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Helmets: They save lives

Helmets are an important piece of equipment. Just like knee pads, they can help protect a vital organ that allows you to function.

Thankfully, my dad wears helmets. A little over a month ago, there was a severe accident in my family. My dad was on his usual bike ride when he had his accident. There was no foul play involved. We have minimal information as to what happened.

He was unable to remember anything for more than five seconds. After scans and tests, his doctors concluded that he was suffering from a slight brain bleed. After 24 hours in the hospital, he improved enough to come home.

A brain bleed is just what it sounds, but for my dad, the bleed wasn’t entirely in the brain; it was in the layers between the skull and the brain. It was a minimal bleed.

Once he was home, he slept a lot and had to take things slow. Now, he is almost entirely back to normal. That is a result of a concussion. It is a slow process, but every day he continues to improve.

Normal means that he is able to work all day without the need for a nap. His recovery is impressive. There were some estimates that the healing process would take more than three months.

He has not fully healed, but he is now expected to make a full recovery. This prognosis is thanks to the fact that he was wearing his helmet.

Helmets provide protection

A helmet will not stop every injury, but it can save your life. Some people choose not to wear helmets because the helmets are not fashionable.

Our culture needs to normalize wearing a helmet. The helmet needs to be worn for safety and protection.

I tell you this story to ask you to wear a helmet when you participate in sports requiring one.

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Anniversary: Your Second Chance

The anniversary of your injury is a time to celebrate your second chance at life. How do you acknowledge your injury anniversary?

The anniversary of when a brain injury is a day your life changed forever. A few days ago marked 26 years since my brain injury. It is not much of a big deal other than the fact it is my birthday.

The sole reason I don’t view it as a huge deal because I didn’t have a life before. While it is not a big deal for me, others view this day differently.

As I said earlier, this day is the day one’s life changed forever. It is the day where your old life ended, and your new life begins.

The way you handle the anniversary is vital to your happiness in life. I understand it is tough to see your life change. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason.

While you may not understand why your brain became injured, but it did. Now there is a new purpose in your life. It is time to get excited about what the future can hold.

It is okay to mourn the life you used to know; however, you need to be able to pick yourself up after some time. After you are done recovering, find things you enjoy doing.

Celebrate your Anniversary

If you can find something you can do and enjoy it, begin to do it. While creating your new life may take some time, you can create something you look forward to.

When the anniversary of your new life beginning arrives, you can take time to remember the life you used to live. I would encourage you to make a list of suitable items you accomplished throughout the year.

Your anniversary can be a rebirth. You can celebrate it like a second birthday. Celebrate with friends and family or do something special for just yourself.

I would suggest not allowing the day to just being another day in your life. At least acknowledge what the day is and its importance.

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Transitions: There is no escape

Life is full of transitions. They are natural and we can’t stop them from happening. The control you have is how you handle the transition.

I haven’t posted in a while. I was busy finishing school assignments. Now I am done. There are classic transitions in life, and then there are unusual transitions.

As children, all we know in school. Suddenly, we graduate from high school or college, and it is time to enter the career world.

I have experienced that having a job is very different from going to school daily. This is a natural step to take in life. The most challenging transition is that you don’t get summers off.

Oh well, the loss of extended breaks from work is tough, but the adult world is different. Other transitions in life can include getting married, going through a breakup, moving, or retiring.

Transitions Reflection

After any transition, it is essential to some time to reflect. This allows you to take inventory and move forward how you want your life to look like.

While taking inventory, think about what you did not like in the previous life stage and how you can change it with this new adventure.

It is also vital to examine what you enjoyed and think of ways to keep the components you enjoy. There are always ways to change and retain what you want.

I have found it helpful to talk about how you are feeling with a trusted friend or family member. They may have different ideas for you.

Trusted friends and family members have given me new perspectives or ways of handling the new journey in life. This transition time may be uncomfortable.

For however long, you have been living in a routine for some amount of time, and now that routine is changing. Change is difficult, and it will result in some uncomfortable times.

Being uncomfortable is okay; it is how we grow as people. I genuinely believe that in the end, everything will work out.

