11 Ways to Mentally Recover From a Serious Injury
Serious injuries happen all the time. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), 62 million people sought medical attention for injuries in 2021 (about 1 in 5 people).
Unfortunately, the damage that results from serious injuries often extends from the physical to the mental and emotional. Long-term distress over serious physical injury is very common.
So here are eleven ways to mentally and emotionally recover from a serious injury:
Accept your condition
Getting seriously injured can be hard. It may leave you temporarily or permanently handicapped. As a result, your day-to-day life may look much different.
Instead of getting down on yourself, try to accept your condition for what it is: a setback. Accept the new normal and look for ways to move forward with your life.
Set personal goals
Setting personal goals can help guide your behavior and give you purpose despite the setbacks caused by your physical injury.
For example, you could set a goal to read a certain number of books in a year or to complete a physical therapy program by a deadline. Such goals can help motivate you to improve and get better.
Just make sure your goals are small enough that they aren’t overwhelming. As a rule of thumb, your goals should follow the SMART criteria. This means that they are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
Develop a routine
After suffering a serious injury, your regular routine may be disrupted. In this case, it’s vital that you try to adapt by developing new routines.
For example, you may no longer be able to participate in your favorite sport. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t pick up another routine like yoga or reading.
Own your situation. Control what you can and don’t stress about things you can’t. With the help of routines, you can maintain structure in your life, which brings a level of predictability and stability you wouldn’t have otherwise.
Focus on the present
After getting injured, it’s natural to want to recover quickly. After all, you may not be able to enjoy all of the same activities you once did.
But it’s important not to get ahead of yourself. You must be patient and give yourself the proper amount of time to heal. Otherwise, you may set yourself up for disappointment when recovery doesn’t happen as quickly as you want.
Accept and ask for help
There are inevitably times when getting injured means you will need to accept and ask for help. For example, some injuries can cause serious trauma and PTSD. You might have painful nightmares or flashbacks of the incident.
Such trauma can make it hard to function. You may even be tempted to isolate yourself. However, it’s best to resist that urge.
Instead, you should seek out and accept help from family and friends. There’s no need to go through the trial of a physical injury alone.
Work with a mental health professional
Speaking of getting help, you may also want to seek professional help. For example, you could see a therapist or other mental health professional who can help you process your emotions after a serious injury.
Of course, professional help can be expensive. That’s why it’s important to get the compensation you deserve after an injury by having a competent personal injury attorney fight for your case in court.
Join a support group
Another way to help your emotional and mental recovery from a serious injury is to join a support group. Here, you can find others going through similar trials. You can gain strength by hearing their experiences and sharing your own.
Though it can be difficult to keep a positive attitude after a serious injury, it’s important that you try. Cultivating a positive mindset can help you get through an already difficult recovery. Remind yourself to look on the bright side and think about all you have to be grateful for.
Meditating can help reduce your anxiety when recovering from a serious injury. It can help you clear your mind and focus on the present moment.
If you’ve never meditated before, start small. Set a timer for a few minutes and then breathe deeply. Focus on your breath, and let your thoughts come and go without dwelling on them.
Writing down your feelings can help you process them. So journaling is a great habit to pick up after a serious injury. Keep your journal close by and make a habit of regularly writing in it. Over time, this can develop into a therapeutic practice.
Do things that make you happy
Finally, do things that make you happy. This can help relieve the stress and setbacks that often come with recovering from a serious injury. Find something you like to do, even if it’s something new.
That’s it! If you follow these tips, your recovery will be much easier.