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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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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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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Songs: An Inspiration when Life gets Tough

Music is a big part of my life. These are a list of songs that get me through difficult times in my life. They inspire me to keep going.

When you are faced with a difficult day, songs can help turn the day around. Several pieces are my go-to when I feel I can’t handle what the day is throwing at me.

These songs allow me to remember that it does get better, and everything I am going through is for a reason. Music can inspire me to continue and push through.

Songs: The List

The first song is Who I am by Nick Jonas and the Administration. This song is all about wanting someone to love you for who you are and who you can become. I have been through relationships, and no one has genuinely accepted my brain injury. I believe that my brain injury does not define me, but it is a part of my that is never going away, but I long for the day that someone accepts all of me. This song gives me hope.

On my way here by Clay Aiken, speaks to me beyond levels. The critical line is “to fly; I have to want to leave the ground,” take chances. There is no guarantee, but you do not know what you can do until you try. The struggles you face from your brain injury only makes you stronger. When you conquer them, you proving to everyone that nothing will hold you back or stop your dreams.

The next song is Worth It by Danielle Bradberry. This song reminds me and hopefully reminds you that we are here for a reason. We are worth every breath we take. It is vital to know our worth because there are times that others do not. They may want to give up on us and walk away, but we need to remember that we are 110% worth it.

Who Says by Selena Gomez, and the Scene shows me that there is no reason to listen to the doubters. Who cares what they say, all that matters is what you think of yourself. Nobody is perfect, but people tend to believe they are more perfect than us. That is not okay, but we need to believe in ourselves before expecting others to think we are perfect.

Stronger by Kelly Clarkson can remind us that we are stronger because of our brain injuries or whatever else you have gone through. It didn’t kill us, so the only other option is that it made us stronger. Nobody said it was easy, but we have fought back and come out on top due to our strength.

I was introduced to Fight Song by Rachel Platten through someone at my hospital. I fell in love with it for the first time, because we are now fighting a battle for the rest of our lives. We are fighters, we are survivors, and we are fighting every day and need to believe in ourselves. We have gotten this far, lets we can keep going.

The last song is Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield. I decided to end with this song because our brain injury is just a few chapters of our lives. We still have many chapters to write. Our wounds do follow it, but we can decide what we want the rest of our book to say. We can choose if it will be an inspiring tale or if you decide just to give up.

These songs can connect with people who have suffered any type of hardship. If you have not suffered from a brain injury but are suffering from something else, replace the word brain injury with whatever you are going through. This is not a complete list of songs. Let me know if you have a go-to song. I may write a part two later on.

I do not own rights to any of these songs, please search and listen to them so the artists can get credit for their hard work.

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Introverts: Interacting with Extroverts

Introverts and extroverts are opposites but sometime the people closest to you are the opposite. It is vital to figure out how to make the relationship work

Introverts are quiet and reserved. Social activities tend to drain their energy. When they need to recharge, they need to be alone.

Extroverts are outgoing and overtly expressive. They gain energy from social activities. They are able to recharge with people around them.

I am an introvert. I need to be alone to recharge, and I feel drained after constant social activities. After a social event lasting hours, I need to recharge for at least the rest of the day.

I have people in my life that are especially important who happen to be extroverts. This presents a unique challenge in our relationship.

I am sure we all know people who are the opposite of us. We have to figure out how to coexist with them or love them.

Both of you need to meet in the middle. Both of you need to understand what the other needs. This allows you to come to an agreement that allows your relationship to grow strong.

Introverts: Make Agreements

Some of these agreements will not be ideal for you, but others will not be ideal for the other person. It is vital to make sure you both are okay with these agreements.

You can agree that one of you will call once a week. This way, you always know when this will happen. You can decide once in a while to go to the movies, so there is less pressure to talk.

You can take a class together, have a meal with each other or go for a walk. Make sure there is time for some talking, but also there are times where no one has to be talking.

The important thing to save the relationship is to communicate. If you are the introvert, your extrovert friend may not even be aware that you are feeling drained from social interactions.

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Large job: Breaking it into small tasks

A large task can be daunting. It proves difficult to motivate to do a job that has many components. It needs to be broken down into small tasks.

It can be challenging to stay motivated when you are faced with an enormous job at hand or even a long to-do list. It will allow you to feel better and start the process of accomplishing the task.

A task that you are dreading on doing can be put off for a long time. It will be less daunting if the tremendous job is scaring you away.

Large Job: How to

I would suggest trying to break the task up. If you need to clean the house, take on each room at a time. In that room, dust everything, then vacuum and then organize but, each room needs different tasks, but if you focus on one task, it will get completed.

I like to start with a task that will take less than 20 minutes, do it first and this method gets me in the mindset of performing the job and shows progress in a short amount of time.

After these shorter tasks are done, decide on a job that will take longer but can be easily paused if you get interrupted.

How this helps

Breaking a task into smaller tasks can help keep one motivated. You will see progress towards completing the desired objective.

Through performing these smaller tasks, you will feel a sense of accomplishment. If you are trying to achieve an enormous job, it is difficult to feel like you have made progress when the task is not finished.

Smaller tasks will not overwhelm yourself. It is easy to delay a job or not do it at all when you are overwhelmed with what needs to get done.

The smaller individual tasks allow the significant responsibility to be more manageable. If things are viewed as more manageable, they are more likely to be done.

It is not always simple to break a task down; if you feel overwhelmed, reach out to someone and ask for their help. The ability to get advice from someone is vital to success.

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De-stress and Relax during this tough time

With everything going on in the world right now, it is easy to have fear and be stressed. It is important to de-stress and stay healthy.

In this crazy time we are living in, it is essential to find ways to relax and de-stress. The world’s situation is changing every day. There are fear and worry in the world.

I have experienced various symptoms that are closely related to being stressed.

In a time where it is vital to stay healthy, one way to stay healthy is not to stress or be tense. This is not an easy task.

De-stress ideas

One primary way I have found to de-stress is to take time for me. I have been quarantining with my family. This means being in close quarters with others.

What you do with your time is entirely up to you. One option is to read a fiction book. Fiction books can allow you to escape to a different world.

For just part of the day, you can be in a world without the stressors of your current world.

I have also found that writing has helped me. It is better to get your feelings out and not keep them bottled up. If you are unable to talk to your loved ones about it, write it down. No one has to see it, but this will allow you to get your feelings out of your mind.

Do something creative. Drawing or coloring is quite relaxing. You can put music on or watch a show while you do it. If you are doing this activity as a relaxing activity, make sure others know not to disturb you.

Get outside. The fresh air will be good. The sunshine will provide you with natural vitamin D. Just remember to distance yourself from others and be safe.

My final suggestion is to not look at the news all the time. I have gotten into the habit of looking at the news in the morning and evening. This allows me to know what is going on in the world but not get overwhelmed or stressed about the state of the world.

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