How to Effectively Pass the Time When Stuck at Home During Recovery

It may seem depressing to think of a long recovery at home after back surgery without work or other productive activity. You may not be able to imagine not going out to work every day, and sitting at home in front of the TV or laying in bed for hours on end. It doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, there are plenty of things that you can do to stay healthy and even improve your employment skills while you recuperate. Plan to get the most from your time out, not only to keep yourself occupied, but to accomplish goals, protect yourself emotionally, and recover faster.

Protect Your Mental Health

The Mayo Clinic reports that resiliency enables you to bounce back from adversities including recovery time at home after surgery. It protects against depression and anxiety, improves your ability to cope, and helps you heal faster. Staying connected during recovery is very important to resiliency, providing positive support and meaning to time away from work and regular routines. With a lot of free time to fill, you can even establish new connections through volunteer work, getting involved in a spiritual group such as a prayer group in your church, or being productive in your community. Check websites of organizations such as your town’s administration or local churches and hospitals for opportunities you may be interested in and able to participate in while recovering.

Get New Employment Skills

A study by College Measures shows that many occupational certificate holders earn more than those with four-year degrees. The study compared wages of those with certificates and those with college degrees across 20 states. If you know you’ll be out of commission for six months or more, take advantage of the time by learning a new job skill or get a certification that will help you when you are ready to return to work. Online career diploma programs such as Penn Foster medical billing and coding classes don’t require the physical aspect of commuting to campus to learn new skills. If you have wanted to change careers or improve skills in your current field, your recovery time can be just the ticket to accomplishing it.

Stay Productive

You may not think that time spent in physical therapy and being away from work for an extended period can be productive. But use your time to do the things you couldn’t get to before your recovery period, such as organizing your finances with an online budget program like Quickbooks, get back to a favorite hobby like woodworking or writing, or practice gourmet cooking.’s forum users suggest spending your recovery time on a mix of entertaining activities, emotional care, productive activities, doing good for others, and focusing on getting mobile. Keep your mind healthy with the fun things your normally busy schedule doesn’t allow for like listening to music, watching movies, and playing games. Stay connected to friends and family and use recovery time to let them know how much they mean to you. Take care of yourself physically as well as mentally and emotionally, and you’ll recover faster and feel better while you’re home.

Armin Brott

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Armin Brott is the proud father of three, a former U.S. Marine, a best-selling author, radio host, speaker, and one of the country’s leading experts on fatherhood. He writes frequently about fatherhood, families, and men's health. Read more about Armin or visit his website, You can also connect via social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest,  and Linkedin.
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