Since I’m writing my memoir for Camp NaNoWriMo and it is taking most of the limited energy I have post-TBI, I wanted to talk about energy in this monthly essay. And it’s perhaps apropos that this post is several days late because I have been trying to balance appointments, writing my memoir and blogging. The only thing I’ve succeeded at this week is going to appointments so my memoir and blog have suffered. (Clearly I’m still working out the kinks of harnessing my limited energy and recharging.)
Most people know what it’s like working with limited or dwindling energy. Whether it’s your physical or emotional energy that gets depleted… you know what I’m talking about. Since I’ve been a chronic pain sufferer and now am living with a TBI I’ve come up with some ways that I’m using to help harness (or attempting to) my limited energy.
My 5 Techniques to Harness Energy & Recharge:
- Exercise regularly
I’m not actually good at this. I’m working on it. Since stopping regular physical therapy sessions, I joined a gym and have been doing weight training with a personal trainer once a week. I need to do more cardio though. I was just reading this article that says a regular walking program can help those with a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
- Get regular rest/sleep/naps
Fatigue is perhaps the number one issue for those dealing with a TBI. I’m almost three years post-TBI and I still take at least an hour nap plus 8+ of sleep a night. This article discusses fatigue and TBI. My tip is I use melatonin. I suspect melatonin wouldn’t have worked for me pre-TBI (Fibromyalgia and chronic migraines made sleeping challenging) however it certainly works on my fatigued post-TBI brain.
- Reach out and ask for help and/support
I regularly go to a psychologist and I go to a monthly Brain Injury Support Group. For support and resources on TBI, brain injuries and stroke, I recommend checking out the resources on the Brain Injury Association of America’s site. They also link to the Centre for Neuro Skills which has a great website that is regularly updated. I just read this article on grieving the “person you used to be before TBI” that I recommend reading (however, my experience is different than this person’s).
- Find a creative outlet
I have many, as you might guess. I write and blog of course. But I’m also getting into photography, drawing, crafting and graphic design.
- Manage expectations (yours & others)
Clearly I’m not that great at this one. However, I’m trying harder not to be so hard on myself. Now, you may be shaking your head at that statement since I’ve made several references in this essay alone on missing deadlines, etc. The key is those were goals I was aiming for with the idea that life happens and the goal posts may need to be moved. I am actually not really hard on myself it’s more for humor. Old Laura would’ve been actually hard on herself. As far as managing the expectations of others, I’m still figuring out tact with my new less filtered post-TBI personality.
Honestly though, I’m still a work in progress. Just like most of us are. Just like I was before the accident and severe TBI and other injuries. Just like I probably always will be.
Camp NaNoWriMo Update
I was booking (pun intended) along until about 5 days ago in my pursuit to write my memoir (or at least a 50,000-word chunk of it) all in the month of July. I got busy with appointments and let my energy get pulled in directions other than writing. However, things have calmed down and I plan to hunker down and write for the rest of the month. I will definitely use my tactics discussed in this post to harness my energy in order to accomplish my goal. #amwriting