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5 Tips to Stay Motivated While Recovering From an Injury

When injury strikes and you can’t do the things you’re used to doing, the outlook can seem gloomy. Follow these tips to stay motivated when dealing with an injury.


When injury strikes, the damage is almost always more than physical. A physical injury often brings with it a psychic blow that requires mental toughness and healing.

Professional athletes know what it’s like to fight back from harsh injuries. Professional cyclist, Kristin Armstrong, started her athletic career with aspirations of becoming a world-class triathlete.

At age 27, Armstrong suffered a potential career-ending diagnosis of osteoarthritis and later used cycling as therapy. Today, at age 43, she is a top-tier cyclist with many accolades. Adversity struck, but Armstrong didn’t give up. That drive and motivation has propelled her career.

How to develop mental toughness

Developing mental toughness can happen in diverse ways—Armstrong believes it’s a process. “During the past ten years in my cycling career, I have trained to take mental toughness to the next level. It has taken a lot of positive self-talk as well as keeping distractions at bay during my workouts—bringing ‘laser-focus’ to the start line on race day,” she said.

Focus is a key element to mental toughness and according to active.com, other key components include breathing exercises, self-awareness, and pushing yourself to your physical limits to improve.

Mental toughness isn’t all you need though; motivation is essential to overcoming any injury.


Tips to stay motivated after an injury:

Practice gratitude

Make regular lists of things you’re grateful for; this may include strength in other parts of your body or mental toughness.

Focus on things you can control

Some things just aren’t in your control, while others are, such as doing physical therapy or rehab, getting rest, and seeing medical experts.

Explore new options

Your injury may limit what you can do physically, but you can explore new options and keep progressing. For example, if you sprain an ankle you can still focus on core exercises and upper-body fitness. Aside from exercise, this is a great time to learn a new skill.

Feed your other passions

After an injury, it’s common to feel depressed or unmotivated. Be sure to feed your other passions as best as you can so that you still feel like you’re progressing. For example, if you like photography, take more pictures and watch tutorials online.

Set goals

If you experience an injury, it’s important to set recovery goals. Through hard work and goal-setting, you may be able to get back to your old self quicker than expected.

Like mental toughness, these tips for staying motivated are best acquired as they are put into practice. Give them your best shot and see if you notice a difference. Comment and tell us what motivates you.

How do you stay motivated? Tell us on Facebook. And while you're here, read more of our healthy living articles.


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The content presented here is for your information only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, and it should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns.


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Post Author

Bobby Macey

Bobby Macey is a marketer and writer by trade. He’s been published nationally and writes on myriad topics—particularly healthy living.