How to Turn an Injury into a Strength
I broke my right hand in two places while sprinting to a yoga class I was running late for. If that’s not a sign to slow down, I don’t know what is. At first, I laughed and carried on as normal trying to do headstands with one hand in my cast… and that’s when I sprained my neck. Annoyed, frustrated and feeling very down on my luck – I quickly halted my no alcohol, no sugar regime, and headed straight for a sundae at Oddies Foodies followed by a night in with friends, the bar cart and Percy Pigs. Waking up with a double-dose hangover from sugar and alcohol made me realise I was being an idiot and needed to put things into perspective, slow down and view my injuries from another point of view. Here are a few tactics that help:
1 – Focus on Positives not Negatives
Yes, I can’t do a handstand or even attempt one for four weeks, but does that mean I can’t continue to improve my yoga practice? In short, no. I can’t lift a kettlebell or barbell, but I can still hike, run, do yoga and get my fitness fix in other ways. Downward dog becomes dolphin, full plank gets amended to forearm plank, and as for handstands… well, I have the rest of my life to nail them, which is a fun thing to look forward to. Taking a moment to acknowledge you're in a negative state of mind and purposefully change your attitude into a positive one will have a wonderful impact on your wellbeing. Give it a go; I promise you won’t be disappointed.
2 – Slow Down
Have you noticed that mindfulness, meditation, sleeping, mono-tasking and slowing down, are all huge buzzwords for 2017? Where once people prided themselves on working late, surviving on 5 hours of sleep or less and multi-tasking all day/every day. Now, it’s all about work/life balance, getting a full night sleep and creating space and time for morning routines and moments of mindfulness. We all want to get fit, lose weight and succeed fast, but the trick to doing all of these things is by staying consistent and steady for an extended period. If you eat slowly and mindfully – you will lose weight, if you workout a little bit every day – you will see big results and if you chip away at any project for long enough – you will complete it. An injury forces you to slow down and control what you can. I’m much more aware of my diet, sleep patterns and overall wellbeing now, and that can only be a good thing. Control what you can, and let everything else go.
3 – Work, Work, Work
Working out is a huge part of my daily routine and life. If I feel out of sorts, it’s usually because I haven’t moved enough. That being said, occasionally working out takes the place of working and I don't get my to-do list done because I'm trying to fit it around a ton of activities. With my schedule clear of all high-intensity classes I can now focus on getting my work done every day. Working for yourself requires a lot of discipline, and I feel like I'm finally getting the hang of it. I’m writing more, procrastinating less and in general just getting things done in a much more efficient way. I think I was confusing working out with work for a little while and this injury is helping me balance both better.
Image Credits: Photographer - Michelle J Procter; Styling - Christie Simpson; Hair - Danielle Abbotts at The Strand, Make-up - Smudge Make-Up Artistry: Location - Upper House Hotel; Top and Leggings - lululemon; trainers - Nike