you pay for’, and while having health insurance cover some aspects of your care, it may not get you to your final goals alone.