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3 self-care tips for spouses of injured people

When your spouse sustains a serious injury, whether through a car crash or a workplace accident, your top priority is seeking treatment and financial compensation for your loved one. With all your attention on your spouse’s needs, you have likely put your own needs on the back burner.

However, this pattern often results in resentment or depression. Give yourself some TLC in the following ways.

1. Ask for help

Trying to do everything on your own will only lead to burnout and damage your mental health. Have the courage to ask for help, whether it means assistance with caregiving tasks or a listening ear when you need to vent. Reaching out is not a sign of weakness, but one of strength and wisdom. Create a support network of family, friends and professionals (such as a therapist and/or nursing aide) you can rely on for your various needs.

2. Take time out for you

If you want to better care for others, you first have to care for yourself. It is not selfish, but healthy. Find activities that rejuvenate you and bring you joy. Avoid anything that adds more stress or negativity into your life. Great options include:

  • Meditating
  • Refining or expanding your hobbies
  • Going out with friends
  • Reading
  • Creating something, such as art or woodwork
  • Getting a massage
  • Journaling
  • Taking a luxurious bath

Do not underestimate the basics, either. Physical activity, sleep, healthy food and hydration are all simple, inexpensive and effective ways to improve your well-being. 

3. Communicate

A very damaging habit is to keep emotions bottled up inside you. Perhaps you do not want to hurt your spouse’s feelings for something that was not his or her fault. Maybe you do not feel you have the right to complain. After all, you are not injured, and at least your spouse is alive, right?

The reality is that your feelings matter, and holding them in only lets them build up. Prevent a breakdown by sharing your emotions with your spouse in a compassionate yet honest manner. You two are still partners in life, dedicated to supporting and loving one another. Authenticity and vulnerability will only strengthen your marriage and help you work through this difficult time more effectively.

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