Running injuries are common. Most runners have suffered some kind of pain or setback related to his or her knees, hips, feet and legs. Physically, there is a usual plan to deal with injuries and return to form, for instance: rest, ice, heat, physical therapy, massage and strengthening exercises.
Writing out quotes and mantras can also help you focus on long-term goals versus short-term struggles.
However, mentally, you may feel like you are ready to fall apart. Taking time away from an activity that you love and that is part of your daily routine can strike a blow to your patience and feel-good mentality. This is particularly true in the case of injuries that linger and take a long time to heal, possibly keeping you out of the running game for several months or a year. If this is you, follow the tips below to help you mentally deal with your time off.
Put things into perspective. Most running injuries will heal with time, rest and patience. It’s not the end of the world if you have to take a bit of time off, even it is months. You will run again, even if that means you will need to build up your base again. More than likely, you are probably still able to do some exercise in the form of cross training so practice gratitude for what you do have and appreciation for the fact that not everyone can run or will ever have the opportunity.
Read books or blogs on athletes who have dealt with injury comeback. Seek help from athletic peers who have had similar experiences and can reassure that “life goes on”. Those people can provide tips on how to handle a setback and overcome it. Writing out quotes and mantras can also help you focus on long-term goals versus short-term struggles.
PURSUE OTHER PASSIONS
Running can be a time-consuming sport as it takes hours out of your week to actually run, organize your schedule and travel to races. Even though you love it, it may not allow time for you to follow other passions or try new things. Cross training may give you opportunity to sharpen your swimming skills or tackle triathlons in the future. You could also try something different that you’ve always wanted to do whether that is playing an instrument, writing a blog, scrapbooking or reading a series. The act of learning something new can bring great joy and wonder into life in addition to helping you enjoy the moment versus worrying about the future.
Have you ever struggled with a long-term injury? How have you mentally dealt with it?