One of the hardest parts of recovering from an injury is dealing with the mental battle it brings to your life. On the one hand, you have the physical pain to deal with, but this pain can also mean it’s hard for you to do certain things. You have been used to living alone and relying on yourself for so long; it’s difficult when you can no longer do this. 

Losing your sense of independence can be really challenging following an injury. You hate to depend on others and feel like a burden. To make matters worse, you start wondering when you’ll get better – what if the injury never fully heals and you are like this forever? All of these questions circulate in your head, compounding your misery. 

This creates the question: is it possible to stay independent while recovering from an injury, or should you just get used to depending on others every day? The answer is yes and no. You can still be independent and live life to the fullest, but you can only do this if you’re willing to let others help you. So, here are some ideas to help you stay as independent as possible:

Know your limits

Think about what you can and can’t do while you’re injured. Are you able to still walk around? If so, there’s no reason you can’t walk to the shop or go for a lovely walk in the park. If your injury affects your arms or shoulders, there are still plenty of things you can do without any assistance. Likewise, if your injury forces you to use crutches or a wheelchair, there are still many things you can do. You can still work at a computer, you can still prepare dinner – the list goes on and on. 

The problem is when you try to do things that are outside your current limits. You get upset as you’re unable to do them, and you could hurt yourself even more. So, set yourself some limitations to ensure you recover, but focus on all the tasks and things you are capable of doing as it helps you feel more independent. 

Get assistance when you need it

Assistance won’t mean you aren’t independent!!

You see, the trick is to get help when you need it. Do you need someone to help you get dressed because your arm is in a sling? Do you need someone to run errands for you because you’re in a wheelchair and can’t pop out? With things like a consumer directed personal assistance program, you can get assistants to help you out when you require their assistance. So, you can focus on the tasks that you are able to do while they deal with things that are out of your reach right now. As you recover, the amount of assistance you need can decrease. 

Ironically, getting help from others can really improve your mental well-being as you recover from your injury. Why? Because as you get better, you realize you need less help, and it’s so mentally gratifying to see yourself ask for assistance less frequently. 

Anyway, if you’ve injured yourself at work or in the gym – or however else – make sure you follow this advice to stay as independent as possible and avoid getting mentally bogged down by the injury.