1. Sleep, Sleep, Sleep whenever and wherever possible. When you feel tired, overwhelmed or experience “foggy brain,” take a break. Rest or take a 10 to 20 walk, do yoga or meditate. I know you don’t want to stop what you’re doing because in the past you probably could overcome the fatigue. Your brain needs a break. You will be surprised how refreshed you will feel from a power nap.
2. Protect your next most valuable assets — your eyes and ears. Sometimes the natural filters that protect your eyes from the glare of the sun or bright lights can be temporarily damaged from a head injury. Wear sun glasses on sunny days and you may find that you need them inside stores with florescent lighting. Rule of thumb, if your eyes hurt, wear sunglasses.
Often, brain injury survivors experience an overwhelm of sounds, music and voices. The noise in restaurants can make it difficult to hear conversations at your table. Ask your Medical Professional to refer you to an audiologist for testing and get fitted for special hearing filters if necessary.
3. Hydrate and eat healthy foods. A normal healthy body requires a healthy diet, water and exercise. When you sustain a brain injury, many times you will have to create a schedule of eating times because the normal brain/body signals of hunger and thirst may be disrupted. You may need someone to set this up for you. If you live alone, create a schedule and set a timer to remind you. Post sticky notes around the house to remind you of things you used to do automatically prior to your head trauma.
In summary, sleep because your energy reserve is at least half of what you had before your head injury. This lack of energy reserve is one explanation of why you’re not capable of performing simple or complex tasks.
The Good News is that you will get better, if you allow yourself time to rest and heal. Anything that you can do to relieve the stress on your senses, will help your brain heal faster. Be patient, this is a detour that deserves your special attention. Treat yourself as you would a best friend.
Blog by Laura L. Whittemore
MTBI Survivor and Thriver