Let's face it, ish happens. At one point or another we all go through tough times and setbacks in life. It’s gonna happen. And it’s gonna happen more than once. So why not be armed with some ways to better handle the next struggle that comes your way?
It’s all about how you respond. The response you give to a challenge is what gives it the power it holds. So choose to respond positively! Look for the lesson in the challenge--there’s always something that you can learn from any situation, good or bad. As hard as it might be to remember at the time, just know that things will always get better.
A few years ago I was in a car accident that left me with numerous bulging discs along my spine and a gnarly case of post-concussion syndrome. I wasn't allowed to exercise for an entire year while I went through physical therapy and various treatments. Now let me just say, exercise was just as important to me back then as it is now. It was my stress relief, my happy place, my therapy, my ME time--and just like that it was all taken away. I wasn't allowed to do any of it. I like to think that I'm normally a pretty positive person, but through this slow recovery process I started to feel myself drift into a dark place. I wasn't myself, I didn't like this new person I was becoming and I had no idea how to find my old happy, positive self again. I made a decision that something had to change and I was going to make it happen. I used the tips below to get my mind back in the right place and back on the path to happy & healthy! I hope that they help you as much as they helped me!
Here are my top 5 tips for getting through an injury or major life setback:
1. Never lose sight of all that you’re grateful for. Enduring an injury, like any other setback, can push you into a dark place if you’re not careful. Be sure to constantly remind yourself of everything that is great in your life. Focus on the good! A state of gratitude will always overtake any negative emotion. If you start to feel yourself getting down, take out a pen and piece of paper and make a list of everything in your life that you're grateful for. Everything! Write until you absolutely can't think of anything else--then pause and write some more! 🙂
2. Read something that’s inspiring or something that you just enjoy reading. Reading for joy and inspiration will help keep your mind in the right place throughout your recovery. Once your body’s ready, your mind will be in a perfect place to get started too. Whenever I noticed I was starting to feel down through my recovery, I would read inspirational stories, quotes, or just something fun. It helped put me back in the right mindset and stay focused on my end goal.
3. If your injury allows, get outside and get moving. It all depends on the injury, as I know with mine I was limited on pain-free movement. But even just being outside with nature will help lift your spirits. Plus, you’ll get in that daily dose of Vitamin D! Get out with the fresh air and sunshine and try to get some kind of movement in.
4. Help someone other than yourself. Help a friend, volunteer for a cause, or even just smile at a stranger walking by. You never know the difference that even the smallest of gestures can make! You never know what battle another person may be fighting. Look for ways you can lift others up. Helping someone else makes you feel great and instantly crushes any negative feelings you have.
5. Smile! Smiling alone will help raise your spirits even if you don’t initially feel happy. So pull those shoulders back, stand tall and put on the biggest cheeser you can muster! Smile until you feel yourself start to feel happy! If this feels too ridiculous, then just pop in a funny movie or TV show that you know'll make you laugh.
Look at that next challenge as a chance to learn, grow and practice your ability to stay positive and happy in any situation. Remember, the strength is in the struggle! I know you can do this! I hope that these tips help you as much as they helped me, and I'd love to hear any other tips that you use to get your happy back!