The holidays are about spending time with those closest to you. However, when you’re recovering from a TBI, the holidays can be a little more challenging.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed. You may not have the energy to spend the whole day celebrating. And the worst part is that all you want to do over the holidays is spend time with friends and family.
Moreover, you want to show up and be present with those you love without causing them or yourself worry. But overextending yourself and your time can leave you feeling exhausted and mentally drained.
Here are helpful tips to help you get through the celebrations while still keeping your health a priority. After all, you don’t want your TBI to prevent you from participating in family traditions. But it’s important to listen to your body and rest when rest is needed.
We believe that each individual with TBI needs support that meets their own unique needs. Get in touch with us at Moody Neuro to discuss our rehabilitation services.
It’s okay to go at your own pace. Holiday celebrations can quickly become hectic, and it may be tempting to try and match everyone else’s pace. But doing too much can make you irritable and put a cloud over your day that’s supposed to be full of family, love, and fun.
Pushing yourself too far will lead you to wipe out early and leave you feeling worse the following day. Additionally, try to avoid doing too much cooking, decorating, or other activities you might traditionally undertake.
Most importantly, focus on enjoying the day in your own way. Do what feels right for your current energy level and mood.
If that includes taking a nap after dinner, then that’s okay!
Large get-togethers can be noisy and mentally draining, so opt for a smaller, more intimate day instead. Lowering the number of events you attend or hours spent on the road saves your time and stamina for the most important parts of the day.
Try to keep things simple and easy but still enjoyable. Doing this has the added benefit of cutting out the excess details or over-the-top traditions, and instead, allows everyone to focus on sharing the day with family.
It might be helpful to speak with your family beforehand. Let them know that your recovery is still in progress, and if you decide to take a break, you will appreciate their understanding.
While last-minute shopping is sometimes necessary, try to keep your schedule light closer to the holidays. Space out everything you want to do, like cleaning or shopping. That way, you don’t feel rushed and have plenty of time to do things at your own speed. It’s also wise to give yourself a day of rest before your family’s celebration.
Furthermore, try to figure out how long the trip will take if you’re traveling. An application like Google Maps can be helpful here.
What’s more, there are plenty of options to get from point A to point B without being behind the wheel yourself. Look into rideshare apps, public transportation, or bus schedules for long-distance trips. That way, you can even sleep through the commute if you need a bit more rest.
However, it can also be a good idea to ask a relative to drive if you feel uncomfortable taking public transportation. And if you need support at any point, don’t hesitate to reach out to your network for help.
Setting boundaries is important for your mental health during the holidays. Whether politely changing the conversation with a family member who wants to know more than you’re comfortable sharing or stepping away from the hubbub for a moment, boundaries sometimes need to be set.
Regardless, setting boundaries is a healthy way of maintaining quality relationships with those close to you.
And while it might be a little hard at first to set boundaries with a family member or move past worrying that you’ll hurt someone’s feelings, setting boundaries actually has the opposite effect.
When boundaries are set, family members will understand that you are doing what is best for you. And this allows you to be at your best when you’re with them.
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