Exactly one year ago I fractured my ankle after a wild Friday night. Nah I’m lying. I wish there was a cool story behind my ankle injury but it’s the most boring story ever. I missed the bottom step on the stairs while bringing down laundry. Epic. Fail.
When I landed I grabbed my aching foot like a running back after a nasty tackle. Like an athlete, I immediately worried about a broken bone, surgery and having my season end early. It was 2 weeks before Christmas and before a trip to Hawaii.
Luckily I was spared from the surgeon’s knife and only had to wear a boot for a few months. I really only needed one good foot in the pool anyway!
My lifestyle changed after that injury and I’m not ashamed to say I was frustrated as hell being laid up with an elevated foot, especially when I needed to finish Christmas shopping and decorating.
One year later I take those steps one at a time. I am extremely ginger when walking in heels or boots. It makes me think about the mental warfare we put ourselves through when we’re benched or sidelined. I see this online when people get the flu or cold. Aside from physically feeling like crap, we mentally punish ourselves!
It’s only when we’ve lost something-or almost lost something- that makes us appreciate the little things even more (like my sensitive ankle).
As a fibromyalgia sufferer I appreciate the “healthier” days because a “flare” could knock me on my ass for weeks. When I have a flare I’m lucky that I even make it to work. Having a chronic pain disorder helped reframe my thinking of being “benched.”
Here’s how I now deal with being “benched”:
- Make Lemonade: When I had to stay off my feet, I chose to use the rest of my body instead. I wrote, blogged, typed and researched my tail off. When one of our senses is weak, our other senses will naturally kick in. Make lemonade out of your situation. I also used the time to clean out bedroom and bathroom drawers.
- Give Myself A Pass: How many people moan and groan about wanting to hide under the covers all day? Yet, when we’re knocked on our ass with a flu we’re dying of boredom and frustration. We’re tallying off the list in our head of what needs to get done. I’ll admit that I shake my fist at the sky when my daily tasks won’t get done. Instead, let’s look at our list of things we would LOVE to do in bed all day: catch up on DVR’ed shows, finish that dusty book on the nightstand, dig into that coloring book, binge watch a Netflix show or play on our tablet.
- Sleep: There’s no poetic way to describe this one. All the experts will say, “you never really catch up on sleep.” I call BS. You can’t tell me 9 hours of sleep is gonna hurt me. I dare you to try. Think of sleep as a reward for your hard work. It costs nothing and is good for your skin!
Whether you’re sidelined because of sudden injury (please take the stairs slowly) or sudden illness, take advantage of this self-care moment. If you continue getting sick, maybe you need to listen to your body. Click To Tweet
I was forced to listen to my body when it screamed bloody murder when I first felt the symptoms of fibro. I wouldn’t wish those screams on anyone.
Remember, self-care isn’t selfish. Consider this time your ally and not your enemy. And most importantly, heal completely!!