Injured? Nine things that will prolong your recovery and return to work

Becoming injured is never really in anybody’s plan.

However, it can happen to just about anybody, whether you’ve fallen and hurt yourself on the job or you’re injured due to somebody else’s negligence. Whatever the reason for your injury, you need to make sure you’re taking the appropriate steps to recovery. There are certain things you can do that can either slow down or speed up your recovery. You shouldn’t rush your recovery, but you should do what you can to de-stress your body and create a healthy place for yourself to heal.

Here are nine things that will prolong your recovery and return to work:

Not getting enough sleep

Sleep is essential to recovery. Not getting enough sleep can impact a person in many ways. You’ll feel sluggish, stressed, and unable to concentrate. Not only that, your body will struggle to heal itself on little sleep. You should aim for eight hours per night at least when you have an injury. If you’re not at work, it can be tempting to stay up late, but this will only prolong your recovery. It’ll also make your return to work harder. Try to stay in a good routine when it comes to your sleeping habits.

A poor diet

Eating healthy, micronutrient dense foods is key to recovering from an injury. Everybody should be doing this anyway, but when injured, it should become even more of a priority. Making sure you’re getting plenty of water and eating veg, fruit, and other nutrient-dense foods are essential. Eating junk because you’re depressed is all too easy, and won’t help your recovery or the way you feel one bit.

Too much stress

Stress is an extremely dangerous lifestyle factor when your body is supposed to be recovering. Stress has very dangerous side effects in general, and when paired with an injury, things can get even worse. There are lots of things that can stress you out; feeling unable to do the exercises you’re being given, feeling like you’re missing out at work, and not finding the right long-term disability lawyer when you have a more serious injury. All of these things can give you unnecessary stress. Do your best to de-stress by taking real care of yourself and finding the balance between doing your exercises and relaxation.

The wrong mindset

Although your body tends to heal when it’s ready, your mindset can still play a huge part in how well you heal. If you have the mindset of ‘I can’t do these exercises, I’m never going to heal’ it’s going to become a self-fulfilling prophecy. However, if you remain positive and just do your best, you might surprise yourself.

Ignoring your doctor’s orders

Your doctor is going to tell you what you need to do to aid your recovery in the best possible way. They will likely tell you what sort of exercises to do and how often to them, as well as what not to do – such as taking certain types of medication and maybe even driving. If your doctor tells you to do or not to do something, it’ll be for a good reason. Make sure you do your best to stick to them and double check with your doctor if you’re unsure.picture

Bad habits

There are a few bad habits that will make it harder for your body to heal. For example, smoking can have a negative effect on almost every process in the body, including healing. Smoking will slow your healing process down, as will binge drinking at home. It’s so easy to fall into bad habits like this if you’re bored or depressed, but try to find ways not to do them. See a friend and talk about what you’re going through. Find hobbies you can take part in, such as drawing, that you can fill your time with and feel better.

Not moving at all

You might think that not moving will help your recovery, but it can actually make it harder for your body to heal. With your doctor’s go ahead, you will likely be given certain exercises you need to do, even if it’s just a case of moving certain body parts slightly. Not moving at all and thinking that these exercises are pointless will make it harder for you to return to normal in the future. Don’t use your injury as an excuse to move as little as possible.

Not getting the rest you need

Although you do need to make sure you follow the exercises given and that you don’t move as little as possible, you do need to find the right balance between those and the rest that your body needs. Trying to rush your recovery by attempting to do more than you’re told could also prolong your recovery. Rest is just as important, so make sure you’re getting that sleep as mentioned earlier, and taking some ‘you time’ to aid your recovery. Finding the balance will help you on your journey back to full health.

Breathing like you’re stressed out

Most people breathe like they’re stressed without even realising it. We tend to take shorter, more shallow breaths than we should, and even when we’re not feeling stressed, this signals to the body that we are. By breathing like you’re stressed when you’re injured, you won’t do your body any good. Make it your mission to take big, deep, relaxing breaths.

If you do start feeling stressed about something, breathing techniques are a quick way to de-stress. Simply breathe in for a count of seven seconds and attempt to breathe out for a count of 11. You may not be able to breathe out for 11 right away, but just make sure your out-breath is longer than your in-breath.

Doing the nine things above will prolong your recovery and your return to work, so make sure you’re treating your body well and doing what you can to feel better. Find the balance between rest and recovery for the best results.