Being sick is hard. Being admitted to the hospital with a leg three times its normal size is even harder. When you stand, it’s painful. When you walk, it hurts everywhere. And when you sit to pee, well, I will just leave that ‘how to’ for another article altogether.
The question is: How can you stay active and not go crazy when you’re required to lie in bed all day?
Now you may not be bed bound or have anyone you are taking care of who is, but you or someone you know and love may have a bout with inactivity. The pandemic resulted in a great deal of inactivity for everyone, even those who prided themselves on having an active lifestyle. It is no surprise then that mental health became another consequence of lockdown.
For those of you who need guidance, here are my tips on staying active in a hospital.
One: Get up every 90 minutes if you can, even if you need assistance. Take your nurse’s words to heart. Call them when you need them. I could stand and walk on my own, but after my surgeries, I had no issues calling for help. And I had three surgeries in a two-week time frame.
Two: Walk in place or stand where you can and push yourself to the limits. By that I don’t mean until you pass out or fall over, I mean until you have had enough. For me, it was a tinge of pain in the thigh or foot. For you, it can be something else entirely. Pay attention to your body and do right by it.
Three: Exercise your body in bed. Check out YouTube or google safe exercises to do while you are laying down on your bed. You will find a variety of safe and easy exercises to do that will keep your muscles active. Your mind will thank you as well.
Four: Take advantage of your bathroom runs. Do a few squats if you can. Try a few stretches like lifting your hands to the ceiling, touching your toes and side twists. These may sound like very easy yoga or pilates moves, but trust me when I say, your body will thank you later.
Five: For the body and mind, just breathe. Again, I know this sounds too easy but whether you lay on the bed or stand or take a spin around the room, doing 20 plus deep breaths helps your heart, calms your mind and relaxes your body.
Six: Meditate and or pray. Some of us can be grilled up in prayer for hours, and others prefer to meditate with soft music and speak their dreams and desires into existence. Whichever you choose to do, write what was important for you that day. Your thoughts, just like your words, matter. No negativity allowed. Think big. Dream big. Speak big.
Write a letter, a note or a quick text
Seven: Call or write to a friend. Texting counts. Share your successes of the day, the week. Share what you plan to do once you get released and once your body is back to normal. Will you take up running again? Hit the weight room? Swim or Stand-up paddle boarding. Have you always wanted to take-up roller skating and perfect it better than you did as a kid? I do.
While hospitalized for two weeks, I felt like there was nothing I could do to stay sane or active. Once I started moving around the room, sitting and doing arm circles, or side bends for as long as I could before my body said rest. I became hopeful. I pictured all the great things I could do and see once I felt better and my body and mind felt healed.
Check out this Yoga app. They offer a free trial, but they do charge. Make sure it is right for you before committing. I have had it for two weeks and I love it. And I feel great! https://yoga-go.fit/
Recover. Heal the aches and wounds. Then get up and dance like no one’s watching.