Posted on October 16 2019
Groove to Heal:
Being injured sucks! It's that simple.
Watching your goals slip through your fingers can cause even the most resilient of us to spiral into despair.
Although having an injury can be debilitating, not to mention painful, it doesn’t have to stop you from moving altogether.
While feeling down may be inevitable at times, know there is light at the end of the tunnel—and probably a silver lining...
An injury can help you realize you're not defined by your workouts, and it may even open the door to discover new passions or ways to move.
First. A really important disclaimer. If you’re injured and want to workout, please check with your health care provider before attempting any physical activity.
Even once you’re cleared to exercise, your instinct when hurt is to stop everything and protect your injured area.
Obviously some movements are a bad idea at the beginning of an injury (and a health professional can tell you which ones those are), but don’t take self-protection too far. There is almost always some alternative exercise that you can do safely.
Although rest and rehab are important aspects of healing an injury, staying active can help you stay physically and mentally strong as you recover.
The key to staying active — without causing further damage — is to continue moving.
Gently, mindfully and with a greater awareness of yourself and your body.
Body Groove allows you to choose how you want to move.
You get to modify your movements based on what is available to you at any given moment and what feels good.
When you enhance the mind-body connection, there are limitless possibilities.
Pay attention to the way your muscles feel as you dance. Is there pain? What relieves your pain? What can you do to make this feel good?
The more aware you are, the less likely you'll be to push yourself too far and to injure yourself in the future.
You'll also learn to recognize and meet your body's needs instead of ignoring them—something most of us, unfortunately, aren’t taught to do.
It’s not a bad thing to be reminded that there are so many ways to Groove.
Who knows, maybe you’ll fall in love with a way of dancing you wouldn’t have tried were it not for your injury.
It’s also no secret that exercise and in particular dance can be a vital component to staying mentally healthy and happy, by reducing anxiety and depression and improving self-esteem and your overall mood.
No matter the nature or expected duration of your injury or illness, there are still things you can do that can help you feel productive, active and keep you in a positive headspace.
Here are some helpful tips for recovery:
Be gentle with yourself. Listen to your body. If you have a long-term or serious injury, there are going to be days when you can handle the pain and days when you just want to curl into a ball.... and bawl. And that's OK. When those bad days happen, be as kind and gentle to yourself as possible. Feeling miserable, angry, or frustrated does not make you a weak person: It just makes you human. So cry if you need to. And when you're done, take a deep breath and remind yourself that you're on the way to getting better.
Breathe. When you exhale, your muscles relax. Make deep breathing a part of your daily routine, especially when the pain is at its worst.
Tailor your workouts. No matter the nature or expected duration of your injury or illness, there are still things you can do to keep dancing. Can you make it smaller or softer? Can you use a prop like a chair or a wall? Avoid movements that will aggravate your injury and focus on the movements you CAN do and that feel good in your body.
Rest when you need to. Without rest, acute injuries can linger, become chronic, or frequently become more severe. Do only what you can, when you can and remember that rest is an important factor in recovery.
Get creative. Flex your creative muscles! How can you express the movements differently to accommodate your injury? Make it your art. When we are being creative our brains release dopamine, which is a natural anti-depressant. Turn your funk into funky.
Remember to also be patient with yourself, come back gradually. Sometimes really great things come from some of the most challenging situations.
Dealing with an injury can be frustrating but it also has the power to help you appreciate all the amazing things your body can do, including its healing.