Wednesday, February 07, 2018

How To Recover After An Illness

Major illness can occur at any time. A heart attack, a stroke, a big operation, perhaps. Or maybe you have been involved in an accident – a vehicle crash or falling from a horse. There are a lot of ways and reasons for the human body to be damaged. In many cases, you can go back to living a full and happy life even if you have had serious trauma happen to you. However, it will be hard work. There are some important things you should do to try and regain your strength and mobility. Here are some of them.

Keep Positive
A positive mental attitude is one of the most important elements of getting better after a major accident or illness. If you feel sorry for yourself, you are actively encouraging your body and mind to remain in a negative state. Don’t let other people pity you either. There is nothing to pity. It is a shame that a bad thing happened, but that’s over now. It’s time to look to the future with a positive outlook. Believe that you will feel more like your old self again and you will. Don’t believe it and you won’t. It’s a simple process. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you should not let your emotions out; a rant now and then is good for you as long as you pick yourself up again afterward. Plus, allowing friends and family to help take care of you is important too; don’t start thinking you can do this alone just yet. Let them help you, and you will heal faster.

Get Into The World
For many people recovering from a major illness, staying in and hiding from the world is their preferred option. They don’t want other people to see them in their ‘weakened state’. It’s understandable, but it’s not good for you. It’s essential that you get out into the world as soon as you are able. Breathe in the fresh air as it is good for you body and your mind. You don’t have to do too much; a quick stroll around the block or to the local park and back is fine. It’s just important to get outside, away from the comforting surroundings of your home, and experience the real world again. Once you’ve had a taste, you’ll want to keep trying it, and that’s good for you. Try to make your journey outside longer each time you go, and this will help to strengthen tired muscles and brighten weary minds.

Keep Your Mind Active
As you recover, it’s crucial to keep your mind active as well as your body. In fact, having a healthy brain is one of the most important steps to having a healthy body. If you can’t go outside just yet, then try doing puzzles like crosswords, word searches, sudoku, and other ‘brain training’ games. You can do these on paper or online. You can even read murder mysteries and try to work out who the killer is – write your theories in a notebook as you go and figure it out before you get to the end. If you are up to leaving the house then why not try an escape game with friends? Not only will it get your mind working, but it will get you socializing again, which is hugely important to recovery.

Learn New Things
As well as puzzles, it’s a good idea to learn new things, particularly if you are not yet active enough to do much in the way of exercise. You can sign up for a class, possibly an online one if you can’t yet leave the house, and learn a new skill such as a language, a musical instrument, or artistic techniques. Some courses will let you learn at your own pace, which can fit in perfectly with your recovery schedule too. If you can leave your home and attend a class, you will meet people who enjoy the same things as you, and this kind of stimulation can boost your recovery after illness or trauma too.

It goes without saying that if you have had a traumatic accident and your limbs, back, neck or muscles were damaged, then you will need to do specific exercises to strengthen those areas once they have healed. They will be weak from disuse, particularly if it has taken you a long time to recover. Understand that you may need to push your body further than it feels you can go to get results, but that you should also be careful; go too far, and you might find yourself needing to spend more time recovering and less time exercising, which is not the point at all. If you are under the care of a physiotherapist, it is important to do as they say as they are the experts. If you don’t have a physiotherapist, then you may wish to consider hiring one because you’ll then know that what you are doing is making a difference and not causing you additional harm.

Sleep Patterns
Trying to get back into a normal sleeping pattern routine is another important element of recovery. It’s a simple step to regain normality in life, and it will help you both physically and mentally as well. At first, you might be tired because of it, but if you set yourself a bedtime and a specific number of hours of sleep then eventually that pattern will become a habit, and your body will get used to it. Even if you are tired earlier in the evening, try to stretch bedtime out to a more usual time. It might be earlier than you are used to, but that’s fine; you still need to recover after all. Once you arrange your sleeping patterns, your circadian rhythm will start to get back to normal, which will make the rest of your recovery go much more smoothly.

Listen To The Experts
Finally, whatever you do, listen to what your medical experts tell you. They know the best ways for your body and mind to recover after something traumatic has happened, and they have your best interests in mind when they give you a list of instructions. It may not be what you want to do, but it’s important to do it anyway if you want to have the best chance of a speedy recovery.

This is a guest blog entry.

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