How To Deal With Setbacks In Healing
Setbacks are a normal part of healing an injury. Here are helpful coaching tips to help you overcome setbacks and keep moving forward.
Getting worse when you thought you were getting better is a total drag. It’s unpleasant, it interferes with your life, and it’s scary. It’s especially discouraging when you’ve worked really hard and been really patient. I get it.
And the truth is, healing — change of any kind — isn’t linear. The “down” bits of this up-and-down path can be really, really difficult. It’s also really important how you handle them. There are ways to take care of yourself, keep from freaking out, use it to learn more about what your body needs, and shorten the amount of time it takes to get back to normal.
How To Deal With Setbacks In Healing
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How to Care for Yourself During a Setback:
So how do you deal with it when symptoms return and it feels like you’re not getting better any more? Here are my suggestions:
Don’t assume it’s the same old thing. Keep your curiosity open. Notice the details of what’s happening this time, and make room for the possibility that it might be different. Often, for example, the symptoms look similar but the recovery from them is faster and easier. Remember that occasional visits back to the old pattern are actually a normal and important part of healing that helps solidify the new, healthier pattern.
Take really, really, super-good care of yourself. Take this as a time to step back and focus on you. Sometimes when we get better we forget about self care, and you know what? We still need it. If you’re being forced into it, try to embrace it. Take a break and do some of the things that helped you get better in the first place.
If it’s hard to make space for this, ask for help. Especially if you have kids (3-year-olds are not known for their ability to observe “be gentle with mommy day”). And while you’re at it: have the audacity to enjoy taking care of yourself. It’s really okay.
Take note of what might have started the setback. We all have body parts that are vulnerable, and things that push us over the edge, no matter how healthy we are. Knowing yours can help you manage them better and stay healthier.
Take note of what helps. Sometimes when symptoms are milder and more intermittent, it’s easier to notice what provides some relief. Put that in your set of tools for the future, so you can continue learning how to recover more quickly and completely when you do have setbacks.
Reflect and grow better. Ask yourself the following questions after a setback:
- How can I make sense of this?
- What have I learned from it?
- Now that I know this, what would I do differently?
By reflecting back on your setbacks, you can turn them into learning opportunities and become stronger than you were before. “If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.” — Obi-Wan Kenobi
Take a moment for perspective and self-compassion.
Get support from your loved ones. You’re going to feel a little scared, discouraged, pissed off, and/or stressed out when symptoms come back. Talk about it. Let the people around you love you and care for you. If you’re feeling worried or guilty about not meeting all your responsibilities, talk about that too. Just don’t let it keep you from getting support.
If you’re experiencing this kind of setback right now, I’m really sorry. I know how painful and scary and damned inconvenient it is. It can really help to stay focused on what you can do for yourself, right now, in order to keep healing, calm your fears, and even find some joy and fun in the midst of it all!
What Works for You?
How do you take care of yourself when your health backslides for a little while? What’s your experience with the ups and downs of healing? Please leave a comment and let me know!
I am sending you love and light. Stay strong and keep your chin up my friends. And please share this video with someone who could use some encouragement.
Love and light,
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Originally published at www.carolinejordanfitness.com on August 22, 2017.