Each Wednesday of Brain Injury Awareness Month, BIANC will be posting information about wellness to support thriving after brain injury. Here are some tips and resources to help you on your journey after brain injury. These are to be viewed as potential information or ideas; however, be sure to talk to your doctor before any major changes in your health take place or to check for potential modifications. Have some other ideas or something that has worked for you? Let us know in the comments.
What is Wellness?
The National Wellness Institute promotes Six Dimensions of wellness: emotional, occupational, physical, social, intellectual, and spiritual. Addressing all six dimensions of wellness in our lives builds a holistic sense of wellness and fulfillment. Wellness is defined as:
"Wellness is an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence."
After a brain injury, each of these dimensions are often impacted, making a life of wellness and fulfillment more challenging. The Global Wellness Institute describes the wellness continuum shifts attitudes of the medical paradigm (feeling better/healthy, treating illness, correcting, compartmentalized treatment, emphasis on provider/professional guidance) to one of wellness. This model encourages wellness is proactive, preventive, and driven by self-responsibility. Check out the infographic below for more information!
What you eat and drink can have a direct relationship to how you feel, act, and think. Be sure to look into healthier options for food (leaner meats, more greens/fruits, etc.) and are drinking water to prevent dehydration.
Your mental health can be just as important as physical health. Talking to someone, joining a group, or just taking some time to do what you are interested in can help you in rehabilitation and in your role as a support.
Connect to medical professionals to help with medication management, heart health, and medical conditions prevent increasing symptoms and falls risk. Find an exercise program that works for you, modified as needed, and start slow (with a walk or lighter weights) or whenever you can find time.
Isolation is a common problem after brain injury. In many cases it can stem from the changes in personality, cognition and behavior that are so common. Connection to others can impact mental health, sense of self, and resilience. Finding a group to be a part of, finding activity during the day, and seeking a purpose can be vital to social heal and well-being after brain injury.
Your sleep can impact your mood, energy, memory, and processing information. Having a consistent time when you go to bed and wake up can help ready your brain for the day. Take breaks from stimulation (lights, noises, colors, movement) during the day to prevent "hitting a wall" at the end of the day needing to recover.