Insults are common and the risk of a personal injury is always present – especially when you’re playing contact sports.
When you’re a man who plays sports, you’re expected to have a thick skin. Insults are common and the risk of a personal injury is always present – especially when you’re playing contact sports.
But what happens when you’re hurt so bad you can’t keep playing?
And what do you do if it causes you so much physical pain that you start experiencing some emotional difficulties?
As a man, you know you face certain pressure to avoid showing too much emotion. So what do you do when you’re feeling upset enough to let it show?
Don’t feel guilty
It’s not just you. A Canadian study analyzed over 20,000 patients hospitalized for injuries and found an increased risk of mental health issues after a minimum of 10 years after the event. The greatest risk was found to be in the year following the injury.
Those with serious injuries were also found to be three times more likely to be hospitalized for mental health reasons following their injury. So if you’ve suffered from an injury, don’t feel like you’re the only one who’s going through some mental or emotional problems.
You should let yourself feel whatever it is you’re feeling without any guilt. If you’re angry, frustrated or even sad, let yourself be.
How it could affect you
It may not just be the fact you can’t play your favorite sport anymore that gets to you – even though this can be challenging since exercise reduces stress and helps you feel better. The pain you experience can leave you struggling to deal with other issues that crop up in your daily life. It could see you struggle to sleep, which can then leave you irritable and lacking to focus.
Other plans are also at risk if you’ve hurt yourself. For instance, if you have any big vacations or events coming up, you may have to cancel those. In certain situations, this can mean you lose the cash you put down on it. And you might end up disappointing other people, which could make you feel even worse.
More importantly, you might not be able to go to work. When this happens, you could face real financial difficulty. And this is one of the most serious consequences of an injury.
What to do
Even though you’ve been told by society – and maybe your friends – that boys don’t cry and men keep their feelings to themselves, you probably know that this is not a sustainable long-term strategy.
Lean on your friends and family. The people who really care about you will be there for you. These are the people you don’t have to try to impress by staying stoic about the injury and how it’s affected the rest of your life. Tell them what’s really going on with you. Be honest.
You can also use the time you’re laid up with the injury to focus on other parts of your life. If you have more free time, spend it with your family, for example. Your loved ones – especially your kids – will be happy to have more time with you. So even though you’re hurting and you’re facing some significant challenges because of this injury, it doesn’t have to be all bad. There are aspects of your life that you can really work on giving a boost during this time.
And forgive yourself. Give yourself a break for feeling these emotions. If you’re in physical pain, you’re allowed to feel emotional pain as a result.
Allow yourself to accept that you don’t have to live up to anyone else’s expectations of you.
This content is brought to you by Carrie Tennick.