Being injured is hard—physically and mentally. It doesn’t matter if the injury happened when you were golfing or not; it gets in the way of playing, and that’s no fun (and painful!).

When you’re injured, the focus often becomes fixated on how you’re healing physically. And while that’s very important, the way you approach an injury mentally is just as important. Your mental approach to dealing with an injury can impact the time it takes to heal and will directly affect your experience for the recovery process.

Frustration, negativity, and impatience may be a part of the recovery process (unfortunately) when you’ve been injured. It’s important to understand that healing and recovering from injury isn’t just a physical process; there will be mental and emotional reactions and responses too. Your experience overall will depend on the severity of the injury, the recovery process, if you have had an injury before, and many more . . .

Your recovery process will be unlike anyone else, but no matter what it’s like, you will benefit from acknowledging your thoughts and feelings, and by keeping the following ideas in mind.

Have a Mental Game Plan

After your injury, you probably have a physical plan from your doctor and/or your physical therapist for how to help yourself heal. However, your doctors may not address the mental side of recovery, so be sure to come up with your own mental recovery plan.

This might include doing imagery of the skills or parts of the round you can’t practice.

Practice saying positive affirmations each day to remind you that you’re strong.

Or adjust any negative-thinking or doubts that may arise as you get back out onto the course and start to play. Your mental game plan can be whatever you need, and may adjust over the course of your recovery. But be sure to take care of yourself mentally and emotionally as you recover from injury.

Roll with the Punches

If you’ve ever dealt with an injury, you know that the road to recovery isn’t always direct, predictable, or smooth. Even though you have a mental and physical plan, those won’t always happen as you envisioned or have the results you want in the time frame you’d like.

So, just roll with it.

Know that you can handle whatever is to come. Recovery and rehab might take longer than you expected or wanted, but it might also be faster than you thought.

Regardless, your recovery probably won’t be predictable, so if you can go in with the attitude that you’ll face recovery as it comes, with a strong and positive attitude as much as you can, you put yourself in a good position. And, know that there will be tough, painful, and emotional days, and it’s good to let yourself experience those feelings as part of the process.

Injuries are tough in a lot of ways. If you address the mental and emotional side of recovery in addition to the physical aspects, you’ll likely get through your recovery feeling better and you might also notice that you heal faster.