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Physical Health: Staying Active is Good for You

While mental health is important, but you also need to focus on physical health. Here are some tips to get you up and move while stuck inside.

This week let’s talk about physical health since the last time I discussed mental health. When both of these are a focus, life’s challenges do not seem as big of a deal.

I specifically mentioned last week that exercise could help with your mental state. Physical health not only means exercise but also means eating well, sleeping enough, relaxing, and keeping good hygiene.

Some of these listed were included in my mental health post. It turns out they are very closely related. This, at least, gives you less to do to stay healthy.

The obvious answer to staying healthy physically is being active. Exercise and being active are not the same. It is important to do both. Exercise is more intentional and repetitive actions, while physical activity is any movements your body makes throughout the day.

Physical Health Tips

We don’t all have the time to exercise every day, but we can all make sure we are physically active. The activity can include doing chores, working in the garden, and playing with your kids.

I personally go outside and play with my dog a couple of times a day. This doesn’t feel like a chore, but it gets me moving and outside.

This tip is something we have all heard before; part of physical health is eating healthy. The classic saying is we are what we eat. But our energy is what we eat.

While healthier food is not as exciting as candy or chips, or even fried food, it will give you more energy. This will give you the energy you need to stay active.

The last thing I want to discuss to address physical health is relaxing. When you become stressed or worried, it affects your mind and can have physical changes.

Stress can increase blood pressure, cause stomach ulcers, increase tension in the body, and so much more. One of the ways to combat is to practice relaxation.

There are several ways to relax. One quick and easy way to relax is to take a deep breath. If you stop for two minutes, close your eyes, and slow your breath.

When breathing in, count 7, and do the same when you breathe out. This will help release the tension in your body.

Explore ways that make you feel relaxed; it could be turning off your phone and watching a funny movie.

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Mental Health: How to Stay Fit

With everything that happened last year, mental health is important to stay on top of. In this post, I offer ways I stay mentally ‘fit’.

Mental Health is vital to a healthy life. This past year has highlighted that there are many crises, and it needs to be addressed.

It is important that if you are having an emergency or in danger, get help immediately. While there is a need to stay healthy physically, your mind needs attention too.

With the COVID pandemic, our lives have drastically changed. This can lead to anxiety or depression. If you already feel anxious or depressed, get help.

There are ways to keep your mental health in check before you get anxious and depressed. These tips are things you can do every day that will not take too much time.

Mental Health Tips

Continue reading “Mental Health: How to Stay Fit”

New Years: A Time for a New Start

New Years eve signifies the end of the year and allows us to reflect as well as plan for the future. We have a lot to reflect upon this time.

Today is New Year’s Eve and, for some, already New Year’s Day. It is a classic time for people to reflect on this past year and make goals or resolutions for the incoming year. 2020 was a different for all of us.

Most people begin January optimistic and claiming it is their time to shine. But this past year gave us unexpected twists and turns. So, in this time of reflection, I suggest looking for the small, good things that happened to you.

In a year where all we heard was bad news after bad news, it is vital to reflect on good things that happened to you. This can be difficult but give it a try.

I will offer you a few examples from my year. I recently finished my capstone project for my master’s degree and lost fifteen pounds. Plus, I chose happiness.

My choice of happiness led to quitting a job that gave me unnecessary stress. I enjoyed what I was doing and how I helped others, but it was causing me to be unpleasant at home.

Try to think of three good things that happened to you this year. Feel free to share these three things in the comments.

Plan Ahead for the New Year

In preparation for 2021, I have decided that goals are too easily forgotten and put on the back burner. For this new year, I am going to set intentions.

Intentions allow me to form the way I want to live my life. I cannot achieve or fail to achieve, and if unexpected events occur, it will not derail my intentions.

Intentions are guiding principles for 2021. I want to find the positive in every situation for the new year, and I want to do something active every day. I want to find something I am thankful for every day.

Do you have any New Year’s intentions or resolutions? Let me know!

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Needing A Break: Understand What You Need

When there is so much going on globally, taking a break from doing things you love is necessary and okay. Everyone needs a break at times.

