My Post-Surgery Self-Care Routine
Posted on November 29th, 2016
Recovery teaches us a valuable life lesson – results doesn’t happen overnight. We manifest change by putting in the hard work every day. It’s been 5 months since my surgery and I’m finally starting to feel the benefits.
As a yogi and health enthusiast, my goal is for my recovery to be the best and healthiest possible.
Here was my daily routine post op that kept me mentally sane and physically happy:
Morning: Rise n’shine!
Mornings tended to be more of a challenge due to lack of sleep resulting from the pain. Some lucky knee warriors experience a shorter period of pain. Others of us, however, are not as lucky. It doesn’t mean anything about our pain tolerance. All of our bodies are just different.
I would always start the day with a healthy breakfast. Eating is a form of self-care and having delicious meals can help brighten your day. A particular favourite of mine was avocado toast along with greek yogurt topped with fruit and chia seeds. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and I gave myself the proper fuel for the day ahead. I also made sure to hydrate my body by drinking plenty of water.
Midmorning: Warrior mode
After I finished digesting, I embraced full warrior mode. Range of motion was my biggest challenge. Doctor Pereira wasn’t satisfied with my range of motion at my second follow-up appointment so I started using a chair that increased flexibility. The goal of the machine was to achieve the same ‘stretch’ that you get in physical therapy. I held the stretch for 10 minutes, extended for 10 minutes and then bent my knee again for another 10 minutes. As it was incredibly painful, I focused on my breath to help try and relax my body as much as possible. I also did heel slides to increase range of motion.
And as in yoga class, I finished my training with a little savasana. Namaste!
As it’s easy to feel down due to lack of exercise, I cut out all processed foods and limited my sugar intake. I chose foods that had inflammatory properties to help my body heal and feel balanced.
My afternoon varied depending on whether I had physical therapy or not. If I didn’t have physical therapy I would do a second set of exercises on my own. I did the chair four times a day.
To keep me from going stir crazy I would watch movies, read, meditate and find outlets to connect to other people recovering. It’s a difficult recovery so the support of fellow knee warriors was very helpful. You might even want to try blogging to share with others your tips on your ultimate comeback. Then for an afternoon snack I would have celery, cucumber and a chia pudding.
Dinners were also healthy with plenty of greens. This theme of slowing down also applied at the table by practicing mindful eating. I feel more nourished when I take time to enjoy my food. It also prevents me from overeating.
Post-dinner I would have some fruit and a little bit of chocolate while we watched a movie. I steered away from over-stimulating films as falling asleep was always challenging. Right before I bed I would sip on a warm herbal (non-caffeinated) tea which is helpful to relax the muscles.
When it’s easier to move your leg, Legs-Up-the Wall pose is a wonderful way to unwind and prepare for sleep. Spraying some essential oils, like lavender, can also help to soothe the mind.
I hope these tips help to make your recovery healthier and happier. You are a warrior!