Suffering from a brain injury is scary, especially because it’s something that doesn’t just go away. It can cause long-term language concerns, in addition to learning difficulties, memory difficulties, and more.
Figuring out how to live with a brain injury can feel like you’re learning how to live your life all over again. It’s important to schedule regular visits with your doctor and appointments with a physical therapist, but learning how to live with your brain injury doesn’t always have to be hard. There are many small things you can do to make living with your brain injury a little easier.
Stick to a Daily Routine
A daily routine is a powerful tool for all of us, whether we have brain injuries or not. However, it can have an especially profound impact on those who have experienced an injury or accident.
It can be very difficult to plan and organize, even simple daily tasks when you’re living with a brain injury. Making sure you have a consistent routine means you don’t have to organize or plan anything because you already know what to do!
Include things in your daily routine like:
- Go to bed and get up at the same times every day
- Brush your teeth, brush your hair, and get dressed in the same order
- Eat scheduled meals and consider eating the same type of food every day, like a salad for lunch
Become a Planner Person
If you weren’t a planner person before, you should definitely become one if you have suffered a brain injury. It’s a great way to keep track of tasks that need to be completed every day, as well as doctor’s and other types of appointments.
There are many strategies for getting the most out of your planner, but don’t feel like you have to put pen to paper if you don’t want to. You can also use electronic calendars that can be especially helpful for keeping track of tasks and setting medication reminders if you’re away from home.
A whiteboard can be a great planning tool too! It’s a great way to keep track of your appointments and activities compared to everyone else’s, making it a great option for those who live with other family members and children who have busy schedules.
Get a Label Maker
Just because important kitchen utensils have been in the same drawer for years doesn’t mean you will remember when you’re faced with a wall of cabinets. Not to mention, anything new can be nearly impossible to remember. Everything from remodels that come with new light switches to new microwaves with different buttons can make living in your own home stressful and scary.
Get out the label maker and label anything and everything that you use or need on a regular basis. Label cabinets, drawers, and buttons, but you can also use your label maker to keep important directions front of mind. For example, a label can be made to remind yourself to turn off the stove or to check that you have your wallet and phone before you walk out the front door.
A Place for Everything, and Everything in Its Place
There’s nothing more maddening than tearing the house apart looking for the scissors, but storing all kinds of household items can be a nightmare when they don’t have a specific spot where they are stored. When you have a brain injury, it becomes even more difficult.
Organization is an important strategy for those with a brain injury. It means the scissors are always placed in the same drawer, but it also means having a place for keys, eyeglasses, the cell phone, Tupperware, and anything else you use on a regular basis. As you get used to finding the same items in the same places, you’ll spend less time thinking and searching.
Create a Safe Space
Although your entire home should be a safe place, it is especially important to have a smaller safe space within your home. This space is a place where you can go to calm down, de-stress, and rest when things begin to feel particularly overwhelming. This space might include:
- Comfortable chair
- Essential oils
Having a space inside your home can help when you have guests over or the kids are getting loud, but this strategy can also be taken with you. Pack a bag with some of these items to create a safe space at work, in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, or at a large family gathering.
Track Your Health Every Day
Things can change fast when you have a brain injury. It’s important to track these changes to your health so you can report them to your doctor. It is also a good reminder to check in with how you’re feeling on a daily basis.
This includes tracking your medication. A pill sorter can help when it’s properly labeled, as can keeping a medication diary to keep track of new medications, when medications are taken, and what doses need to be taken.
Take Time for Hobbies
Hobbies are important to all of us. While some of us may not engage in hobbies because we don’t have enough time, those with brain injuries often don’t engage in hobbies because they aren’t very good at them. Don’t let that stop you!
Having a hobby can fight against depression and anxiety, as well as helping you forget about your pain or a troublesome injury. It can create new connections in your brain and it can connect you with other people. Even if your paintings won’t be hanging in a gallery anytime soon, you should still make time to do something you enjoy.
Living with a brain injury isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to be a struggle every single day for the rest of your life either. There are many little things you can do, that when combined, can make living your life simpler, easier, and much more enjoyable.