Recovering from a serious physical injury that limits your mobility and alters your way of life is no easy task. Whether you are caring for yourself or caring for a loved one, the recovery process can be both mentally and physically demanding. However, with the right mindset and proper planning, you can take the ups and downs that come with recovering from an injury like a champion, forging towards the future with confidence and optimism.
Read on to learn 5 helpful tips you can utilize to optimize you or a loved one’s recovery process and have you feeling strong and healthy again.
1. Modify Your Living Space for Safety, Comfort, and Ease
When recovering from an injury, it is important to make modifications to your home that make safety a priority to prevent further injury. You can do this by eliminating tripping hazards from your home, fixing up dangerous spots, and installing mobility aids such as a stair lift that makes all parts of the home safe and accessible.
Stair chair lifts keep the stress off of your healing body and prevent risky falls on the stairs that could prolong the recovery process, all while allowing you to keep your independence and move freely about your house at will. Look into the variety of award-winning stairlifts for your home, both indoors and outdoors, that we offer at Acorn Stairlifts. Whether your staircases are curvy, straight, indoors, or outdoors, Acorn has you covered.
2. Listen to Your Doctor and Your Body
Always seek medical attention if you think you have suffered an injury. If an injury is left untreated, it could worsen and without proper injury care, may never properly heal. Depending on whether you suffered injuries to muscles, bones, ligaments or tendons, the recovery process can look quite different.
For this reason, you should always follow expert advice from a professional doctor and/or physical therapist so that you know that you are giving your or your loved ones’ bodies the proper tools to recover from the injury. Remember to listen to your own body’s signals as well. If you are experiencing adverse side effects from prescribed medications, constant discomfort or pain, fatigue, etc., you should discuss these issues with your doctor to find a solution that will make your recovery process more bearable.
3. Allow Your Body to Recover with Plenty of Rest, Sleep, and Proper Nutrition
Whether you are sick or healthy, sleeping soundly and eating right is always good advice, but this is especially important when your body is healing. Remember that you or your loved ones’ bodies are hard at work during the recovery process, so you must provide it with the proper rest, hydration, vitamins, and nutrients it needs to heal. Foods that you can eat that are great for boosting the immune system include nuts, berries, leafy greens, sweet potatoes, carrots, and salmon.
Although it can sound counterintuitive, exercise also helps strengthen the body during the healing process and has numerous benefits that improve your overall health such as reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, reduced pain sensitivity, and better response from the immune system. Remember that exercising doesn’t have to be strenuous, and there are personal physical therapy plans for injuries. Talk to your doctor to get recommendations on how much you should be exercising during recovery, the types of exercises you should be doing, and the level of intensity of the exercise. For ideas on how to exercise with limited mobility, click here.
4. Accept Help When You Need It
Remember that it is okay to ask for help when you need it. Whether you are someone recovering from an injury or someone caring for someone with an injury, both positions can be exhausting and sometimes overwhelming. If you are the patient, don’t risk further injuring yourself to avoid asking for help or feeling like a burden. You and your health are well worth the time and care it takes to recover.
If you are a caregiver and need help caring for a patient or loved one, the same applies to you. Being an around-the-clock nurse takes energy and patience. If you need an extra set of helping hands, don’t be afraid to reach out to others for support. Taking breaks is essential as well to remain alert, energized, and ready to help when you’re needed. Remember your health is just as important as your patient’s, so care for yourself the same way you would care for them.
5. Try to be Patient and Positive During the Healing Process
Oftentimes, we get so wrapped up in our physical healing process that we forget one of the most significant and overlooked factors in the recovery process—our mental health. However, mental health plays a huge role in how our bodies heal. In fact, according to a well-known study, research reveals that people with a positive mindset are more likely to recover from an injury faster. Conversely, increased stress levels have actually been shown to slow down recovery times. This is because high levels of stress trigger a release of chemicals that hinder action from your immune system. Stress also increases inflammation in the body, increasing pain and discomfort, which in turn can lead to more stress and negative thought patterns. This applies as a caregiver as well. Remember to maintain a positive attitude and practice patience with your loved ones, as your moods can impact them and their healing processes.
However, it is important to recognize that recovering from an injury is hard on both the mind and body of the patient and the caregiver. It is important that you practice patience and lots of self-love during this difficult time. Try to be more mindful of your thought patterns, combating your negative thoughts with positive thoughts. If you find yourself suffering from depression or battling negative thoughts often, consider talking with a therapist. Remember that recovering is not a process that happens overnight, so give yourself some grace. Progress is progress, no matter how small.