Mental Health

7 Tips to Get Your Life Back After an Accident

Extrication Car Crash

An involvement in an accident, especially one that has robbed you physically or emotionally is cause for mental stress. After any accident, it is normal to experience mild to severe shock, and when the effects of the shock wears down, to deal with the emotional after-effects.

Accidents, no matter the kind, be they car accidents or accidents at work involving machinery, can elicit strong emotions that at the time may seem unmanageable. Recovery may at times seem near impossible, however it is important to recognize that these emotions are normal.

The problem occurs when it seems as if you’re not able to get over the trauma by yourself, mulling over in your mind the events of the accident. In this case you would need more than waiting it out. Here are a couple of self-help strategies to help you deal with the trauma and help you get your life back after an accident.

1. Take Care of Yourself First

It is important that you take care of yourself. Building up your immune system, that could have been depleted due to the trauma, is the first step to protecting yourself. Eat a well-balanced diet, with plenty of fruit and vegetables. Make sure to get plenty of rest, sleep and relaxation.

Above all be extremely gentle with self, allowing the mind to enter a state of rest and care. If you can, get into a non-strenuous exercise regime. The emphasis here is on allowing the mind to deal with the psychological aspect of things without being strained by the demands of the physical.

2. Keep A Balanced Schedule

Having experienced trauma associated with an accident robs you of peace of mind. Maintaining a balanced schedule and trying to adhere as much as possible to the routine you followed before the accident occurred will help to minimize the effect it has.

Try as much as possible to fall right back into usual activities, including leisure activities. The less emphasis is placed on the event, the easier it will be to transition out of trauma and into acceptance.

3. Talk About It

This is one of the most effective therapies for victims of accidents. Talking about the accident is therapy in itself. Talk about it with family members, especially those that are willing to listen without interrupting. Sharing with friends, acquaintances and professional counselors also helps.

Talking is by far the cheapest trauma counselling you can get. Therefore, if you can get free self-counseling through talking, then go for it.

4. Try to Be as Comfortable as Possible

After an accident, you might have been injured and therefore might experience physical discomfort. Being in a situation where you cannot take of self or might not even be able to walk is reason enough to make you feel as if you’ve lost control of your life. In the case of having lost the ability to walk a motorized wheelchair will ease the suffering and bring more normalcy to your life.

5. Seek Out a Positive Mindset

Try as much as possible to be involved in activities that have a feel-good positive vibe to them. According to Barbara O. Rothbaum, Director of Emory University’s Trauma and Anxiety Recovery program, these positive emotions play a big part in the self-care needed to heal. Resurfacing pleasant memories can help by preventing you from sinking into depression.

6. Confront Your Feelings

To overcome the setbacks in our lives caused by an accident we have to confront the feelings we encounter along the way. Feelings of shame, helplessness, anger, anxiety, guilt, sadness and various others must be faced in order not to get trapped into the vicious vortex of bitterness and resentment.

7. Get Back Out There

The best thing to do after an accident, in order to win your life back, is to face the world again. Although you might feel tempted to hide away and stay in isolation, that is one of the biggest mistakes you can make.

Doing it as soon as possible is best, because returning to your normal routine is of paramount importance. It will help you forge new memories, move past your traumatic encounter and claim back parts of you that have felt lost since the accident.

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Paul Tomaszewski is a science & tech writer as well as a programmer and entrepreneur. He is the founder and editor-in-chief of CosmoBC. He has a degree in computer science from John Abbott College, a bachelor's degree in technology from the Memorial University of Newfoundland, and completed some business and economics classes at Concordia University in Montreal. While in college he was the vice-president of the Astronomy Club. In his spare time he is an amateur astronomer and enjoys reading or watching science-fiction. You can follow him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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