Having an injury at work can affect all areas of your life. From your physical health and mental health to your finances, you must take steps to help yourself heal and process what has happened. Research conducted by National Accident Helpline found over a third of their participants reported feelings of anxiety and stress after an accident – 35% and 34%, respectively. 21% of respondents also admitted to struggling with sleep. Prioritising your mental health can help you to tackle the other areas of your life that have been affected. Here are some steps to help you heal whilst protecting your mental health.
Express your emotions
A common British stereotype is that it is hard to express emotions and that a stiff upper lip must be maintained. But, when it comes to your mental health, talking about your emotions is incredibly helpful. In the words of the experts at National Accident Helpline, “Talking things through will be a huge pressure release for you and gives people who are close to you the opportunity to support you in any way they can. Not only will their encouragement help to reduce your stress and lift your mood, they may also be able to help with things that you are struggling with, like household chores.”
By opening up you are allowing your loved ones to support you and help you through a tough time. Not only will you feel a sense of relief, but your family and friends may be able to help you with physical things such as housework, cooking and socialisation. Don’t feel as though you need to divulge everything all at once – take your time and open up when you feel ready.
Seek professional support
Professional help can be great for supporting you through recovery from an injury at work. You may be entitled to compensation for your injury so seeking legal advice will allow you to be guided through the process of claiming. This will help you to feel less stressed and less alone.
Getting professional help for your mental health is important too. Try searching for therapists in your local area who are specialists in this type of therapy. It is OK to try out different therapists until you find one that you can work well with.
Spend time with family and friends
Your family and friends are often a safe and comforting space for you, especially when you are recovering from an injury. By making sure to spend quality time with them, you may find it easier to confide in them and therefore help your mental health recover. If your injury is severe you may end up relying on loved ones to keep your life on track.
Set realistic goals
It can be easy for people to try and bounce back quickly once they have had an injury at the workplace, but often this can make things worse. It can even lead to a longer recovery time.
Making realistic goals can help you to visualise your recovery process and help you to celebrate small achievements. If you are going back to work, try and engage with your company and discuss your options. You may be able to do a phased return where you work shorter hours and gradually build up to a full day.
Engage in relaxation techniques
If you do engage with a therapist you may be asked to try some relaxation techniques to help you take care of your mental health. Meditation can be a great way to focus on shutting out any negative thoughts and allow calming feelings to wash over you. If your injury allows, you could try and incorporate yoga into your daily routine. This will bring the physical benefits of gentle stretching as well as the mental benefits of clearing your mind and banishing negativity.