In case you missed it, BEST shared recaps and a video for both days of the 2019 Washington State TBI Conference in Spokane, Washington on April 15th and 16th. The recaps provide additional informational links and the video shares our virtual photo album of the event. As a social media bonus, we did a video from the road on the way back west showcasing the beauty of the state.
For the recap of day one (April 15th), click here.
For the recap of day two (April 16th), click here.
For the videos, see below.
The 2019 Washington State TBI Conference has come to a conclusion. What a terrific experience it was!
First, we felt a warm welcome to city of Spokane. Thank you for being a super city!
Second, the day kicked off with some morning greetings, door prizes and fun, which then launched into an important morning session with Dr. Todd Wylie on vision therapy and brain injury.
Dr. Wylie expressed the science, symptoms, strategies, treatments and tips on vision therapy and vision issues. It was an interesting discussion with a question and answer session. Read all about Dr. Wylie’s story, here.
Participants were able to take a break, visit and explore the exhibits continued from day one of the conference. Morning breakout sessions after the break included advice and support, assistive technology, brain injury in the corrections system, domestic violence, how to start and maintain a brain injury support group, yoga, art, and massage.
Lunch was shared with important conversation around the parties receiving final approval for settlement to reform Washington’s forensic mental health system (Trueblood Lawsuit Settlement). Read about this critical work, here.
The collective group of conference goers shared a warm tribute to the late Tommy Manning, Washington State brain injury advocate, activist, and supporter. As a survivor himself, he made an enormous impact on the support of other survivors. Learn all about Tommy’s story in a tribute from BEST Executive Director, Gloria Kraegel.
Former legislator, Dennis Flannigan , advocate Darci Ladwig, and Dianella Clark, of the Washington State Traumatic Brain Injury Council and a brain injury survivor and advocate, gave a rousing, hopeful and inspirational group panel on advocacy and activism.
The advice given by all three? Here is the common thread:
- Talk to your legislators about brain injury. Practice talking to them. Don’t be afraid to speak to them-you are the expert in your brain injury.
- Legislators want to hear from you and hear your story.
- Keep contacting legislators.
- Organize people power. The more people that share their story, the better.
After this inspirational session, conference participants had other fantastic offerings of eight different work shops, from sports concussions, screening for TBIs, yoga and more.
Of course, there was more visiting, new friends, old friends, and warm embraces.
Thank you superheroes, for an amazing conference experience.
Please enjoy this video of our favorite pictures.
The 2019 Washington State TBI Conference in Spokane, Washington April 15-16, 2019, is a wrap!
Here are some of our favorite pictures in video to mark the event. We will be sharing additional recaps and more soon. Stay tuned!
Many thanks to the real-life superheroes of the brain injury community. You are truly the BEST!
The first afternoon of the 2019 Washington State TBI Conference in Spokane, Washington, was a wonderful combination of sharing, caring, important conversations, resources, and information.
The exhibit hall was the site of participant registration and a variety of exhibitors who shared a wide variety of resources. Organizations included the Brain Energy Support Team (BEST), HeadStrong, Northwest Brain Injury Symposium, TBI Council/Alta, Disability Rights Washington, Spokane Veteran’s Center, Employment Security Office, Wallingford Support Group, St. Luke’s Rehab Institute, Disability Action Center, Brain Injury Alliance of Washington, Brain Injury Alliance of Spokane, the Aging and Long Term Care of Washington, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The keynote speaker to kick off the conference was Dr. Cheryle Sullivan and her presentation, “Resilience and Advocacy–The Journey Together.” Dr. Sullivan shared her journey in three parts: as a doctor, a caregiver for multiple family members with brain injury and brain-related medical conditions, and finally as a brain injury survivor herself.
Dr. Sullivan endured six traumatic brain injuries over her lifetime, with the most challenging impact with a ski accident in 2002.
The physician was met becoming a patient, along with a loss of independence, struggles at work, memory issues, mental health and emotional struggles and more.
Navigating the medical system was not easy.
Over time, Dr. Sullivan was able to met the right medical team, specialists, therapies and support groups after enduring so much for so long.
