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7 Ways I Stayed Positive Through Physical Injury

7 Ways I Stayed Positive Through Physical Injury

It’s important to remain positive when injured but not always easy, here are 7 ways I stayed positive through physical injury [broken ankle]

  • Accepting what had happened
  • Getting outside
  • Doing things that made me feel happy
  • Planning ahead/looking forward
  • Doing what I could do [not what I couldn’t]
  • Blogging/article writing
  • Practicing gratitude

1. Acceptance

Remaining positive through physical injury. I felt it ‘pop’ on the way down and knew it was something that I wasn’t going to be able to walk off. A couple of hours later and it was confirmed as a broken ankle. I immediatly accepted that I was going to be pretty much immobile for at least 6 – 8 weeks so started planning what I was going to do with my time.

Remaining positive through physical injury
Remaining positive through physical injury

The sooner I accepted the prospect of crutches, major upheaval in my general day to day activities and the fact that I wouldn’t be driving or doing other outdoor activities the sooner I could crack on and start healing.

2. Get outside

Weather permitting it’s good to get outside if you can, even if it’s just a hobble on crutches into the back yard or the garden. Being outside offers a great change of scenery, fresh air and sounds. It beats sitting in the house all day so I got out whenever I could. Now I’m not talking about going on your next overland adventure here but if one of your mates wants to pick you up and drive you to the coast or recreation area then hey, if you can, why not?

Read: How getting outside helped my stroke recovery

3. Do things that make you feel happy

If it mean’t buying yet another book, a tee shirt or something else then that is what I did. If something is going to cheer you up or make your life easier then get it if you can. I had ‘off days’ just like anyone else, some days I’d sit in front of the tv because that is what I wanted to do, some days I’d stay in bed until 9.00am [really late for me], there’s nothing wrong with that.

It’s also wise to keep in mind that doing nothing or ‘resting up’ is a very productive thing to do at a time when you are injured as it aids the healing process.

4. Plan ahead

Looking ahead was important for me and also reminding myself that the situation was temporary. Every day that passed was one day closer to being better again. The doctors can advise on a timescale so I used that as a rough guide to plan what I wanted to do after that point.

plannng road trips in Scotland
plannng road trips in Scotland

I figured that I had plenty of time on my hands to research future trips in detail so used the time to get behind the computer and look at road trips in Scotland, investigate camping around those routes as well as find out about places of interest that once able to drive I could take the family to and get outdoors.

5. Do what you can do not what you can’t

There was no rush, it didn’t matter if something didn’t get finished until the next day… Learning to slow down made a big difference for me, I’d learned the importance of this since the stroke in 2022 so was kind of prepared. Taking it slow applied to all things like digital work and physical things like getting myself up and down the stairs for example.

it didn’t matter if something didn’t get finished until the next day… Learning to slow down made a big difference for me

Overstretching yourself risks lengthening your recovery time and pushing the limits of your now limited ability is highly frustrating. None of this is any good so taking it easy is key, as is asking for help when you need it.

6. Document it/blog it

I started writing about the whole injury thing with the ‘Broken ankle diaries‘, documenting week by week what was going on and the progress I was making. Writing about it is a good idea for a number of reasons.

positive through physical injury
writing the ‘Broken ankle diaries’

Firstly it lets you look back over the past weeks and gives you yourself a great timeline from which you can monitor your progress, you’ll be surprised how quickly things progress! Secondly you keep friends and family updated on the injury and it’s something to show the kids a few years down the line too.

7. Practice gratitude

Another thing that helped me remain positive through physical injury was gratitude. You might find this a bit of an odd one but there are a great deal of things to be grateful for in life even if you are stuck in the house as a result of injury. My wife practises gratitute all the time. Some of the WWII memoirs I’ve been reading put things into perspective.

there are a great deal of things to be grateful for in life
there are a great deal of things to be grateful for in life

I am grateful for having a roof over my head and to not be as affected as I could have been after a stroke. I’m grateful my wife and son are healthy, that I have my car to drive, am able to write this post and sleep in a warm bed tonight. A broken ankle in the whole scheme of things is nothing much at all especailly when you consider what is going on in other parts of the world.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I did find it difficult at times to remain positive, everyone has bad days and when you’re injured and can’t walk, have to rely on others as well as be tremendously careful about what you’re doing it can get overwhelming. As said above though, it is only temporary and it will get better. Small steps, sometimes in a literal way are something to get positive about, celebrate the small wins and plan ahead for what your life will look like when you’re fit gain.

Resources:

1600 900 Mac

Mac

K90overland is Mac and Gayle, they lived in Andalucia for 19 years before moving back to the UK. Overlanding since 2019 the pair have built up a 'budget rig' and now enjoy a relaxed approach to discovering Scotland and the north of England.

Mac

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