‘Stronger every day’: Woman offers tips on how to stay positive following life-changing car accident

CHARLOTTE — Taking care of one’s emotional wellness as you navigate the ups and downs of life can be really hard.

Channel 9′s Elsa Gillis spoke with one woman who is offering tips for how to take care of your emotional health during difficult times.

Around two years ago, Sandy Holub was in a car crash that involved a drunk driver.

“I was, you know, an independent, outgoing, executive, athletic, very busy, always running, running, running, you know, mother of four. And, you know, in one second, my whole world changed,” Holub said. “I broke my C5. And so, diagnostically, I’m quadriplegic; all limbs were impacted. I had no movement before, below the shoulders, after the accident. And so that’s where I was, and I had no idea how to navigate this new world.”

She has made incredible progress since the accident, which she said was aided by energy, positivity, and strength.

“For me, I’m still just striving to get a little stronger every day,” Holub explained. “One was that I really focused on being where your feet are. So you are where your feet are. And you don’t want to look too far ahead with an injury like this, because it’s overwhelming. So you just look at the day, and every day, you think, ‘How can I make this day better?’”

She also said forgiveness and a daily mantra have also helped her push through.

“For me, this is kind of silly, but for me, what would I say to myself in good and bad times? I would say, ‘I am a warrior,’” Holub said.

While Holub has had to let go of a lot, like a job she loved, she said she has found ways to return to other things she loved, like adaptable sports.

“It’s a conscious decision to be joyful in life. You can be happy, you can be sad, you can be angry, and every day you have to wake up and say, ‘Today’s going to be a good day.’ It’s going to be hard; there’s nothing easy about this, but there is so much happiness and joy to be had. And for me, it’s my grandbabies crawling on my lap, and ... I’m so doggone lucky,” Holub said.

Holub’s Exercise Physiologist Abby Faircloth, who works with Atrium Health’s Carolinas Rehabilitation Charlotte, echoed similar sentiments.

“She works so hard, and she’s a light and joy to other people,” Faircloth said.

A psychiatrist at Atrium Health has released some tips on ways to strengthen emotional health, especially during challenging times.

Those tips include:

  • Ensuring you are getting enough sleep
  • Exercising regularly
  • Maintaining social relationships
  • Avoiding drugs and alcohol
  • Meditation or praying
  • Limiting news consumption
  • Focusing on the positive
  • Writing down what you are grateful for
  • Setting reasonable expectations for yourself
  • Focusing on what you can control
  • Avoiding social media

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