Surviving The Holidays While Recovering From A Head Injury

The holidays season can be overwhelming for any person, but they can be especially stressful for someone who is recovering from a concussion or traumatic brain injury. With that said, if you plan ahead and make some adjustments to your schedule to help eliminate some of this stress, you can make the holidays much more enjoyable. Below, we share five tips for surviving the holidays if you’re recovering from a head injury.

The holidays season can be overwhelming for any person, but they can be especially stressful for someone who is recovering from a concussion or traumatic brain injury. With that said, if you plan ahead and make some adjustments to your schedule to help eliminate some of this stress, you can make the holidays much more enjoyable. Below, we share five tips for surviving the holidays if you’re recovering from a head injury.

Holiday TBI Care Guide

There are a number of different reasons why the holidays can worsen symptoms of a lingering head injury. Here’s how you can proactively prevent the holidays from hindering your recovery.

1. Carve Out Time For Sleep – The holidays can be a busy time that leaves you running on fumes, but lack of sleep can worsen your head injury symptoms. Sleep is a restorative process for our brain and our body, and many of the processes that aid in TBI recovery are at their peak when we’re sleeping. Strive to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night during the holidays, especially if you have a big day on the horizon. Also don’t underrate the importance of a midday nap!

2. Hydrate – Dehydration can cause lingering head trauma symptoms to appear or worsen, so make sure you are staying hydrated throughout the holidays. Carry a water bottle with you while you’re out shopping, or ask Santa to bring you a refillable mug so you can always have water handy at the office.

3. Limit Stimulants – Avoid overindulging in certain products and activities that can leave you feeling overstimulated and worsen symptoms associated with your head injury. For example, drinks like coffee or alcohol can dehydrate your body and inhibit your ability to get restful sleep, which we’ve touched on in the above points. Also, if you’re going to be in large groups or around a bunch of active nieces or nephews in the afternoon, try to make the morning more calm. If you feel stressed out before entering a place where you’re prone to over stimulation, it can lead to worsening head injury symptoms. If you feel yourself becoming overwhelmed, find a quiet place where you can regroup for 15 minutes.

4. Break Up Your To Do List – Again, this has more to do with avoiding overstretching your normal limits. Don’t try to get all the holiday decorating and shopping done in one day. Make a list and slowly chip away at it, otherwise your body and brain can become fatigued, and symptoms can set in.

5. Eat Healthy – You’d be amazed at how much a healthy meal can do for our bodies, but consistently eating healthy during the holiday season is certainly easier said than done. Healthy vitamins and nutrients can help body processes run normally and help spur recovery, while junk food can lead to inflammation and other health issues. You don’t need to avoid all the holiday goodies, but eat them in moderation and work plenty of fruits and vegetables into your diet this season.

If you want more hands on care or individualized recommendations to treat head injuries this winter, reach out to Dr. Chang’s office today.

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