Surviving the Holiday’s with a Traumatic Brain Injury

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Surviving the holidays and the hustle and bustle that goes along with the time of year can be exciting and demanding for many individuals, but as a brain injury survivor the holidays can mean a lot of overwhelming challenges and heightened emotions.  Preparation is the key to staying focused and successful throughout the season so by following the next few tips a survivor may find the season to be filled with wonderment and joy:

  • Prioritize: Set down with your loved ones and determine together what holiday” get togethers” are “mandatory” vs “optional”; keep a calendar up for all to see with the mandatory events listed – if there is room for the optional events,  add it in a different color.
  • Nourish: Before going to a holiday party have a light snack, so you are less tempted to over eat or indulge in all the holiday goodies.
  • Consumption: Drinking in a social setting can easily lead to overindulgences, so it might be a good idea to drink in moderation or refrain entirely.
  • Budget: Before the season begins, make a list of all the cash flow that will be going out of your funds and stick firmly to the planned budget. (It’s easy to fall into that magical math trap “I spent $5 less on Uncle Joe than I had budgeted, so I can spend $5 more on Aunt Linda”.. and  before you know it you have overspent.)
  • Plan: Make a set timeframe to dedicate time with just your family or loved ones. Surrounding yourself with happiness or positivism throughout the season will keep you on a successful path. If you have to be around difficult family members click here to find helpful tips to managing those relationships.

Remember that a large portion of holiday stress can come from unrealistic expectations “everything is supposed to be perfect”, looking for that perfection or worse yet trying to create it, causes more stress and dissatisfaction that just letting things go the way they go.  Sit back, relax, and enjoy – even the not so great moments can be translated into funny stories in the near future.

About Penny R Miller, MS, LPC, CBIS

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