It’s important to take care of yourself to heal effectively from a brain injury. Making sure to eat healthy foods, take time to rest and slow down your daily pace of life, and to stay physically active (if it determined to be safe by your doctor) are important factors in healthy living. It is also crucial to keep your brain mentally stimulated with new or mentally challenging experiences. Staying connected to a socially is very important as well.
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Calm your emotions
- Find ways to be in charge of your emotions and work on developing a positive, hopeful mind set.
- A few slow, deep diaphragmatic breaths will help relax those tense muscles and calm you down.
- Having a good laugh is also a good release.
- Take care of your mental health. Bounce back provides community based self-help strategies, for people with only minimal thinking problems, to help cope with mild to moderate depression and anxiety. C.O.M.H. has online resources for positive coping with health conditions, relaxation, depression and suicide.
- If you are having a lot of trouble with your emotions, e.g. anger or depression, then talk to your doctor.
Take care of your health
- Sleep is healing to your brain and body. If you have trouble sleeping check out sleep hygiene tips. If you are still having problems, talk to your doctor.
- Eat a healthy diet, drink water and stay at a weight that is healthy for you. If you want more information about food and healthy food choices check out the the Canada’s Food Guide.
- Follow the recommendations by your healthcare team. Keep in contact with your health care providers, as needed.
- Use medicine as it is prescribed. You should understand what you are taking and why, and the possible side effects. Make sure to report any problems to your doctor. Try to go to the same pharmacy each time and carry a list of your medicines with you.
- Take care of health issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes and seizures (epilepsy)
- Stop smoking and reduce the amount of alcohol you drink. Get help with drug abuse. Tobacco, alcohol and drugs can slow down your recovery and make your health issues worse. Talk to your doctor about resources. The SUBI website has some useful resources about substance abuse and brain injury for healthcare providers and brain injury survivors.
- Get advice about your non emergency health concerns from Health Link BC or call 811
Keep physically active
Find ways to exercise and keep moving in whatever way you can:
- Exercise is good for your muscles, bones, organs, blood pressure, blood sugar, weight, mood and thinking.
- Research suggests that 30 minutes of moderate physical activity, three times a week, can strengthen your mind!
- Before starting an exercise program, it’s best to speak with your doctor or therapist first to make sure the program is right for you.
Learn more about the Benefits of Physical Activity and How Much Physical Activity You Need from the Heart and Stroke Foundation website.
Keep mentally stimulated
- Find ways to keep your mind active. The activity should challenge you, but not be too difficult.
- You could:
- get involved in your community
- learn something new
- explore your creative side
- have conversations
- explore your interests
- have fun!
- Check out what is offered at your local community centre or through a continuing education program.
- Find ways to be with others and build friendships
- Get together in person, on the phone, or on the computer
- Enjoy the company of a pet