A car accident can lead to serious physical and mental trauma. It takes time for your brain to absorb the initial shock, and you can find yourself replaying the incident over and over again. People usually ignore the consequences an accident can have on their emotional well-being. They may focus only on recovering from their physical injuries and neglect how they’re feeling in the process.
During the recovery process, you may not even feel distressed at all. Your brain is very clever in masking any painful emotions. You may find yourself experiencing anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder, where you find yourself angry, tired, scared, or unable to sleep well at night. Consider the following tips on how to recover mentally after a car accident.
Give Yourself Time
After a car accident, your body is pumped with adrenaline, which leaves you feeling fine. You need to give yourself time to heal physically and emotionally. Don’t rush to get back to work; take a leave of absence and even go on vacation to escape everything. A change of scenery and a lot of peaceful time away from life’s burdens will help tremendously in getting you to feel calm again. Invest your time in a hobby that you’ve neglected over the past years; you’ll keep yourself busy doing something you love, which will keep your mind away from thinking about your accident.
Meditate and Sleep Well
It’s normal to feel anxious and restless after a car accident. Consider practicing meditation or yoga, whether in a group or alone. Start with a few breathing exercises that you can do during the day. If the accident pops in your head, try focusing on your breathing pattern and let it go. After practicing meditation for a while, you’ll find yourself calmer and sleeping better. Lack of sleep can affect your mental health greatly, so it’s important to do everything you can to ensure you’re getting enough sleep at night.
Seek Professional Help
If all means don’t suffice, consider getting professional help from a therapist. Sometimes you may not even feel that you need therapy, but it’s still better to check up on everything under a doctor’s care. Another thing is to hire a car accident attorney to help you take care of any insurance bills and protect your rights. After a horrific incident, you may feel confused or unable to handle all the legalities of the process. An attorney will also ensure that you’re compensated for your injuries if you suffered an accident at the hand of another person.
Focus on Your Health
Taking care of your body will help with your emotions, hormones, and overall physical and mental health. Remember to drink a lot of water and eat healthy food. You can also try exercising, whether it’s an outdoor activity like hiking or playing basketball with your friends or an indoor activity like joining a gym. Exercise releases endorphins, which will make you feel happier and better about yourself. Adopt these good practices, and it will help your body refresh itself, which will help you recover faster.
Don’t Isolate Yourself
You may feel the need to stay away from everyone and take some alone time. That could help you for a while right after the accident, but don’t get in the habit of leaving everyone out. It will be difficult in the beginning, but try to speak to your loved ones first about your feelings. Join a support group where you can talk about your trauma with people who went through the same thing. This sense of camaraderie will make you feel at ease, knowing you’re not alone in your feelings. It will also get you to talk about what happened, which will jump-start your recovery process.
Get Back to Your Normal Routine
Try to ease back into your daily routine. Don’t rush yourself, but don’t avoid your daily activities either. You may find yourself avoiding driving to work or even getting into a car with someone. This is completely normal after a stressful accident. You can practice defensive driving by making sure you have your seatbelt on, observing the speed limit, and having your car regularly checked. Try shorter distances at first and then pick up the pace gradually.
Finally, you need to take it easy on yourself. Many people feel guilty after their accident, whether they caused it or survived it, while others didn’t or were severely injured. Try to work out your feelings using the above tips. Acknowledging that you need help is the first step to recuperate and get your life back on track.
Published on Holr Magazine