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Physical therapy is an integral part of the recovery process after an injury or surgery, but it can be challenging to stay motivated. It can also be exhausting and frustrating work. But it’s also critical that you stay motivated so that your body can heal as quickly as possible. With these five tips, you’ll learn how to get yourself back on track and feel positive so that your body can heal more quickly.
Be Kind to Yourself During Physical Therapy
It’s easy to become self-critical when you’re going through a difficult period in physical therapy, particularly gait training for stroke patients. There are, however, things you can do during this time to help you feel better about yourself and your recovery process. It includes reminding yourself of your progress, even if they are minor, and practicing self-compassion.
Set Goals for Yourself in Physical Therapy
Setting goals for yourself during physical therapy can be beneficial. This way, you can track your progress and stay motivated. The following are some things to think about when setting goals:
- What specific activities or movements are you having difficulty with, and would you like to improve?
- How often do you want to achieve your goal per week/month?
- What is an attainable goal for you, that is, something challenging but not impossible?
Take Breaks, When Necessary, in Physical Therapy
You must take enough breaks during physical therapy to avoid becoming burnt out. Take a break if you’re tired, overwhelmed, or frustrated—you deserve it! You may feel unmotivated after working hard during physical therapy. But taking a few minutes for yourself can help you feel better about doing physical therapy.
Remind Yourself Why You’re Doing Physical Therapy
It can be highly beneficial to remind yourself why you are undergoing physical therapy. Perhaps you want to be able to rerun a 5k or carry your groceries without pain. Whatever the reason, remembering it can provide us with the motivation we need to push through physical therapy.
Reward Yourself for Your Progress
Make it a point to treat yourself now and then during physical therapy. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant, just something small to keep you motivated to go to physical therapy again tomorrow. Perhaps it’s going out for chocolate or purchasing a new book for yourself. Whatever your preference, find something that will inspire you in the future when you’re struggling to stay positive.
Connect with Other People
Connecting with people outside your usual physical therapy setting can be highly beneficial. Talking about what you’re going through, whether with friends, family, or even online through social media or forums, can make us feel less alone and help us maintain our motivation for physical therapy.
Remember That Your Goals Aren’t Always Linear
When you’re having trouble staying motivated during physical therapy, it’s easy to think, “If only I were in better shape, I’d be able to do this.” However, being in shape does not always imply being capable. If this were true, there would be fewer people in need of physical therapy. It can be frustrating when our goals appear unattainable, but try your best and don’t give up.
Do Something That Makes You Happy
It would be best to find a way to relax during physical therapy. Play your favorite video game, watch your favorite TV show, or do anything else that helps you relax. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to take a break from physical therapy. You’ve earned it.
Find a Good Balance Between Work and Play
If you have a lot going on outside your physical sessions, don’t be afraid to request a break from your therapist. You must strike a healthy balance between work and play to remain positive and motivated throughout our physical therapy. Try not to overdo it outside your physical therapy sessions, or you will become exhausted.
Take Care of Yourself
Physical therapy can be both physically and mentally taxing. That is why it is critical that you take care of yourself during these times. Make sure you get enough sleep, eat healthy foods, and drink plenty of water. These minor adjustments will help you feel better during physical therapy and maintain your motivation.
There are numerous other ways to stay positive and motivated during physical therapy, but these are the most important. Just do your best and don’t give up, no matter how difficult it becomes. You’ve got this!