How to Recover

Four Methods:Recovering After Injury or SurgeryRecovering From Mental/Emotional TraumaRecovering after a WorkoutRecovering from a Mistake

Recovery means a lot of different things to different people. From feeling better after trauma to getting back on your feet after a hard workout, the human body is capable of a recovery on an incredible scale. While difficult, it is also possible to recover from pain or the loss of a loved one. Recovery is not always easy, and it can take some time, but it is almost always possible.

Method 1
Recovering After Injury or Surgery

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    Follow your doctor's advice to the letter. Your doctor or physical therapist has years of experience helping people come back from injuries, and they can give you specific advice to help you feel better.
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    Take your medication until advised otherwise. Even if you feel better, you need to complete your prescription or risk new infections. Many "super-bugs," like MRSA, are the result of people skipping the last few days of their drugs. This gives any remaining bacteria a chance to become immune to the drug, making them harder to fight later.
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    Rest. The most important thing you can do to recover is nothing at all. You need to give your body time to get better without risking further injury.
    • After serious injuries, sleep is your best friend. Stay in bed, getting out once or twice a day to stretch and move around.
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    Start small. You aren't going to be back in your normal routine the day after intense physical trauma. You need to be honest with yourself and work on the small things before moving on to bigger, more complex tasks. Focus on getting the little things right and the big things will follow in time.
    • Go for a short walk each morning, extending it by 1-2 minutes every day.
    • Read the newspaper or try out the crossword to keep your mind active and engaged with the world.
    • Ask a loved one to accompany you on small errands or tasks to help you and look out for future injuries.
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    Set goals for your recovery with a doctor. If you can't wait to get back on the basketball court, talk to you doctor about the steps you need to take to make it possible. Having a tangible end goal for your recovery makes it much easier to commit to getting better.
    • Be realistic -- start with small goals before getting bigger.
    • Celebrate milestones you've crossed, as this makes you more excited to keep working.

Method 2
Recovering From Mental/Emotional Trauma

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    Know that grief is natural. Don't feel upset at yourself for being sad or angry. Grief is the natural process of dealing with trauma, and it may take some time to feel "normal" again. [1] Common, emotions and symptoms of grief include:
    • Shock or emotional numbness
    • Regret
    • Depression
    • Anger[2]
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    Let your feelings out. Don't feel "weak" because you want to cry. In order to come to terms with your emotions, you need to acknowledge them. Find a friend or family member to talk to, write down your feelings, or see a professional therapist to help move the coping process along.
    • Don't feel like you need to grieve in a certain way. This process is personal and you should accept the feelings and expressions that feel right to you.
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    Find the positives in life and focus on them. It is all too easy to let negative emotions overwhelm us and drown out the wonderful parts of life. Find things you enjoy doing and do them -- pick up an old hobby, chat with friends, cook your favorite meal -- finding the positive makes it easier to cope with hurtful feelings or emotions.
    • Many studies show that our mindset while coping with grief profoundly affects how we feel 1-2 years later, so positive feelings now will help you stay positive in the future.[3]
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    Express your emotions in art or writing. Even if you only jot your thoughts down in a journal, finding a way to express your thoughts helps you to face them head on. By writing or forming your thoughts through art, you make them tangible and easier to manage.
    • Music therapy, which is therapy done by listening to calming music or by playing an instrument, has been shown to take your mind off of pain and help you cope.
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    Take care of your body physically. There is a strong correlation between our physical and mental health,[4] and taking care of one will benefit the other. Eat well, exercise, and get enough sleep, especially when you feel sluggish or unwilling to move.[5]
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    Find a support group for your trauma. Talking to people who understand your pain is a valuable tool to learn about your feelings and cope with your specific issues. Know that you are not alone in your pain. A simple internet search for "Support Groups" in your area can help you find a group nearby.
    • The US Health Department has a detailed list of support groups and ways to contact people on their [support group website.]
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    Manage your pain on your own time. There is no "correct" amount of time to recover from trauma, so don't let yourself feel rushed. With time, you will learn to cope with the trauma in your own fashion.[6]

Method 3
Recovering after a Workout

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    Stretch. Stretching after a workout loosens your muscle fibers and kickstarts the recovery process. This is incredibly helpful if you plan on working out the next day as well, so take your time and stretch each muscle for 2-3 minutes.
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    Drink plenty of water. You need to start rehydrating immediately to prevent cramps and give your body time to recover. Drink 2-3 glasses of water in the hour after a workout, and keep drinking a glass an hour for the next few hours as well.
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    Eat some protein. Muscles are made of protein, and they rebuild themselves with protein. Supplying your body with good, lean protein gives it the building blocks necessary for recovery Some foods to try include:
    • Protein shakes
    • Eggs
    • Chicken
    • Tuna
    • Peanut butter.
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    Ice sore muscles for 20 minutes every hour. Ice limits swelling, which can drastically shorten your recovery time between workouts. To avoid frostbite, always keep a towel in between your skin and the ice.
    • Apply the ice as follows: 20 minutes on, 40 minutes off.
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    Don't work out the same muscle 2 days in a row. Take time off of a muscle group, especially when lifting, to prevent injury. Your body needs time to recover and build new muscle tissue before being exerted again. If you did all chest exercises one day, consider doing leg lifts the next.
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    Rest. The best thing you can do is stop moving. This allows your body the time it needs to rebuild and recover, so don't feel bad about turning on Netflix right after a tough workout. If you need to work out again soon, limit your activity to the basics and give yourself recovery time.
    • Going for a walk or a light jog is a great way to get your blood moving without causing undue strain.

Method 4
Recovering from a Mistake

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    Write down a list off all your errors. Be sure to include everything. If you think it was wrong it wouldn't hurt to perform a second evaluation. Be sure to include all lies, disaffection and failures. The idea is to expose all of your wounds.
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    Apologize to yourself and others around you that your behavior/ action has affected.
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    Actively think about what you did wrong and correct the smallest mistakes first. Part of the healing process is to realize what you did wrong and that is where the list we made earlier comes into play. This step varies in difficulty depending on the problems each individual has.
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    Be patient. There are no short cuts. You must allow time to heal your wounds, but have the self-confidence to keep working on recovery even if it seems distant. Time will heal all wounds, but only if you keep working on your recovery.


  • There is no "right" way to recover from mental or emotional trauma. Take your time and do what feels right to you while following the advice in the article.


  • Always take things slow. If you feel pain or intense sadness, slow down and take your time.

Article Info

Categories: Pain Management and Recovery