Navigating an injury can be tough.
Physically – you can find some relevant advice on our previous post – and mentally.
The effects of an injury on our mental health can at times be glossed over, or relegated to second priority after our physical state.
“It’s my fault I got injured. I was too careless.”
“If I was good enough, I wouldn’t have gotten injured in the first place.”
“I need to heal quickly so I don’t miss out on jobs.”
“I need to keep training. I’m wasting time just sitting around”.
“What if I don’t heal?”
“What if I can never dance again?”
The pressures we put on ourselves can be astronomical; and sometimes we don’t even realise it. It can manifest as overt frustration, mood swings, panic attacks, and sometimes develop into anxiety and even depression.
How best can you navigate such a tumultuous mind state, on top of the physical restraints you’re not used to feeling?
Let yourself feel whatever emotion it is you are experiencing. Anger, fear, frustration, sadness etc. Let it manifest. Burying or hiding your feelings will not help in effectively coping and recovering.
Your emotions are an important part of the healing process. Feeling is part of healing!
Mindfulness is about perspective. It’s about allowing your mind to heal as your body does.
Our director Emma-Jane Greig puts it as giving yourself “permission to surrender to the here and now. Mindfulness is about being more aware of yourself, others and the world around you – in each moment”.
After feeling, recollect and reconnect with your body and the sensations it experiences.
So, it’s realising that you’re injured, and using your healing process to overcome it. Not looking to the future for frightening hypotheticals, or the past to pass blame and shame. Staying in the now, and taking the process step by step.
There are many ways you can practice mindfulness. From meditation to yoga, concentration to being in the moment.
Value Your Mind have some wonderful tips you can follow in your day-to-day life!
This can be the hardest thing to do when mental health issues are at play. But help is and always will be available.
It can range from reaching out to a close friend, dancer or mentor for emotional support – which research has found helps improve mental health – to seeking professional help.
Mind, the mental health charity, have been going from strength to strength in how they help those in need.
Physiotherapists specialised in sports and dance related injuries offer great support for the body, as well as how you are coping. There is a full directory of practitioners on One Dance UK.
And the Dance Goes On: Psychological Impact of Injury
Psychological distress among dancers seeking outpatient treatment for musculoskeletal injury
Dancers’ perceptions of pain and injury: positive and negative effects