I have been thinking often about fatigue, studying it and learning how it relates to my life and others who have had a brain injury. Fatigue is one of the top 3 challenges faced by brain injury survivors from data I have received from over 400 brain injury survivors.
I was told by a neuropsychologist that fatigue comes from when a brain injury survivor’s brain becomes tired due to not having the common functionality which was lost from their brain injury. Basically your brain has to work harder to compensate for the areas that were damaged.
I have wondered if there are solutions available to repair the brain so that not only fatigue can be improved but also paralysis, double vision and other disabilities caused from a brain injury.
Many people are optimistic about advancements with stem cell research and Elon Musk’s NeuraLink but I was told by a Certified Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation doctor who specializes in brain injuries that the medicine and technology just isn’t there yet.
If there are no immediate solutions, I guess we have to control for ourselves!
What you can do to fix your fatigue
Don’t lose hope because I am your brain injury survivor ginny pig and I try different things often with my body to see what might enhance my mood or improve functionality. Here are a few things I’ve tested in the past:
- Going to bed early- This made mornings much easier. I actually wanted to get out of bed.
- Going without coffee for a week – This truly made me feel calmer but I love coffee too much to quit it forever
- Change up my diet – I’ve tried going paleo, vegetarian and vegan but I stick more to the paleo diet which involves eating fruits, vegetables , meats and nuts and cutting out processed foods
- Drink more water – Increasing my water intake has boosted my energy and mood. Plus I think it’s good for your skin.
- Meditate more – I’ve been practicing daily mediation for over 7 years. It brings calmness and clarity to my mind and body. I’m a better person because of it.
- Add an extra workout to my routine- At some point I realized if I work out 4 days a week rather than 3 I move better, walk better and feel more confident.
- Try new and different forms of exercise- I like to mix up my workouts and I will lift weights, do yoga, martial arts, pilates or even a spin class. Different workouts offer different results for my body.
To tie a bow on this, fatigue is not something that will magically go away but if you develop strong habits and routines, along with a good diet, quality sleep and exercise you will find an increase of energy in your life. Don’t forget to drink water too!