What is your plan for making it through an unexpected injury? Oh, you don’t have a plan? That’s a problem isn’t it? Here’s how to deal with the emotional side of an unexpected injury and come out on the “other side” stronger than before.
According to Burch, George & Germany, P.C a personal injury attorney in Oklahoma, one of the hardest things for clients to do after an injury is to get moving again. Being a former legal assistant, and the survivor of a few auto accident injuries myself, I know this to be all too true. Often, there are medical bills, a sense of crushing defeat if the accident is serious enough to impact daily life, and a sense of “overwhelm.”
Your life can be turned upside down.
But, the best way to handle this is not to sit down and give up. It’s to get moving again.
Trauma disrupts the body’s equilibrium. It freezes you in a state of hyperarousal and fear. You can’t get moving again. But, you have to. The solution? Overcome your body’s tendency to get “stuck.”
Instead of getting trapped in an endless cycle of thinking, break the cycle by not thinking and doing. It could be going for a walk, or just milling around the house. Exercise can help kick up the release of endorphins and get your nervous system “unstuck.”
Exercise that’s rhythmic and engages your arms and legs like walking, running, and swimming, works best. Pay attention to the sensation of your feet hitting the ground, the rhythm of your breathing, or the feeling of the wind hitting your face.
Don’t Isolate Yourself
After a traumatic experience, you may want to withdraw from society. However, this is probably the worst thing you can do. Connecting with other people helps you heal. Make an effort to maintain your relationships and avoid ruminating along in your house or apartment.
You don’t have to talk about the trauma, per se. But, connecting with other people doesn’t have to mean talking about it. For some, it can just make things worse. Sometimes, there’s a comfort zone that you don’t want to breach, and other people implicitly understand this.
Try to participate in social activities. Even if you don’t feel like it, you can do normal things with other people that don’t have anything to do with your accident. Consider making new friends. If you live alone, or you don’t have a lot of close friends and family near you, making new friends might be the ticket. Take a class or join a club to meet like-minded people with similar interests. Connect with an alumni association or reach out to neighbors and people at work.
Many people who’ve had a traumatic experience find it difficult to connect with others. If this is you, then there are some things you can do that will help. First, exercise or move around. Even if it’s a little. Jump up, down, swing your arms and legs, or just flail around. Your head will clear up, and you may be incentivized to at least get outside and walk around.
Go to a park and sit, watch people go by. At least this will get you out in society so you can be around others, which ultimately helps.
Joseph Beach was in a car accident several months ago and has been in and out of hospital for much of that time. He wants to help others in a similar situation, and does that by talking with other patients but also by writing articles which can reach a wider audience online.
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