Depression is so rude isn’t it. The way it just shows up uninvited, waves over you, and slaps you around the face. As if dealing with a major surgery isn’t big enough alone, but delivering it with a heap of depression and anxiety to, well thanks very much.
Do you ever wake up and just know it’s going to be a bad mental health day ?! I felt really angry with my brain recently. So I had a little word. It went like this. ” Not only do I give you a healthy break from the TV, I eat well, I read, I stay positive, I even meditate, and this is how you re-pay me? With a gloomy feeling from my old enemy depression ?! Ok, I’ve not lost it. But after this little chat, I then realised, there had been a few patterns in my daily routine, that had lead me to this negative place. Now more than ever, I realise just how much our daily routines effect our minds. I’ve really had to make a conscious effort during this recovery, to take care of my mind, not just my body. And I can definitely feel the difference on the days I make those efforts, and those days that I don’t.
With any kind of recovery there are going to be some good, some bad, and some pretty ugly days. Two months post opp, I think I have now covered an array of these. I previously wrote a post about preparing the mind, body and soul for surgery. Preparing your, Mind . Body . Soul. But now sitting at 6 weeks post op, it’s a very different challenge sustaining a positive mind. So I wanted to share a few of the things that I have been doing, to keep my mind, well… Well.
For those going through post surgery, have a surgery coming up, are in a form of recovery, or for those who just suffer with glum days. None of our situations may be exactly the same, but we are all healing, and we are all on our own paths, to self improvement.
This is a huge one for me. Start the day, how you want the rest of the day to follow.
Morning one – Wake up, scrolls on phone, scrolls on phone, eat cereal, scrolls on phone, watch TV, get dressed.
11 am feelings = Fed up. Tired. Low mood.
Morning two – Wake up, stretch, open curtains, wash, get dressed, healthy breakfast, TV off, scroll on phone (15 minutes)….onto something productive.
11 am feelings = Positive. Happy. Motivated.
Change things up.
If like me your mobility is restricted at the moment, it sounds silly but change where you sit. Six weeks of laying with your leg up in the same place can become very mundane. I now make sure I sit in different places, and change up my views. It’s amazing what this can do for your mind. I used to get told, take a different route to work from time to time, go by train instead of driving, and it works. Changing the small things up, can help your state of mind for the rest of the day more than you realise.
Accept where you are.
From talking to others going through a similar recovery, the one word I have noticed we all throw around (including myself) is, ‘frustration’. You didn’t want this injury, this physical hindrance, you don’t want to be in that place. You want to be further along. You should be further along. See I was born with two legs out of alignment both are weak, sore and have dislocated too many times to remember. I am now healing from the surgery and have been guilty of throwing around the words, ”Why can’t I have normal legs.” I am grateful and lucky enough to not have had a life threatening surgery, but sometimes frustration can get the better of us. Accept where you are. You can’t control everything about the healing process, but you can control how you feel, and where you go from here.
Make some small plans.
Being cooped up in recovery is tough on the mind, and there really is such a thing as Netflix and too much chill ! I’ve found making small plans for the day, keeps my mind more productive while I’m off work. I planned to do a dinner party ( sounds like nothing, but with a stiff leg, on crutches, it’s an ordeal.) I planned to sort out my clothes drawers and de-clutter, sounds boring, but wow it feels good after doesn’t it. And of course just arrange to see people. The little things make all the difference as we all know. Complete a 30 day self care challenge during recovery. Lets Start as we mean to go on…..
Ok, you may not have anywhere to be, you don’t have a visitor today, who’s to impress….So what ?! Get out those damn, comfy pjs, and put on some normal people clothes. I’v been pretty good at this, and on the couple of days I haven’t got dressed, I definitely felt a difference in my mood. It will give you a little more motivation to start your day.
First week or so after surgery, medication can make you feel drowsy and you may take naps, go ahead you have been through an ordeal let your body rest. But after this, if it’s just laziness, stop. Sleeping in the day time and staying up late at night, will only make you feel like utter rubbish. So keep your sleeping pattern strict, and the same as it was before. I am always tired, but I keep myself up till 9 pm ( wooo go me ) . The nights that I did stay up late, and slept in the day, were my lowest and most anxious days. So take note of how you feel and learn from the mistakes.
These are just a few of the things that I have noticed help my mind during recovery so far, the most. You may have others that have helped you. Our roads to recovery can seem long, bumpy, and no one person’s is the same.
The truth is we are all moving forward, day by day, it’s just hard to see at times.
It takes time, patience and everything you’ve got.
Happy Healing xXx
(Now……get out those pjs x )