Her message was that of not giving up, to keep going, and finding emotional support, a critical part of the recovery process. Over her journey, she became more hopeful, inspired and a thirst for learning more.
Dr. Sullivan is the author of “The Brain Injury Survival Kit” and a contributor to “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Recovering from Traumatic Brain Injuries: 101 Stories of Hope, Healing and Hard Work.” She is also a presenter and speaker.
After the keynote speaker, breakout sessions occurred covering various topics such as art as therapy, TBI 101, how to transition to independence and suicide prevention.
For one of the breakout sessions, BEST Executive Director Gloria Kraegel and Stacy Chay, LICSWA, MHP from Eastern Washington University, gave a joint presentation on suicide prevention.
Both Kraegel and Shay presented powerful conversation, statistics, information about stigmas about suicide, strategies and a wealth of resources on traumatic brain injury, suicide and suicide prevention.
In the coming days on the BEST website blog, we will be sharing additional, in-depth information on this critical topic in a separate post.
After the break sessions, conference participants had the opportunity to ask questions, mingle and visit with others.
Looking forward to tomorrow’s experience! Thank you to all of the participants that made this first day special.
While the March 2019 Brain Injury Awareness Month has come to a close, our theme for the month, Super Self-Care has not. Self-care is an important part of our recoveries, journey forward and day-to-day lives.
Let’s keep it up, shall we?
Here’s to your health, self-care process, and empowerment!
Test your Super Self-Care knowledge!
Answer the following five questions. There is only ONE correct answer for each question.
You can check your answers below.
BEST of luck!
1. What is self-care?
A. Taking care of your body.
B. Taking care of your mind.
C. Taking care of your spirit.
D. All of the above.
2. What is a good way to practice self-care?
A. Getting enough sleep.
B. Eating healthy foods.
C. Participating in an activity you enjoy.
D. All of the above.
3. What is self-care NOT?
A. An occasional reward or surprise.
C. Just about taking a bath.
D. All of the above.
4. True or False: Self-care is something you must do alone.
5. Where can you find resources about self-care (😉💚)?
A. The BEST website brainenergysupportteam.org.
B. The BEST website blog and BEST e-newsletter.
C. BEST Social Media (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube).
D. Our BEST Space.
E. BEST Support Groups.
F. BEST in Second Life.
G. All of the above.
- Answer: D All of the above. Self-care is any activity that we do deliberately to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. To live our BEST lives possible, self-care is essential.
- Answer: D All of the above. Any one of the practices noted above are a great way to take care of yourself.
- Answer: D All of the above. Self-care is something we can do every day. Even though the phrase self-care suggests the word selfish, that’s not true. Self-care is an important way to refresh and replenish our bodies and minds to help ourselves (and to help others, too). It’s also definitely more than taking a bath. It’s about the food we put into our bodies, discovering what we need for support, and finding the activities that help us feel good about ourselves.
- Answer: False Practicing self-care can be done in a group, with a friend(s) or a partner, a spouse, a family member(s), neighbors, co-workers, and more. Maybe it’s taking a relaxing yoga class, enjoying a healthy meal together, learning and talking about good health practices or just supporting one another’s wellness. The possibilities are endless!
- Answer: G That’s right; all of the above! The Brain Energy Support Team (BEST) is here to provide you with the information, tools, tips and resources for you to live your BEST life possible. We warmly invite you to take a tour of our website to learn more!
The 2019 Washington State TBI Conference will be held on April 15, 2019 (from 3 pm to 7pm) and April 16, 2019 (9 am to 4 pm) at the Doubletree Hotel in downtown Spokane, Washington.
Registration is REQUIRED to attend. Registration can be done online (see flyer below) and all registrations are DUE April 5, 2019.
For those interested in conference and lodging scholarships, the scholarship form and information is available online in a Word document (we’ve added the form here to get an idea what it looks like). Please click HERE for more information. This link will direct you to the Washington State TBI Council website. Look for the clickable link (halfway down the home page) that reads, scholarship form, and click there to pull up the form.
Completed scholarship forms are due by March 8, 2019.
