An accident can be traumatic. It can take time for your body and mind to heal. We often go about our daily business thinking that accidents only happen to others.

However, in reality, anyone could find themselves facing a long road to recovery after an accident. If you have been injured, here are some tips to help you cope. 

Seek medical advice

The most important step to take after an accident of any kind is to seek medical advice. You should have your injuries assessed by skilled, qualified, experienced medical professionals. Once you have been through tests, examinations and investigations, your doctors will explain the findings and outline plans to help you recover. You may need to undergo treatment or take some time out to rest and heal. Listen to advice from medical teams and follow instructions.

If you try to do too much too soon, you could do more harm than good and delay your recovery. It can be a confusing time and it’s natural to have queries about test results and diagnoses. If you have questions or concerns, speak to your doctors and nurses. They will be able to give you answers and reassure you. 

Speak to your employer

Money worries are one of the most common sources of stress for people who have to take time off after an accident. Many people fear losing their jobs and facing struggles to cover bills if they are not entitled to long-term sick pay. Check the terms of your employment contract and speak to your employer as soon as possible. It may be viable to make adjustments to help you get back to work earlier, for example, working from home once you are fit and well enough to do so, or arranging a longer period of time off.

Talk to legal experts

Accidents happen, but some are preventable. If you were injured at work or in a public place and you were not at fault for the incident, it may be possible to claim compensation. Speak to qualified personal injury attorneys and see if you have a valid case. If you have lost your job, your employment prospects have been hampered or compromised, or you are unable to work for a period of time, this will be factored in when deciding whether to approve compensation. If you receive a payout, this could ease financial pressure and help you bridge gaps if you’re finding it hard to get back to work or you have to change careers due to your injuries. 

Take time to process what has happened

Any kind of accident can take its toll on your mental health. Whether you fell or you were hit by a car, it’s natural to experience an emotional response. Accidents and traumatic incidents can leave you feeling worried, scared or anxious and it can take a long time to heal. Take the time you need to process what has happened to you. You should never feel pressure to get back to ‘normal’ or slot back into your daily routine. Everybody moves at a different pace. 

Reduce stress

When you are recovering from an accident, it is hugely beneficial to try to reduce stress and avoid triggers. Try to protect your mental health as much as possible and look after yourself. Ensure that you get enough rest and sleep, try to eat well and avoid anything that makes you feel uneasy or anxious. Focus on your recovery and put your health first. Allow other things, such as work or relationships with others, to take a backseat. 

Take each day as it comes

When you are on the road to recovery, it’s very easy to get distracted by what has happened in the past and what the future holds. It’s beneficial to set yourself targets for the future, but try to concentrate on the present. Thinking too far ahead may make you feel anxious and if the prognosis is uncertain, it’s best not to think about what might happen and focus on what you can do now to give yourself the best chance of recovering.

Take each day as it comes and don’t put pressure on yourself to hit milestones or feel a certain way. Everyone is different, and we all respond and react differently to life events and setbacks. Try to maintain a positive mindset, but understand that it’s perfectly natural to have good and bad days. 

Recovering from an accident can take time and patience. If you have been injured, it’s crucial to allow yourself time to heal both mentally and physically. Listen to medical experts, try to avoid stress, take time to process what has happened, don’t put pressure on yourself and seek legal advice if you were not at fault for the accident.