Coping with your new normal
Looking after yourself if you have experienced a TBI is more important than ever as you learn to cope with your new normal. The ongoing effects of your TBI will not only impact you, but most likely your family and close friends as well. That can be a lot to deal with.
Life has changed.
You may get tired more easily. You may not want or be able to socialise as you used to. Your symptoms and the changes to how you feel and cope may only last for a short time, or it may be for longer. Either way, looking after yourself is extremely important for your mental and physical health during this time.
Depending on the severity of your injury you may have to modify some of the activities in your daily life. Techniques and strategies may help you cope with your new normal. Your GP may recommend you see a neuropsychologist to guide you in this process.
Helpful techniques and strategies
There are a number of techniques and strategies that may help you to deal with the changes you’re undergoing. Some of these are in the list below and we suggest you talk to your GP or medical professional about which of them may help you in your current circumstances.
Talk with someone or write down your feelings
It’s generally not healthy to let your feelings build up, so whether you talk to someone about the changes you’re going through or write down how you’re feeling, either option may help you to address what has happened and move through these feelings.
Allow yourself to feel anger, upset, grief, resentment or any other emotion that may come.
Not only have you experienced a trauma to the brain but your feelings about the injury may be traumatic. You may find yourself feeling angry that this happened to you, resentment that you are having to create a new normal, or sad that you are going through this experience. And that’s OK. Allowing and accepting these feelings may be helpful. If you feel like these feelings are becoming too much to bear, it could be helpful to ask your GP about seeing a neuropsychologist.
If you’re comfortable doing so, share your experience with others
Sometimes the smallest thing such an innocent question can trigger feelings about your TBI that you thought you had addressed. If you feel comfortable opening up to people about your TBI you may find that it is helpful to the process of addressing your feelings. Not to mention the added benefit that you are educating people on TBI while sharing your personal experience.
Keep looking forward and make a plan for change if you need to
It can be difficult to accept that if you have continuing symptoms you may need to look at alternative career paths. Seeking the advice of a career planner or thinking about alternative choices close to your original occupation could be a useful first step.
Resources and Further Reading
Disclaimer: This website does not provide advice for individuals. Please seek individual advice from your medical practitioner.