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5 Lessons Learned From A Broken Arm: Check-In With Your Body

Healthy Living Strategies Kuel Category Expert: Diana Devi

We’ve all heard the saying that a person died doing what they loved. I didn’t die but I did break my arm doing what I love, dancing.

My weekly Argentine Tango Zoom class is challenging in many ways especially when wearing 3-inch heels! Instructed to turn backward starting with a quarter turn, I pushed myself to achieve a full turn. Our exercise was to turn backward starting with a quarter turn then build up to a full turn.

I used too much power and two revolutions later, I was on the floor landing with a crack! I was laughing alternating with spasms of pain. After a visit to the urgent care, I discovered I broke my arm. And that is where the lessons began!

“My doctor chuckled and stated “you don’t have any stamina yet.”

1) Listen To Your Body:

When your body says it’s time to stop, stop. With a broken arm, the feedback is pretty hard to ignore. The pain at an intensity of 8 or 9 out of 10 will definitely get your attention. Our goal is to listen for subtle clues as to what our body needs.

There are many things you can’t do, or can’t do as quickly or easily as before. When you are recuperating from an injury, illness or surgery you tire, much earlier than you normally would. The result may be surprising!

During my first recheck after urgent care, I asked if there was something else wrong because after working at my desk for half an hour, I had to go take a nap for an hour. My doctor chuckled and stated “you don’t have any stamina yet. You need to rest.”

Resting is kind of a hard thing to do for some of us. And in this case, I got a great lesson about resting. If I did not take the time to rest when my body told me it needed to rest, fatigue turned to pain. My body gave me a very quick lesson on fine-tuning listening to a degree I have never had in the past.

Now I’m listening more carefully. I find that my pain level has been much less, and I’m recuperating faster.

2) Determine What HAS To Be Done And Let The Rest Go!

Like you, my to-do list was a mile long. It is never completely finished. With a broken arm, I could only type with my right hand. I could accomplish so much less!

Ruthless prioritization was required in my professional and personal life. Only the most important tasks were completed. I made a list of everything I needed to do. Highlighted the most important things and then cut that list in half.

I learned to take shortcuts, such as creating an audio file with transcription and editing later. I had to choose only those tasks that were most important and stick to them! No more sneaking one more thing in!

3) Make Sleep Is A Priority:

More sleep is required to promote healing. Give your body what it needs. Because of the pain, my sleep was fitful. I was not getting a full restful eight hours of sleep.

I had to be more disciplined about turning off, video, or phones or any kind of electronic stimulus even earlier than normal. I wanted to heal and heal quickly. I needed to rest and sleep to give my body what it needed.

“I wanted to heal and heal quickly. I needed to rest and sleep to give my body what it needed.”

4). Move In A Way That Supports Your Body:

I had to redefine my movement and start to incorporate rehab movements into my daily routine. I’ve been a dancer for many years with very specific drills.

I was not able to do those drills. I needed to totally modify, dial back, or skip it. I had to be creative about how I moved. Modifying my environment to be helpful was a must. I changed my desk set up; the way that I slept; how I sat in my car, et cetera. so I could heal properly. Every day I told myself, I am doing this so I can be back to a fuller life. It often kept me from getting depressed about getting my first broken bone!

5) The Last Thing, Eat Well:

When you’re in pain( broken arm), or deprived of something you love (dancing) you turn to other things to satisfy you. I wanted to indulge in comfort food.

I had to ask myself, do you really want this or are you just eating because of the stress of inactivity? In order to heal, I had to give my body the fuel it needed. I must admit I had potato chips on more than one occasion (my secret guilty pleasure), When indulging I made sure to enjoy every last bite. I did not eat out of the bag, or while standing. I used a bowl, sat down, and crunched away.

Paying close attention to the subtle ways my body lets me know what it needs has helped me keep on track to return to dancing.

Check-In With Your Body:

What motivates you? What makes you want to physically, emotionally, and mentally be your best? Ask yourself how you can get better at taking a few moments daily to check in with your body for what you need to achieve!

I really had an eye-opening experience and that has carried me deeper into my body’s intelligence and ways of communicating what is best for me.

I hope that sharing this with you also changes your perspective.

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Diana Devi Headshot

About The Author:

Diana is an empowerment coach for women over 50, building on her 30 years of experience as a clinical pharmacist and as an Argentine tango dancer. Diana’s goal is to help her clients become a W.H.I.P.  “A Woman, who is Hot, Intelligent and in her Prime at EVERY age. When Diana is not working with clients or on the dance floor she is training her cats, CleoCatra ( an Egyptian Mau) and D’Artagnan (a Savannah) while patiently waiting for the day she can travel around the world to dance tango again. You can checkout Diana on her website: An Ageless Life.