We are often taught that if you are involved in a car accident, the most important thing you can do is keeping cool. Although fear is a natural response to this kind of situation, it is important that, when possible, you keep a level head to ensure the safety of yourself than others. However, whilst there is plenty of advice on what to do after an accident to getting your car fixed, checking your insurance, and figuring out how you will afford to fix any damages – there is little guidance out there on how to take care of yourself on a personal level.
While it is important to deal with the above factors promptly, it is also vital that you take a step back following the accident and prioritize taking care of yourself – both physically and emotionally. After all, being involved in an accident is a frightening occurrence that can have long term effects on your mental and physical health.
With that in mind, here are some small ways that you can take care of yourself following an accident.
- Think about the injuries you cannot see.
Whenever we see a car accident on the television, the injuries are clear. However, it is important to remember that not all injuries are immediately visible, and you should seek medical attention as soon as possible after an accident. For example, many injuries are often overlooked after an accident as they are not immediately obvious, or you may not begin to notice symptoms for a few days. This includes injuries such as whiplash or concussion. Symptoms can include dizziness, drowsiness, or stiffness in your neck/shoulders. You should monitor any of these symptoms closely and seek further help should you require it.
It is also important to consider any emotional damage you may have sustained during the accident. For example, you may be experiencing heightened anxiety or even PTSD. Attending therapy is a great way to safely process your feelings and emotions and your therapist will also be able to provide you with coping mechanisms to manage any emotional turmoil you may be facing.
- Take a break
Sometimes, when something traumatic happens to us, we feel as though we have to immediately carry on with our lives so as not to dwell on any negativity. However, you must give yourself an appropriate time to recover and reflect on what happened. This could mean taking a few days of work to relax, without putting any undue pressure on yourself.
How you spend this time is completely up to you. Perhaps you will want to surround yourself with friends and family, or take part in one of your favorite hobbies – so long as you are taking a step back from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, you will see the benefits.
- Consider meditation
If you are experiencing heightened anxiety, you may also wish to consider taking part in activities such as meditation or yoga. They have been proven to reduce overwhelming feelings of stress and anxiety by letting you channel your energy into something positive. If you have never meditated before, there are plenty of tutorials online that provide you with step-by-step guidance.