Sometimes we get injured. It sucks, and it happens. As discussed in a previous post, I sprained my ankle a few weeks ago. My usual, busy schedule has been thinned to a few sedentary activities. Needless to say, I’m going a little bit stir-crazy. I always try to make the most of such non-optional idleness by engaging in activities that I enjoy, but can’t quite bring myself to regularly prioritize over more active endeavours. And so, without further ado, here are some quiet, inexpensive activities I would recommend to occupy time while one is injured, both to stay sane and prepare for being active again:
- Do your rehab exercises. If you have exercises that you should be doing to help your recovery, take the time to actually do them properly. Write the alphabet with your foot, give your hand contrast baths, spin slowly and gently on a spin bike to increase blood flow to your cartilage, or whatever you have been assigned!
- Exercise however you can. Although one injury may take out your favourite activity, it doesn’t have to take out all forms of exercise. If your knee is injured and can’t do high-impact activities, go for a swim or try water running. If your arm is injured, do body weight squats and lunges (and lots of them – high reps will add up). If your ankle and foot are injured, maybe you can still do most mat pilates exercises. Listen to your body, and don’t give up completely!
- Teach your dog a new trick! In general, Feist and my relationship is heavily predicated on a love of hiking and little patience for sitting still for any reason. That being said, sometimes one or both of us need to rest, so I usually try to teach her a new trick or practice old ones. It’s a fun way for us to engage without the demands on our bodies.
- Organize your recipes. Even if you are not a passionate cook, it’s so useful to be able to find the recipe you want quickly. And if don’t have any recipes, maybe it would be fun to find some to try out! Whether you like to use physical books, bookmarks on websites, or an app like Plan to Eat, taking the time to categorize, cull, and curate your recipes will save you time in the long run and get you (more) excited about cooking.
- Bullet journal. Bullet journaling is a system for using your notebook to organize your thoughts. It is part list-making, part journaling, part scrapbooking, and part daily planner. It’s a completely customizable approach so you can swing heavily into whatever aspect appeals to you. There are lots of free online resources to explore, all proving dramatically different takes on the same system.
- Write lists. I’m not even joking about this one. I always wish I had an existing list to remember items for re-occuring events, like day hikes, dinner parties, work trips, or my gym bag. Try keep little lists of mountains to climb, books to read, recipes to try, and anything else you’re apt to forget. Write these lists in you bullet journal and have something to refer back to!
- Practice your handwriting, hand lettering, and calligraphy. Excellent penmanship is a very practical skill, and hand lettering is becoming an increasingly popular art form. As communication becomes digital, it’s a particularly outstanding to be able to write beautiful, clear script for special occasions. A few brush pens and ink pens will set you back less than $25, and provide hours and hours of entertainment.
- Knit. I love to knit, but I’m really bad at sitting still long enough to complete a project. Knitting is a very satisfying, and there are hundreds of resources online. I taught myself to knit using youtube, one stitch at a time! Yarn can be pretty expensive, so I often knit lace projects, because a single skein on yarn provides many more hours of amusement.
- Update your LinkedIn profile. It doesn’t matter the phase of your career, it never hurts to have a solid LinkedIn profile. It can also be a bit of a pain to maintain, so I like to take advantage of sedentary period to update as necessary, so when my profile is needed, it’s 95% ready.
- Plan things to do when you’re fully functional. Research all the places to go and knowledge to acquire before you can jump into that project, pursuit, or trip that you’ve been desperate to engage with, but haven’t had the time to prepare. You want to go to Cambodia, but haven’t really had the time to sit down and do a feasibility study? Now would be a really good time (and it gives you something to get excited about)!
- Invest time in setting habits. Setting new habits forces you to slow down and think more consciously about how and what you a doing. They also take time to reinforce into your routines until they are second nature. So why not take make use of a period when you are already moving more slowly and carefully, and have more time on your hands, to get a foothold on a habit you’ve been meaning to adopt?
- All the coffee dates, all the time. That friend that you like but never seem to be able to make time to visit? Now is the time. Call them, make a coffee date, and spend some time catching up!
Good luck, and I hope you feel better soon!