(Editor’s note: Is cleaning a chore or is it a practice of self-care? BEST gives a warm welcome to BEST guest blogger Marysa Rogozynski, who has some important and compelling points on cleaning and will make you see cleaning in a brand new way! Thanks, Marysa! KT).
If someone would have told me that cleaning is therapeutic, I would have thought they were crazy.
Why on earth would someone want to clean for fun, or willingly for that matter?
Cleaning is called a chore for a reason, right?
Well, that’s what I thought….
If cleaning was a chore, it would be a project.
If cleaning was a choice, it would be a practice.
If we practice, then it can become a habit. If it becomes a habit, then hopefully it is helping benefit our life.
BOOM! Mind is blown!
Okay… so maybe it is not that extreme or simple, but I did a little investigating and cleaning can actually become a healthy habit; it just takes a little practice.
Don’t believe me? Well, here is some interesting information on the benefits of cleaning.
1. You begin to feel healthier.
2. With a clean space, you may feel more comfortable inviting friends over.
3. Quick burst of energy, and a little bit of physical exercise.
4. Increased productivity and be a distraction for the thoughts and emotions inside your head.
5. It can give you a sense of accomplishment.
6. Increase in a positive mood. It can also help calm anxiety and decrease feelings of depression.
7. A feeling of having more control in your life. Hey, this one can help with anxiety and depression, too!
See, it’s not so bad, right? Well, if you are like me and lack the motivation to do things, or doing too much work at once is very strenuous, I have a few tips for you!
1. Don’t tackle everything at once.
When we trying to clean everything at once it can take its toll on us. We start losing some energy, our brains might feel tired, and it can feel boring and tedious.
2. Pick one room or task to start with.
You know what is most important to you. If when you first walk into your house or apartment and there is a mess everywhere, which gives you anxiety or you lose things, start there.
If you have mail laying around and you need to file it, start there. Whatever the task may be, you decide what is most important in this current moment and time.
3. Once you have picked a task or room to clean, write it down.
By writing down the task at hand it can serve two purposes. The first is to help with memory.This allows you to keep track of what you are doing, in case you get distracted or forget what you are doing.
The second is it gives us something to check off later! It is a nice way to show that you have accomplished something that you set out to do.
4. Set a time limit. Take a break, and then continue again.
It is okay if you do not complete everything in one sitting. Cognitive psychology shows that the average attention span is 20 minutes, but keep in mind that can vary per person.
Pick a time limit to start off with. If you realize you can go longer or need a shorter time period, make an adjustment.
Don’t forget to set a timer! Once the timer goes off, take a break and then start the timer again.
5. Check it off.
After you have finished that task, go back to where you wrote it down and check it off! This allows for an increased sense of accomplishment, and it is a reward for completing your goal.
This can also help encourage you to do it again, creating habits over time.
6. Pick an Option A or B.
At this point, you have two choices.
Option A: Repeat these steps with a new task!
Option B: Stop with the task you completed, and work on forming a habit of the one task.
Then when you are ready, choose Option B!
7. If these steps don’t work quite right for you, that’s okay make some adjustments.
This process doesn’t seem right to me! I have tried it a few times and it isn’t working. That is okay! Figure out what works for you and make adjustments.
What works for one person may not work for another, but it can help give us an idea of where to start. You know your body and brain better than anyone else, listen to what it has to say.
These are some of the ways that I tackling cleaning. It helps me to feel less overwhelmed, and have a sense of accomplishment. I haven’t reached the point of a habit, but it is beginning to feel less like a chore.
So, I am curious. What tips do you have for cleaning? What works? What doesn’t? How does cleaning make you feel? What are you going to clean first?
Information and Resources:
Marysa Rogozynski grew up in Ontario, Canada until her family moved to the United States. After the move, she completed high school in Montana, going on to earn her Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Psychology at the University of Jamestown, where she also sustained a Traumatic Brain Injury playing collegiate sports. Currently, she is finishing her Master of Science (M.S.) in Psychology at Eastern Washington University. She enjoys traveling, going to the movies, baking, and playing with her cats.