World Encephalitis Day
February 22nd is World Encephalitis Day (WED). Lots of actions are taking place all around the world to raise awareness around this brain inflammation. Check the #redforwed hashtag on social media and click below to find out more.
If you haven't already, make sure to watch my Attitude Pictures episode that was filmed last year, highlighting life after encephalitis.
Post Concussion Podcast
I've recently been a guest on the post concussion podcast. In episode 91, Bella and I discuss all things encephalitis, the multiple cross-overs between the various types of brain injury and how our mental health can greatly be affected following brain injury.
The episode was released just in time for World Encephalitis Day too. Thanks Bella
For the last month or so, I've felt as though I've been back on the roller coaster of life after brain injury. Juggling new learnings with the certificate I've undertaken, the new job which also comes with new learnings, trying to remain present for the brain injury community that I adore on social media whilst being a mom to my 3 darlings boys has felt overwhelming at times.
I recognize all too well the signs that my body and brain are sending me. There has been the difficulty to remain asleep at night, seeing my heart rate spike every now and again, finding myself in fight or flight mode more than I'd like to, my reduced ability to quieten racing thoughts, the brain fog and aphasia creeping in most days. I know all too well that if I leave this unchecked, the trajectory is more likely to go down than up. After all the good progress experienced in the last year or so, I am very mindful of not getting caught up in this situation.
How can I turn things around?
The first step is acknowledging the situation which I have done. The second step is catching myself in these moments where I feel that things are slipping or where decisions made could be counter-productive. In order to do that, I've worked lots on finding ways to be more mindful. Believe it or not, I've actually put alarms on my watch to ensure I take mini-breaks. Although it feels a bit forced, when my watch vibrates, regardless of what I am doing, I move away from my desk and take a few deep breathes. I take a few moments to pay attention to what's going on in my body. It I feel tension, I'll do gentle stretching or I'll give the dogs a big cuddle to change the vibe. Before finishing my mini brain break, I make sure to drink a glass of water.
I noticed that a few bad habits were also creeping in such as having too much device time in the evening and also being less consistent with exercising. In the evenings, I've now swapped my phone for a book and I'm hoping it will help re-establish better sleep patterns. I have also reintroduced my morning walks to gradually get back into an exercise routine. Finally, even though life feels a bit more hectic with the recent changes, I've made it a point to stop before I feel my symptoms creeping in.
I think it will take a few more weeks to get the balance right and it's ok. I want to make my new routine sustainable so I've accepted that it's okay to lean into things gradually. Change is a only constant right. How do you adjust to new routines?