Psychological Recovery

Recovery isn’t just about physical rehabilitation. If you’re feeling fatigued, moody, agitated and depressed, it may mean you haven’t done enough to recover psychologically. You need to take care of your mind just like you do your body. That’s especially true when you’re putting it under a lot of stress.

I’m not just talking about the cognitive recovery you may need after a stroke or a traumatic brain injury, which are obviously some of the most extreme things your brain can go through. Any intense strain, even that from a short but hard-hitting session of exercise, can take its toll. If you’re leaving everything out on the field or the gym floor, of course it’s going to take a while to recalibrate.

Some of the steps taken for psychological recovery may look similar to the physical kinds. The importance of taking a day of rest can’t be understated. It gives you a chance to disconnect from the stress and focus on something completely different. Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and meditation can calm your mind even as they help your heart rate slow down.

It’s also a chance to take stock. Look at yourself and check in with how you feel and what’s going on in your body. If something isn’t quite right, you can figure it out and either ask for help or change your approach. It prevents bad habits and overtraining from becoming entrenched. You can realize things that weren’t clear during the heat of the performance.

Of course, psychological recovery is even more important after an illness or injury of any kind. Any significant damage that limits your physical capabilities may contribute to depression, anxiety and other mental health problems. Meanwhile, the physical activities needed for rehabilitation will be much easier if you approach them with the right kind of mindset, so it’s obvious that getting your mind right will have positive repercussions for your physical state.

You need to find ways to keep perspective, stay engaged and maintain an otherwise balanced lifestyle with family, friends, hobbies and other interests. Be patient, don’t be afraid to ask for help and try to be self-aware regarding how your body works and how you feel about it. Mental recovery and rehabilitation are just as important as the physical side, and without it, the physical side will not work as well.

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