Undergoing surgery is no one’s idea of fun. Sometimes it is accidental, but most often it’s inevitable (C-section, gallbladder removal) or unavoidable in pursuit of a longer-term health goal. Just as you research your doctor and the pros and cons of surgery, similarly take time to plan your post-operation downtime so the healing process is enjoyable, less stressful, and a time you look forward to. Here are some ways to make convalescing a fun and fruitful one.
Learn to breathe again
Channel your downtime at home towards re-learning a new skill: breathing. Believe it or not, there is an art to inhaling and exhaling, and when you discover the power of your breath, you’ll unlock a series of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual benefits. There are many breathing exercises to explore: pranayama (breath control) commonly used in yoga practice, circular and rebirthing breath, SOMA Breath that combines breathwork and meditation to the rhythm of the music, or simply becoming more conscious of one’s breath and the thoughts that accompany it.
Color your way to relaxation
Recovery takes all forms and refocusing one's attention on a simple but specific task over a period of time can bring about an elevated sense of peaceful mental stillness. No wonder, the trend of adult coloring books has taken off in recent years. By reverting to a familiar childhood activity - albeit a more complicated version - where the only goal is to leisurely fill empty patterns of florals, mandalas, or animals, it’s a form of meditation, and for a spell, leaves our brain focused on nothing more than a pleasurable task that can eventually decorate your four walls for a splash of color.
Adopt a gentle exercise regime
Depending on the type of surgery you’ve undergone, a doctor or physical therapist will advise how best to ease back into a gentle exercise regime. Still doing simple stretches in bed, or getting outdoors to walk slowly will aid your recovery and prevent issues like constipation and deep vein thrombosis from developing. Subject to your mobility and pain tolerance, consider chair yoga, leg raises, or even walking around the garden to actively improve overall blood flow — you’ll be surprised at how these low-impact exercises can quicken your recovery.
Eat and drink to heal
It’s tempting to use the post-surgery period to indulge in sugary, comfort food, and you should, but in moderation. This is the perfect time to look at what you eat and drink as recovery fuel. Consider supplementing your diet with antioxidants and vitamins A, C, E, and zinc, and possibly vitamin D if you’re not able to get outside for direct sunlight. Focus on eating anti-inflammatory foods like salmon and green leafy vegetables, drinking healing bone broths to reduce inflammation, sipping veggie and vitamin-rich smoothies for a healthy sweet treat, and ensuring you’re having adequate proteins (animal or plant) to help rebuild your muscle so you emerge post-op, stronger and healthier.
Explore the world from home with Beeyonder
While travel may not be on the cards for your short-term future, there’s nothing like a bit of wanderlust to make your time recovering a lot more enjoyable. Beeyonder offers a wide range of immersive virtual tours; transport yourself to the streets of Moscow as you join a walking tour of iconic sites like the Red Square and Lenin’s Mausoleum, learn about the aboriginal Arakwal people of Byron Bay and the native flora and fauna of the area, visit the holiest place on earth to view the Western Wall from a different angle, or simply sit back and enjoy learning about the adorable penguins in Antarctica.
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