Knowing the 5 Stages of Grief Can Help You Better Deal with Injury – Women’s Running

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We can do a better job of recognizing that injuries are rooted in physical issues, but often come with huge mental consequences.

Most of us are familiar with the Kübler-Ross’ five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. They were originally developed to understand the emotions that come with terminal illness, but have you ever thought about how they can be used to cope with injuries that bring a halt to our fitness goals? So often we treat sports injuries as purely physical ailments, leaving the mental wounds untreated.

I’ve had a lot of time to think about this since I was diagnosed with a femoral neck stress fracture in late 2018. Stuck on crutches for 10 weeks with absolutely no training permitted—not even swimming—I struggled mentally and emotionally. (Seriously, when do they ever prohibit swimming? This was a bad one.)

I spoke with…

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