After a traumatic brain injury (TBI), it can take some time to recover and reclaim your life. For some individuals, their TBI comes with long-lasting effects like migraines, difficulty focusing, and problems with memory. If you’re struggling to find ways to manage your symptoms, you’re not alone. Luckily, there is an abundance of resources to rely upon, from phone apps to simple sticky notes, to stay organized and manage life post-TBI. Navigating your new normal can be stressful and overwhelming, but you can find ways to live a full life post-TBI with these seven tips.
1. Know when to seek legal representation
A traumatic brain injury can occur in many different ways, from a simple slip and fall to a workplace accident. The treatment you receive and the long-term care you can afford can significantly impact your recovery process. However, if you sustained your TBI due to a car accident or negligence in your workplace, it may be in your best interest to hire a head injury attorney from a firm like Schwartzapfel Lawyers.
Because medical treatment is costly, fighting your own legal battles will leave you plummeting deeper into medical debt. Rest assured, with legal professionals on the frontlines, collecting financial compensation lies within the realm of possibility if you sustained your TBI from a work-related accident. Additionally, lawyers can help you deal with insurance companies and medical paperwork so you can zero in on your recovery process.
2. Download a calendar app
A head injury can make it challenging to keep your schedule straight without some sort of aid. Between endless doctor’s appointments and daily responsibilities, it can be all too easy to miss an important meeting if you don’t have a planner or calendar. Downloading a planner app or using your phone’s built-in calendar can make it much easier to keep track of appointments. You can set up notifications to remind you of important events, and some apps even allow you to share your calendar with other people. Close family and friends can help you remember appointments and organize rides if needed.
3. Stick to a daily routine
Unpredictability can cause significant stress for people with TBI, and when you have difficulty organizing your daily responsibilities, establishing a routine can help. Set your alarm to wake up at the same time every morning, and perform your morning tasks in the same order. Schedule all of your meals for the exact times each day. Sticking to a predictable routine can help you ease anxiety.
4. Invest in a label maker
If your TBI affects your memory, navigate your own home can feel like a cognitive corn maze. Purchasing a label maker can make it easier to locate items and write out instructions for your appliances. For example, label the cabinets in your kitchen so you can find snacks and ingredients for cooking quickly. You can also use the label maker to label light switches and leave important notes throughout your home.
5. Designate a safe space in your home
With TBI, sensory overload is very prevalent. Ensuring you have a space in your house that you can retreat to in times of stress and anxiety. Outfit this space with everything that relaxes you, whether it be a comfortable chair, a TV with your favorite movies, escapist books, or noise-canceling headphones. It’s best to make sure this space is always ready for you to retreat to and prepare a “mobile safe space” if you need some comfort when you’re away from home.
6. Write in a journal
Science has shown that keeping a journal can help relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression. Recuperating from a TBI comes with many frustrations and feelings, and having a place to process your emotions can aid in your recovery process. In addition, if you’re struggling with memory issues, your journal can serve as a reference aid. Simply make sure to write down the events of every day, and you’ll be able to flip through your journal any time to refresh your memory.
7. Foster independence with small goals
It’s easy to feel frustrated when you’re recovering from a traumatic brain injury. Simple tasks you once found easy are far more challenging to accomplish post-TBI, and your own home can feel impossible to navigate. While you may not be able to do much on your own initially, setting small goals can help you gain back your independence quickly. Don’t make your goals too ambitious, or you may feel frustrated if you don’t reach them. Instead, think realistically and ensure your environment makes success possible.
The bottom line
Sustaining a traumatic brain injury may make you feel as though your life will never be the same. However, with support and a few lifestyle modifications, it’s possible to manage your symptoms to live a fulfilling life without limitations.