Many people deal with shock, stress and even PTSD — post-traumatic stress disorder — in the wake of a car accident. Few things that you get involved in will be as harrowing as a car accident. While people in some professions may face greater challenges — soldiers who see combat, for instance — a car accident is the height of stress for the average American, especially when it results in serious injuries or even death.

If this happens to you, the following tips may help you handle the stress and work your way through some of the emotional and mental challenges you will face:

  • Stay hydrated. Use water to remove toxins from your body and give you energy.
  • In moments of severe stress, like a panic attack, focus on slow, controlled breathing.
  • Take up relaxing hobbies, such as yoga.
  • Tell someone else how you feel. Stressful situations often grow to be even worse in our own minds, but saying things out loud helps you work through them.
  • Make sure you get enough sleep. Many people accidentally don’t get enough rest without even realizing it, thanks to their busy schedules, and that’s very hard on the body.
  • Consider talking to a doctor or a medical professional. You don’t have to do this on your own. A therapist can give you different techniques and possibly even medications that you can use.

As you move through this process, especially when you miss time at work or rack up high medical bills, it’s very important to know what legal options you may have to seek out financial compensation.