It’s been a little over a month since my last post here mainly because I’ve been going through something we’ve all experienced on some level – recovery. Maybe you’re recovering from something right now – like the end of a relationship, or the loss of someone close to you, or failing a test you studied extremely hard for, or like me, recovering from something physical like surgery.
But any form of recovery is never just physical or just mental or just emotional. For the past 6 weeks I’ve been waiting for bones to heal and incisions to close, while also emotionally dealing with having to take a semester off from college and all that entails. And these emotions were SO amplified when I was taking narcotic pain meds around the clock. This whole time period was starting to feel like an exact replay of what I went through for three months last summer during the first stage of my ankle reconstruction surgery. But this past week I had to get to a point and tell myself – it doesn’t have to be a repeat, and I don’t have to be in that mental space for three months. Even though I can’t speed up the physical recovery, I can at least try to control the other parts of this process and make a comeback.
So how? I don’t have an exact step-by-step way to recover from something because I’m still in the midst of it, and what I’m going through might be totally different from what you’re dealing with. But looking over the past 6 weeks I can point out 3 major things I’ve done that have helped me come back to a more positive mental state and unquestionably improved my recovery.
The biggest thing that helps me get through almost anything is having gratitude. At your lowest moments it helps to take a deep breath and think of at least 3 things you’re grateful for. Whether they’re big or small, taking a minute to divert your mind to positive parts of your life can completely change your mood and perspective. When you’re upset and in a bad place, it just starts to feel comfortable to stay there and keep going over the things you hate about your situation and replaying why it sucks. But to make a come back and get through it, I’ve forced my self to rehearse what I’m grateful for, and that – hey actually, there are things going on in my life that aren’t terrible.
Since I can’t bear any weight on my foot (basically unable to walk) for another 5-6 weeks, one of the things I’m so grateful for is to have a knee scooter instead of the wheelchair I used last summer. Speeding through big stores like Target on this thing is seriously SO much fun. Obviously, what you’re grateful for will be completely different, but having gratitude and acknowledging those things = a complete world changer.
What Makes Your Soul Happy?
Recovering and coming back from any situation is nearly impossible if you aren’t even happy. Over the past month I’ve found that while you can’t really force happiness, you can do things to stimulate happiness by just doing something you enjoy. I love writing, but I couldn’t bring myself to actually publish any posts over the past month. So photography and music became huge sources of both expression and happiness, which has distracted me from but also improved my recovery so far.
Try doing your nails, or taking a super long shower, or watching something hilarious on Netflix (s/o to New Girl and Parks and Rec), or going for a run (endorphins are amazing mood boosters!). This might sound super cheesy and cliché – but try thinking of it as “feeding your soul”.
Stop Asking Why? & Start Asking What?
This has been sooo hard and something that may never come super easy, but recovering from something isn’t just about getting through it and gracefully making it to end. It’s easy and natural to wonder why this is happening? or why things can’t be different and especially why you even have to go through this. But instead of “why”, try to think what can you learn and gain from this? or what will your comeback be? or what can you do with this experience?.
When our lives are radically changed and the world feels like it’s falling apart around us, we can stay there and view our situation as an “epic ending”, or we can try to recover and make a come back. Everyone’s situations and circumstances are different, and by no means am I suggesting that in the words of T. Swift you should just “shake it off”. I’m just learning to respect the process and refusing to accept an “epic end” and make an effort to not stay in a negative place.
Making your comeback isn’t just the moment when you reach the end of this rough patch and when everything is over and resolved. Making your comeback is the journey to that place and what you go through and learn along the way. I feel like knowing and appreciating that can make such a difference.
So. The game changers to make your comeback?
- Feeding your soul (still kinda cheesy huh?)
- Wondering what? instead of why?
The combination of these three will change your entire outlook. Pinky promise ♡
How have you gotten through recovery in the past? Or maybe you’re going through something right now – I’d love to hear from you in the comments!!