Top 3 tips to help you shift your mindset when you're dealing with an injury or setback

Are you dealing with an injury, setback or some sort of physical limitation (being sick counts) that’s holding you back from doing the things you normally do and love to do? If not, YAY - I’m super happy for you! Seriously! Your health is your wealth, don’t take it for granted.

Today, I’m collaborating with entrepreneur, graphic designer and the lady who branded the Soul Squad, Sara Barnabe, who is currently setback with a broken ankle and we’ve decided to share three ways to shift your mindset while dealing with an injury (or some physical limitation that’s holding you back).


Setbacks can be extremely discouraging and demand a lot of patience. Even when you get a simple cold it can hold you back from your activities and going to the gym, which can be really frustrating. It doesn’t make it any easier watching everyone else crush their health and fitness related goals when you aren’t lacking motivation, it’s just that you physically can’t!

Naturally, injuries will leave you feeling defeated and discouraged. Apart from the pain, which can be debilitating, it can stop your entire universe in its tracks and make the easiest tasks you once took for granted a hundred times harder. Your mindset will determine your physical reality.

The first step to shifting your mindset is accepting that you have an injury (or that you’re sick, whatever it is for you). This may take a few days or weeks, but eventually you need to take a big breath and accept what has happened. The sooner you accept it, the sooner you can focus on the road to recovery. However, it doesn’t just end with acceptance. There are other ways to shift your mindset to come back stronger than ever – both mentally and physically. That’s the goal, right?!

Top Three Tips to help you shift your mindset:

1. Focus on what you CAN do instead of what you CAN’T do and always celebrate the little wins, no matter how damn small they are. This will help you shift your energy to help you shift your mindset!

“When you focus on problems, you’ll have more problems. When you focus on possibilities, you’ll have more opportunities.” - Lewis Howes.

Take a step back and indulge in those naps you’ve been dreaming of. Try to embrace your new lifestyle at a slower pace by indulging in the things you previously may not have had time for –  for example: a hot bubble bath, a good read, a long stretch or massage, etc. Try looking at your injury or setback as an opportunity rather than a problem.

Do your best to take it day by day. Some days will be bad, and some days will be good. Focus on what makes you feel better and what you CAN do, instead of what you can’t do. Maybe your appetite is stronger today, maybe you woke up feeling good for the first time in weeks or maybe your pain level is much lower than usual. We don’t often pay attention to the small wins, but that is how you will stay motivated and positive as you recover! We know that it can hard to focus on what you CAN do when you feel like your world is crashing and you’re so caught up with being frustrated. But by focusing on the positive (even when it’s hard) it will help you shift your energy to a more positive state and that energy will ultimately help you shift your mindset.

2. Ask your body what it’s trying to tell you. Then, surrender and let the answer arise

Our bodies are maps containing all sorts of messages for us on a daily basis. If you’re dealing with an injury, illness or anything else that’s holding you back from doing the physical activities you love to do there’s a good chance it’s happening because you’re supposed to learn something from it. Beneath the physical pain and mental distress there is a message for you. The sooner you surrender and receive the message the sooner you’ll be on the road to recovery. The obvious message we get when we’re sick or injured is to slow down. But, try looking even deeper. Maybe there is more to it. For example, maybe this is your body’s way of telling you that you’re focusing on the wrong things and it’s trying to create space and time for you to focus on what you actually need in your life. Maybe you’re spending too much time in the gym and you need to spend more time with your family, studying, meditating or reading a good old book.

Instead of asking, “Why is this happening to me!” with a negative tone, change it to a positive and inquisitive tone, “Why is this happening to me? What message am I supposed to receive? What lesson am I supposed to learn?”

Do your best to be positive and open-minded rather than negative and closed off. When you’re opened minded and positive you might get an answer as to “why” this is happening to you and that “why” can be incredibly powerful when it comes to shifting your mindset and moving forward.

3. Start meditating! Or keep meditating if you already have a meditation practice. This is the most important point, but we listed it last for a reason… keep reading…

Simply put, meditation helps you increase your awareness. When you have a greater sense of awareness, you will be able to RESPOND to situations (aka injuries and setbacks) in life rather than REACT to them. When you are in a more balanced state, mentally, it will help you shift your mindset to manage any stressful and negative situations in life and any injuries and setbacks.  The reason why we listed meditation last (even though it’s probably the most important) is because it can actually help with the other two things we shared first.

Point number one was about focusing on the good and looking for opportunities rather than problems, well if meditation helps you increase your awareness then you will be able to focus on MORE good things and you’ll be able to identify more opportunities.

Point number two was about receiving a greater message or lesson. Meditation helps develop your awareness and inner-knowing so you’ll be able to receive your messages faster and more clearly.

Injuries can be frustrating, but that doesn’t mean you can’t consciously direct your attention elsewhere, expand your awareness and enjoy your lifestyle at a slower pace. Focus your energy on self-care and self-love and be grateful for the health you do have!

If you’re interested in how meditation can help you shift your mindset and perhaps a meditation recording to help you get through injuries or setbacks, stay tuned for 2019! The Soul Squad (online yoga and meditation) will be introducing some new materials in 2019 that are all about self-care, self-love and self-development. Make sure you sign up to be notified when registration opens by clicking the button below.


Sam + Sara

Sara Barnabe