Taking Care of Your Mental Health After a Traumatic Accident

depressed woman

It takes a while for people to get over the pain of a traumatic accident. No, we’re not talking about the physical pain of an abusive relationship, a car accident, an injury at work, or any other traumatic incidents. We’re talking about the toll these events have on your mental health. It’s torture for people to sometimes have to live with the pain. And as much as our bodies naturally recover from physical accidents, it is our minds that often have a harder time surviving these events.

Psychological trauma is a serious condition. It is characterized by upsetting emotions, anxiety, depression, and painful memories that won’t go away. They leave the person feeling numb, disappointed, disconnected, and unable to trust people. Coping with the mental anguish of a trauma is not an easy thing even for people who are not directly affected by the events. Whatever the cause of the trauma is, whether it happened a few or several years ago, you need to take the steps toward the right direction of healing your mental health.

Do Not Isolate

Sure, you’re not comfortable with other people, but you don’t have to isolate yourself completely. Withdrawing from others is a person’s natural reaction following a trauma. But what many don’t realize is that connecting to others face to face will help soothe their pain. Remember that you don’t have to talk about the trauma. You don’t need to ask for support. What you have to do is simply connect with each other and feel their presence.

Reconnecting with old friends is one. But if you want a support group, there are also communities for trauma survivors. Talking about your trauma sometimes helps heal the mental wounds. Here, you can also make new friends.

Reaffirm Your Love for Self

People tend to forget their love for themselves when they get into something traumatic. They are so focused on their feelings (and rightfully so) that they forget about reaffirming that love for self. Look at yourself in the mirror and say the many traits you like about yourself. Having been in an accident that affected your facial features even after a maxillofacial procedure, you might think that there’s nothing there to feel good about. Loving yourself is not just physical. You also have to love what’s good about you: family, relationships, friends, advocacy, etc.

Make it a habit to focus more on your positive traits than on what you deem are negative features. There is so much to love about you—from the relationships you keep to the little twinkle in your eyes when you smile. Hone in on those traits and features and make a commitment to give yourself positive affirmation throughout the day.

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Get Plenty of Sleep

Sleep is the best gift for yourself. After a traumatic experience, it is normal for people to have trouble sleeping. Worry and fear disturb your sleeping patterns. However, the lack of sleep will make it harder for you to be in a positive mood. Aim to sleep seven to nine hours a day because this is good for your physical and mental health. Try also to go to sleep and wake up at the same time, so you can train your body to rest that long.

Meditate

A lot of people have laughed at meditating and yoga before only to find themselves enamored with it right now. The act of meditating, of clearing your mind, can help you focus on what truly matters—your health. Although you might still live in the nightmare of your trauma, clearing your head will go a long way toward healing. Mindful meditation of at least 30 minutes to an hour in the morning will prepare your mind for the day. Even in sleep, the mind doesn’t really rest. That’s why you need to make it a part of your everyday routine to calm down, settle, and give your mind a rest.

Do Things You Love

Make a list of the things you love to do. Whether it’s knitting, painting, writing, watching a movie, or reading a book, there is no wrong answer here. Make it a point to give these activities your time. Doing things you love is great for your mental health. It releases happy hormones and puts you in a good mood. Give yourself a break and focus only on what you want to do rather than on what others are forcing you to do.

It is normal for people who have undergone a traumatic event to feel helpless at times. It is also normal for them to be disoriented as if they don’t belong in their community. When it comes to recovering from traumatic events, your grasp of truth will help you come out of it thriving. Know your truth and work on healing the physical and mental wounds.

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