Life After Injury: How to Get Back on Track

Life is unpredictable. Sometimes, you can be making your way through life as usual; when something comes out of nowhere and changes everything. Unfortunately, accidents can happen at any time, and when they do, they can throw your life into disarray. No one can predict when an accident will happen, which can make the situation much harder to handle and can cause a lot of distress.

An injury can cause significant changes in your life, and impact on you both physically and emotionally. This is entirely normal, as any change in life requires a period of adjustment. This time of adjustment is especially the case when the circumstances are unexpected.

Be Kind to Yourself

When you have been injured, it can be frustrating to be laid up when you really want to get on with your life. It is especially frustrating if you find yourself injured through no fault of your own. As a result of your frustration, you may feel angry with yourself for not being able to do the things that you used to. This is a normal way to feel, and you may find yourself more dependent on friends and family to help you with everyday tasks at this time. Try to take comfort from the fact that just because things are a struggle now, it doesn’t mean that they always will be this way.

If you dislike having family and friends helping you out, remember that if they were in your situation, you would be offering them precisely the same level of support. It is at times of need when families come together to show their support.

Try not to put yourself under too much pressure. At the beginning of your recovery, you will still be overcoming the shock of what happened as well as your physical injuries. There is no time limit on recovery; you simply need to rest and allow your body to heal at its own pace.

Look for Some Closure

Suffering an injury caused through no fault of your own can leave you feeling angry and bitter. You may find that you have unresolved anger and resentment bubbling up inside of you. Unresolved issues can make it hard to move on with your life and could even slow down your physical recovery. Harboring feelings of resentment means that the impact of your injury can weigh heavily on you even once the physical scars have healed.

To move forward with your life, it can be helpful to find closure. Closure is a term that is often overused and may seem like a cliché, but this shouldn’t put you off of seeking it. Finding a way to come to terms with what has happened can help you to move on to the next stage of your life. This will enable you to look to the future without your thoughts being overshadowed by your past. How you achieve closure is very much a personal decision, as everyone’s situation is unique.

Some people find that being compensated for their injuries can provide the closure they need. Receiving compensation can make it feel like your suffering has been acknowledged in some way and that your pain has been recognized. If you have been injured by an accident at work, military medical malpractice, or a car accident where the other driver was at fault, you could be entitled to compensation. Of course, compensation doesn’t undo what happened, but it can provide you with the recognition that you need to move on.

Talk it Through

Sometimes it can be hard to open up about how you feel, and this is especially the case when those feelings are uncomfortable. People often try to bury these unpleasant feelings or mask them by becoming withdrawn and detached. This can cause relationships to those closest to you to become strained.

Masking painful feelings can cause further emotional pain in the future, as the issues can resurface, often at times you least expect them to. Bad memories can be triggered at any time, and bring all those feelings of emotional discomfort flooding back.

Talking about your feelings is something that doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Sometimes it can even be hard to identify the way that you feel, let alone communicate those feelings with another person. If you feel able to open up and speak with a close friend or family member, you may find it really useful. Knowing that you aren’t going through a hard time on your own can bring a lot of comfort. Having someone who cares about you and is ready to listen can be so helpful to your recovery.

Booking in for some therapy sessions can be a big help when trying to recover from a stressful or traumatic situation. Many people are initially skeptical about seeing a therapist, but later tell of how much it has benefited them. Seeing a therapist is an ideal approach if you want to untangle and identify the complicated feelings that you may be experiencing. A therapist will be skilled in helping you work through your issues and helping you to move forward through your pain. Speaking with a therapist is particularly useful if you don’t feel comfortable talking to a family member about your feelings.

Get Support

If you are a fiercely independent person, becoming dependent on others, even in the short term, can be hard to handle. However, people usually are only too happy to help someone going through a tough time. Try not to see it as an insult when people try to offer help and assist you. It is likely that they have good intentions and are merely trying to be helpful.

At times, you may feel like no one understands how you are feeling, or appreciates how hard on both your mind and body being injured is. In this situation, support groups can be a great help. Meeting up with people that have had a similar experience to yours can help you to stay connected with the outside world. Talking to people that ‘get’ the way that you feel and have been through similar experiences can bring some real comfort. Attending a support group is especially useful if you sometimes feel that your family and friends don’t fully understand the impact that your injury has had on your life. Hearing other people’s similar experiences can help you make sense of your own situation and indirectly provide useful advice and guidance.

Focus on Now

During your recovery, you may find that you have a lot of time to think. All this spare time can come as a bit of a shock if you are someone that’s used to running around being busy all day. Of course, this time of rest is crucial while your body is healing, but it can have a negative impact too. With nothing to occupy your mind, you may find yourself with too much thinking time. Overthinking and spending too much time on the ifs, buts, and maybes is not always a healthy way of thinking. It is all too easy to get caught up in negative thought patterns in this situation, which can leave you feeling frustrated and impact on your mood.

Making plans and thinking about the kinds of things that you would like to do when you are feeling better can help to elevate your mood and help you to feel positive about the future. Having things to look forward to can provide you with a goal to work towards.

Trying to avoid getting stuck in a cycle of rumination can often feel easier said than done. The human mind tends to wander, and before you know it, you are stuck in the same unhelpful thought patterns all over again.

Developing mindfulness skills can be a useful way to deal with getting yourself unstuck from negative thought patterns. Mindfulness is all about staying in the present moment, and noticing your thoughts, but not getting caught up in them. Mindfulness is a useful tool that can be used in every aspect of life. Putting mindfulness to use enables you to avoid getting caught up in your thoughts, and gives you the clarity to see them for what they are; only thoughts. Bringing mindfulness into your life is particularly useful if you are someone that tends to get wound up by their thoughts. If you experience frustration from replaying past conversations over and over in your mind, mindfulness can help. Over time, mindfulness can help you to break free from these kinds of unhelpful thought processes.

Manage Your Mindset

The road to recovery after an injury can sometimes feel like a never-ending process, which may cause you to feel frustrated. It is normal to feel impatient to get back to doing the things that you love. However, giving yourself the time that you need to heal is essential, regardless of how long that may be. Treating yourself with patience and kindness is vital to ensuring that you recover physically and mentally from your injury.