- Maintain a healthy diet rich in essential vitamins and minerals, which have been known to assist brain function.
- If not otherwise contraindicated, participation in daily activity and exercise, given the multiple physical and mental health benefits of exercise.
- Engage in mental activities to challenge yourself cognitively and stimulate brain activity (i.e. social interaction, reading aloud, jigsaw puzzles, crossword puzzles or Sudoku, computer games, etc.). Social interaction is the best brain exercise there is!!
- Sleep – 8 hours per night.
We can sometimes spend so much time running from doctor to doctor, getting treatments, managing medications, getting evaluated, applying for services, that we get so focused on what is wrong and forget about the basics. We spend so much time trying to fix and not enough on maintaining and moving forward. Whatever the particular challenges you are facing, you can achieve a noticeable improvement in your overall well being by engaging in those behavioral activities that maintain physical and cognitive health:
Will I get back to who I was before? This is probably the most frequent question I am asked when I see people who have had a traumatic brain injury. Surprisingly, the answer I give is “ I certainly hope not!” Healthy living is about moving forward, changing, constantly improving. I am not the same person I was yesterday, none of your friends are the same people they were when you had your brain injury, and no you are not going to be who you were before. Recovery and rehabilitation must be about looking forward. As your skills and abilities improve your goals for your life must be in front of you – you can’t move forward while looking over your shoulder. Define who you want to be – how you want to grow – what you want to accomplish. No, you will not get back to who you were before, but the new person you are becoming will likely surpass your wildest expectations – if you keep moving forward!
““Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” Isaiah 43:18-19