It has been a while since I posted. I guess without knowing it, I needed a break. When you have a brain injury, it is important to know your limits.
This has been a tough year for everyone. A lot is going on in the world, and our lives all look different.

I ended up needing to take a break from writing this blog. The thing about needing a break, sometimes you do not even know you need it.

I never thought to myself, ‘okay, I need to focus on other things right now.’ This just got pushed to the back of my mind and while I am bummed, I must have needed it.

Sometimes, with a brain injury, you need to slow down for a bit. It isn’t easy to know when you need to step back.

I knew because I didn’t take the time to write and create posts. Another way you can know is that you lack motivation for something that you are passionate about.

If your activity was fun and gave your life meaning, but now it is work and a growling task, you may need to step back for a bit.

There is no shame in taking time for yourself, as it allows you to recharge and decide what you truly want to return to what you are taking a break from.

There is no set length of time of how long this break should be. I have run into issues of people not understanding why you need to are taking a break.

I have made so much improvement that people forget that I am carrying an injured brain, but I try to remember that it is not their fault.

Helping Others Understand Taking a Break

People who do not live with a brain injury get tired, but I believe that they also get tired and need time. It just may be less frequent and take less time.

Neither is better than the other. There needs to be an understanding between everyone to allow each other the time to rest and recharge.

I would try to communicate with my family members and friends. Let them know what you need and how they can support you in it.

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Decisions: What is best for your life

Life is full of decisions. The important thing is that you pick what is best for your life. All that matters is what you feel is right.

Life is full of decisions. It can be challenging to know what path the correct path is and if you have picked the right track. Remember, no decision is ever final. You can always change the way you are on.

A few days ago, I gave my notice to my job. It took months of agonizing over the decision. It is not a thing I took lightly.

What I did was considered how I felt when I was working vs. how I felt when I was doing schoolwork. I decided I was unhappy enough with my job that I needed a change.

Even though my quitting is final, I can always look for another job where I am happier. I can always change the direction of my life.

My life is ever-changing, and so is everyone’s. It can be extra challenging when the choice you make is not popular with everyone.

When you make an unpopular decision, it is essential to remember that it is the right choice for your life. It is okay to explain when it is right for you and your life.

If they are your real friends and care about you, they will understand. I knew my decision was the right thing because the second I did it, a weight lifted off my shoulders.

Decisions: Make a list

To make a choice that best fits your life, I make a list. I don’t necessarily write the list down, but my list states what I am looking for in my life.

It doesn’t have to be specific; it is just general ideas of what I want to have in my life. This list can then be a guide to help make the decision you need to make.

When going through changes in life, the important thing is you. It is all about what you want and need.

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Overwhelmed at work: Stay Calm

When your job is overwhelming, it can prove difficult to get work done. There are ways to stay calm and able to complete the work.

Work can be an overwhelming process. There are jobs to get done, people asking questions and phones ringing off the hook. When in an office, there is so much going on.

It is easy to become overwhelmed with everything that needs to get done and the happenings around you. To survive in this kind of workplace, you need to have various ways to calm down.

Make a List

The first thing I decide to do is make a list of things I have to do. Seeing my list makes me feel calmer and less overwhelmed. When one lays out the tasks, they are no longer floating around in my head.

When I make a list, my head is calmer. I am able to focus my energy on what I need to do. When I spend less time lamenting over what I must do; I am able to spend more time doing the tasks.

A list will provide you a place where you can cross off what you have done. This is a visible representation of what you have accomplished.

Take a deep breath

There are times when making a list will not help. It can aid in feeling calm is taking a deep breath. This can help the mind calm down when it starts spinning out of control.

If you need to take a deep breath, it can help to close your eyes while you do it. When your eyes are closed, imagine you are somewhere that makes you feel relaxed.

Overwhelmed: Go for a walk

If taking a deep breath did not do the trick, take a break. Walk away from your desk. If it is a nice day, take a walk and get some fresh air.

Fresh air can clear your mind and when you go back inside to get work done. A quiet place outside for even two minutes is relaxing.

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