By now, the vacation season is behind us, however I’ll need to say that this 12 months was maybe one in all my favorites. It was a mixture of time with household, adopted by a really quiet Christmas day, simply Sarah and I collectively, having fun with one another’s firm. I lately heard the vacation trifecta of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Yr’s known as the Bermuda Triangle of exhaustion. Nobody is aware of this higher than brain injury survivors!
Now, greater than 13 years post-injury, there’s lots that I’ve realized about navigating this typically overly busy season. Like many individuals who share my destiny, most of what I’ve realized, I realized the exhausting method as I desperately tried to stay as I as soon as had. However the actuality is that there isn’t any going again, no do-over, no reset button.
I’ve realized that my expertise may also help others, and right this moment I will share a few issues which have served me probably the most. Maybe they may also help you.
Honoring my limits: This was a hard-learned lesson. For a few years after my brain injury, I attempted to stay on the identical tempo I had earlier than my damage. And nonetheless right this moment, the value I pay for attempting to do an excessive amount of will be excessive. Generally I can get well in a day or so, whereas there are occasions when it will possibly take me a number of to get my toes again below me. Such is the unpredictability of life after a brain injury. We did some touring this previous vacation season. Whereas driving usually doesn’t require quite a lot of cognitive heavy lifting for me, it will possibly nonetheless be anxious. This 12 months, as has been the case for a few years, Sarah did all of the driving. Whereas this may increasingly not sound like a lot, it was one much less stressor, leaving me higher in a position to be current with the folks we have been visiting.
Studying to say no: I’ve at all times been somebody who tends to flow. A part of it’s because I actually prefer to be totally invested in life, however I’ll admit that I’m additionally a little bit of a people-pleaser. My default response to most the whole lot is often, “Certain, I am in!” However that is additionally very a lot in lockstep with honoring my limits. It took me a few years to easily say, “No, thanks,” to a request for one thing which may merely be an excessive amount of for me. Do not get me flawed. I’ve adopted this technique not as a result of I prefer it, or as a result of it is good for me, moderately as a survival should. As of late, I stay a reasonably contented life. Saying no is a self-preservation technique that permits me to be one of the best model of me doable — as typically as doable. Pardon the pun, nevertheless it’s a no brainer.
Giving again: Way back, I embraced the phrases of a person now deemed a saint: “It’s in giving that we obtain.” (Sure, that’s proper, Saint Francis of Assisi.) I’ve realized that one of many secrets and techniques to residing a deeply fulfilling life is by giving again. The extra you give, the extra blessed life turns into. And I do not imply in a monetary sense. For me, giving again means being an excellent human. I attempt to be beneficiant with compliments, and to observe kindness in all that I do. You by no means know who would possibly want one thing so simple as a smile, a form phrase, or perhaps a hug. It may be a tricky world on the market. By giving of myself, it is my hope to convey pleasure to others. If you happen to assume this sounds corny and impractical, I problem you to attempt it. You don’t have anything to lose, and what you discover would possibly could change your life.
It was my intent to share methods and beliefs that made this previous vacation season one in all true consolation and pleasure. However the actuality is that these methods work all 12 months spherical, 24/7, and in most circumstances. Not solely is my life as a survivor enriched, however ultimately, I really feel as if I’m a part of bringing the human again into humanity. And even when I’m solely partially profitable, then it is a job effectively carried out.