No matter where it happens or how serious the consequences are, accidents can be traumatic. Suddenly finding yourself injured after something as routine as driving leaves you with short-term shock and long-term feelings of fear and uncertainty. In the initial stages following the incident, it is vital that you look after yourself properly – both physically and mentally – to ensure a swift and successful recovery. Don’t overlook this essential self-care when recovering from a car accident.
Take time off
Even if you feel physically able to, do not return to work straight away. Immediately following an accident, adrenaline levels increase and trigger the release of endorphins which can mask physical pain. It is therefore important to wait a couple of days before resuming your typical routine so that you can accurately assess the severity of your injuries. An examination by a doctor is also essential.
You may not feel hungry while you are recovering from your car accident, especially if you are in shock. However, eating well is essential for your physical and mental health and adapting your diet can support a faster recovery too. Protein will aid physical repair, while replacing sugar with vitamin-rich foods can facilitate reduced stress and inflammation.
Hydration is important every day but especially when you are ill or recovering from an injury. Water is essential to every aspect of our bodily function from regulating body temperature and preventing infection to keeping our organs working at their best. Make sure that you are having plenty of liquids during your recovery: two litres is recommended for adults, with water and juice being the best options for optimum hydration.
You might be surprised at how important your mentality is in aiding a quick physical recovery. A positive attitude will help to reduce your stress levels, calming both the body and the mind. Talking things through with a friend or family member is a great way to combat anxiety about the accident or the prospect of returning to routine. If you were hurt in a car accident that was not your fault, you may find that investigating a personal injury claim is also helpful in bringing you peace of mind.
Finally, the most important thing to include in your self-care plan is to get plenty of rest. This is especially vital for treating any physical injuries because muscle tissues repair and rejuvenate best in the deeper stages of sleep when blood flow is increased. Rest is also essential for mental recovery: getting adequate sleep will help to safeguard against traumatic memories of the car accident and negate the onset of potential sleep issues.