What Athletes Know about Recovery

Famed NBA star Michael Jordan once said, “Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you tun into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through i, or work around it”. We all face obstacles in our lives, but every now and again we may find ourselves facing a personal crisis. Everyone experiences crisis’s differently, and therefore their emotions related to the crisis can range in severity. I went through my own personal crisis a few days ago, and found myself emerging stronger than ever before. I decided to share some of the tips I used to help me recover, and also those my fiance (a former star athlete) shared with me as well. They all REALLY work, and I was amazed at how quickly I began to feel happy and optimistic about my life again.

8 Tips to Overcome a Crisis

– Slow Down

It is crucial to realize the difference between *discipline* and *rigidity*:
If you are able to stick to your schedule then you are disciplined. If you
are unable to stick to your schedule/plan for reasons outside of your control,
then STOP being hard on yourself! Being hard on yourself, overworking
yourself, and negative self-talk is a sign of rigidity. If for instance, you
were working hard on getting a job, but then became unable to work—
LET IT GO! Forgive yourself, give yourself time to recover, and slow down!
Give yourself permission to take a day, week, or even a month away from
your project. You will accomplish more once you are fully recovered, rested,
restored, and healthy.

* What are 5 things that would help restore you? (ex: bath, music, massage, journal)
* What are three things that you missing doing? (ex: bird watching, coffee with friends)

Use your above list to help you with the restoration process. Try to do one (if not all) of
the things on your list during your recovery.

– Give Yourself Credit

If you hadn’t done your best than you wouldn’t be reading this article! Give
yourself some credit! Reward yourself for all you’ve done so far. Take at
least an hour to yourself to do something you enjoy unrelated to your
project/schedule/plan. Can food be your reward? it depends on where
you are in recovery, but generally you should focus on needs outside of food.
I like to start with ways to relax my mind, things I find fun, and enjoying time with
friends.

* What are 5 ways you could restore yourself without food?
* Ask yourself “If a close friend/child had came as far as I did, what would I praise them about?”

Praise yourself for all you have done thus far, because you did a great job!

– Focus on what you CAN do

My fiance is to thank for this tip! As a former athlete he is accustomed to learning to
handle sports injuries. Athletes are extremely motivated individuals, and oftentimes
their injuries can emerged before (or during) games they’ve spend months, years, or
even most of their lives preparing for. Athletes know pain! They are aware that one of
the most pain parts of an injury is usual their own mental anguish. Knowing that one
is “out” for a season, unable to practice nor play in a game they dedicated their lives
too can be devastating. When non-athletes suffer a crisis they can experience similar
emotions, and for this reason the techniques athletes use can oftentimes help non-athletes
alike recover. My fiance wasted no time reminding me to focus on the now. He reminded
me of all the things I still could do to move forward with my goals. Just thinking about
all of the things I could do helped me to feel less helpless, and more motivated.

* What CAN you do now in spite of your obstacle? (Tip: writing, and online research is usually free).
* What small things need to be done to reach your goal? (ex: creating a resume, working on interview skills etc)

– Show up

Athletes are often advised to show up to practice even if they are unable to physically participate.
There are many ways non-athletes can practice reaching their goals when stuck on the sidelines
of their lives due to a temporary obstacle. For me the “showing up” part of the process was making
time to talk to my fiance about our wedding in spite of it being delayed. You can also think of this
rule as “rehearse”.

One example is if you wanted a certain car, but found out that you’ve failed your drivers test.
You wouldn’t be able to buy the particular car, but that doesn’t mean you couldn’t visit
websites to learn more about it, pick up low priced things like car air fresheners, and visit the
DMV to study your book (just being around others getting their license can increase your motivation).

* Visit places related to your goal
* Talk to people related to your goal

– Put Your Needs First

Worrying about the others that your obstacle affects is normal! Athletes worry about how their injury will
impact the team, fans, and coach. Singers (like most recently, John Mayer) worry about how their injuries
will impact their fans, tour, and management team. For regular folks are crisis may impact our spouse,
children, friends, family, or other people important to us. Carrying the weight of your own team isn’t the way
to go! You’re injured and need to recover. The most important thing is to GET BETTER! When you are at 100%
then you can help others using 100% of your resources. During injury/obstacles the most important thing is
focus on your OWN needs. Reach out to others for help, seek out professional help if needed, listen to doctors,
listen to professionals, reach books, research, visit forums, and do whatever you can to take care of yourself.

* What 5 things would make you feel better physically?
* What 5 things would make you feel better emotionally?
* What 5 things would make you feel better spiritually?
* What 5 things would make you feel better mentally?

Focus on getting your needs met, and not just by relying on your spouse! Work on getting your needs met from
multiple sources: spiritual advisers, forums, friends, family, your pet, and of course yourself.

– Visualize

Visit any site on recovering from sports injuries and you’re see “visualize recovery”. Visualizing recovery may
help you recover faster from a physical injury, mental injury (or distress), and allow you to stay positive during
the recovery process. If you visualize overcoming your obstacle you will increase (or at least not decrease)
the probability that your obstacle will be overcome.

* What would it look like once you overcome your obstacle? how will you feel? what will you say?
* Practice “feeling” during your visualization. Feel the happiness, elation, relief etc associated with
reaching your goal.

– Journal

Writing in a journal can REALLY help you refocus your thoughts. Getting the words out of your head, and onto
paper is a crucial part of using your logic, creativity, and focus. If you feel nervous about your journal being found
by another, consider starting a password protected online journal (make sure it is set to private view, not public!).

* Visit an online journal site to start your own private journal.
* Write in your journal (whether online or off) daily if possible.

– Listen to Music/Inspire Yourself

Listen to music that inspires you. The music doesn’t have to be so-called “inspirational” music, but can even be
a happy or sad song that expresses your feelings. Sad songs can help you unleash emotions you are unable to
put into words, and lead you to a place of “letting go” of your hidden feelings. Feeling the sadness fully is the first
step in reaching closure.

* Check out new music
* Listen to music you enjoy

Image: Paul Gooddy / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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