Day 25 Time Out from TBI
Remember!! The 31 Day TBI Challenge for CHANGE during March, Brain Injury Awareness Month, consists of just two parts:
1.) Please learn something new about TBI every day. We will be posting an article daily on our Facebook and website pages to make it easy for you to learn. Today’s article is below.
2.) Help facilitate CHANGE by partnering with The Arms Forces by assisting us in continuing our efforts for invisibly wounded veterans by collecting your CHANGE daily and at the end of March donating the money to The Arms Forces. (contact information below) Create a jar and label it:
“The Arms Forces CHANGE for TBI” and put it out where you and others will see it. When someone asks you what it is all about, share with them a bit about what you have learned about TBI. Share stories of the people you will learn about through our posts on Facebook and how their lives have been forever changed by their injuries.
If collecting change every day is not your thing then be a part of the CHANGE by making a donation to The Arms Forces through our website www.thearmsforces.org or by mailing a check to the address below.
Day 25 Time Out from TBI
A survivor can feel completely consumed by a traumatic brain injury. For survivors who have been able to recover to a point to want to move on in their life, TBI still has a way of defining their lives, almost at every turn of every day. After all, our brains control every single thing in our bodies, whether it be physical or mental. We learned a lot in the last few weeks in this challenge about TBI and what life is like for a survivor and the family and friends that are closely involved in their lives. The best way to get the physical and mental energy needed to continue to find the strength, the passion in life after a TBI, is to have a TIME OUT.
As a survivor, I encourage every one of my TBI brothers and sisters, to take time just for them. Going to doctors and counselors and having testing done is NOT time for you!! I am talking about time to nurture your inner self. Learn about YOU and what you still like to do that you did before, what new things interest you and find a way to bring those things into your life. Finding the ability to feel joy after TBI is a struggle for many survivors. But, I know it is possible! Just like the monkey we talked about a few days ago in one of the articles for the TBI Challenge, who fights to hold onto seeds because he loves them so much, loses his freedom to experience life in the way that would make him most happy because of his unwillingness to let go of what he thinks is a treasure, the seeds; instead they become a trap.
Our bodies were made to have rest. A common challenge for those with TBI is a change in sleep patterns. Some is caused by the physical changes to the brain, some by the mental stressors associated with living with a TBI and some by the medicines that a TBI survivor may be taking. Naps and downtime during the day is a necessity for many who have a TBI. Sometimes, the ability to incorporate more short periods of rest into a workday can make the difference in whether a TBI survivor can sustain work or not! But, beyond this kind of rest, humans need time to revigorate themselves through play and relaxation.
Computers, photography, writing, volunteering, dance and music, gardening, model airplanes all great examples of hobbies to relax the soul and give the brain a creative outlet. Simple exercise if the body can’t take much more, sharing healthy activities with friends and family, exploring new cities or new ideas, all great way to reward the brain! Our spirits need to find a way to be lifted so that the lifelong challenges that may exist with TBI don’t become overly burdensome.
Some choose a spiritual path to lift themselves and maintain a good balance in life. Studies have proven that those who have a strong spiritual base are more healthy both physically and mentally. Laughter, one of my favorite medicines, is an awesome way to relieve stress and maintain a postive outlook on life. What can you find in your life today to laugh about? What makes you giggle like a child or burst into a robust laughter heard two blocks away? Find that source of laughter and be sure to incorporate into your life as often as possible. Who makes you smile? Spend more time with that person or persons and develop more relationships that make you smile.
What kinds of places bring you the most peace? A place of worship? A garden? A Nascar Race? By the water? Surrounded by family? Spend more time where you feel most at peace….but reach out to try new things. Ruts are the enemy of good self-esteem and a joyful spirit. Where it is easiest to be is not where you should always be! At least once a week try something new. Even if it seems like such a small step, it could have big benefits. And, give yourself a “high five” for leaving your comfort zone!
Reward yourself. Chocolate? A rented movie? Dinner out? Buying a new fishing pole? Whatever it is that you can afford to do for yourself, do it every once in awhile.
Take a TIME OUT from TBI this weekend and rest and revigorate your spirit! Share with me through email or Facebook what you did JUST FOR YOU this weekend! I will be thinking of you, my TBI veterans and their families, as I rest my spirit and spend time with my family this weekend. You are all in my heart and I carry you with me wherever I go. I love you and appreciate you!…….and you make me smile!!
With open arms,
Founder/President and severe TBI survivor
The Arms Forces
PO Box 981
Maumee, OH 43537