There’s nothing more upsetting than suffering an injury in dance, especially right before an important show or an audition.
Recovery feels like a never ending road because the injury challenges you both physically and mentally.
It’s heart-breaking for me to see you suffer and that’s why I talk about nourishment and adequate fuelling to PREVENT injuries in the first place.
But what if you do happen to get an injury, what can you do?
That’s what I discussed with Claire Harris from Recover from Injury in the Nutrition for Injury Recovery.
We probably had a good 60-minute chat on how compassionate and respectful eating can assist with the healing process and Claire did a great job editing that down to half the length!
There are many useful advice from a variety of wonderful dietitians so it’s definitely worth reading the article too.
Here’s a summary of the advise I’ve given, on the Three fundamental things for enhacing the healing process:
Enjoy nourishing foods that feel safe and comfortable
- Foods with high nutritional value, such as wholegrains, vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, meat/fish/poultry and dairy/non-dairy alternatives are all essential foods.
- There’s no need to go for a kale salad everyday (unless you genuinely love it) but rather go for meals that cover the above food groups that you’re familiar with.
Apply a dose of curiosity
- Curiosity can help you manage stressful situations.
- When you’re injured, it’s not uncommon for you to experience more emotional/stress-induced eating, which might, for you, feel like is a “bad thing”. In these situations, instead of blaming yourself for overeating, try and ask yourself “I wonder why I’m doing this now? What am I trying to fulfill? Is there a way to fulfill this in ways other than eating?”
- Alternatively, if you’re the type to shut out food when stressed then try and view eating as a way of self-care and ask yourself “can I eat in a way that nourishes my body to help this challenging recovery process?”
- By managing stress and learning to relax to some extent can enhance your body’s nutrient absorption, leading to better recovery.
Explore food variety, when you’re ready
- Your body has increased nutrient needs when injured – both macro- and micro-nutrients.
- Especially with micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), the more variety of foods you can eat, the more adequate intake you’ll get for each vitamins and minerals.
- Could you utilise some of your time to explore different foods? Maybe adding one new ingredient to your favourite meal, or trying a new recipe?
The process of recovery from an injury can be tough.
But you can use it to your advantage and learn many intuitive skills during the process so that you’re equipped with better body awareness and nutrition strategies in the future.
Let it become the time for you to grow.