Here’s a list of just some of the key elements of why people use social media:
- To keep in touch with family and friends.
- To connect with others.
- To have conversations.
- To find information and resources.
- To promote businesses, products and services (if applicable to them).
Needless to say, social media is important and is deeply ingrained in our community and cultural landscapes.
For those of us in the brain injury community, whether we’re survivors or caregivers, social media can serve an even more vital purpose. Not only can it serve us well in the six items noted above, it can be a terrific and helpful way to connect to other brain injury community members across the world. For some of us, social media offers hope, community, and even a lifeline.
So, social media is pretty perfect, yes?
Unfortunately, no. In fact, it’s far from it.
While social media can bring out the best in people, it can also bring out the worst.
Arguments. Ugly and/or uncomfortable posts and tweets. Negativity.
So, what does a social media user do to balance the good and the not-so-good things that come with social media use?
We’ve broken down some helpful tips and strategies to help you manage social media successfully, safely and positively. We have even provided personal tips from a social media expert at the end of this article.
Let’s get started.
Extreme tiredness, typically resulting from mental or physical exertion or illness.
Fatigue can take on additional layers of impact for brain injury survivors and caregivers.
Brain injury survivors:
“Neuro-fatigue” is one of the most common and constant issues that brain injury survivors face. Neuro-fatigue is defined as a profound lack of energy in engaging in daily life activities, communicating and/or socializing with others; difficulty staying aroused and awake; and decreased alertness. This kind of fatigue can have significant impacts to people’s overall well-being and health.
“Compassion fatigue” affects caregivers and can create feelings of burnout, exhaustion, less ability to function, more stress than usual, caregiver feels traumatized, working harder (but getting less done), irritability, feeling bored and more sickness, aches, and pains.
What are the best ways for brain injury survivors and caregivers to handle the impacts of fatigue?
Click here for a comprehensive interview from an expert on fatigue after brain injury that gives thorough insight and strategies to feel better.
Caregivers, some good tips and strategies to combat compassion fatigue can be found by clicking here.
What are some of the ways you work through fatigue? What personal tips work well for you?
For caregivers, it can add even more complexities to an already hectic pace.
Here are some links to some of our favorite articles that have appeared on this blog and elsewhere that provide helpful tips designed especially for caregivers to navigate the holiday season. Click on the links in green to read on and learn more.
BEST board member, guest blogger and caregiver, Maggie DePuye-Phillips, explores what’s helped her the most as a caregiver during the holiday season.
The BEST “Tuesday Tips: Caregivers and the Holidays” blog article series gives helpful reminders and strategies for caregivers during the holiday season.
Here is a good article from Brainline.org that shares ways to enjoy the holidays after a brain injury.
Lash and Associates Publishing, a terrific resource for written materials and more for the brain injury community, featured a blog article on holiday stress for survivors and their caregivers.
From Caregiver.org, here is an article that helps caregivers cope with stress during the holiday season.
Have any tips to share with us on how you cope with the holiday season? Please share in comments below!
When it comes to navigating the holiday season and the fall months, we think early preparations, conversations, and getting our tools and strategies at the ready are best. The holidays can be stressful and overwhelming for everyone; it can be even more so for those in the brain injury community.
So, we’ve decided to compile some of our favorite tips, strategies and information to help. Along with the words, we have special original artwork from teen artist and BEST volunteer, Erin Thompson. Thompson, a local Washington State high school student, is also a family member of a brain injury survivor.
So, let’s get started on ways we can make the holidays the BEST. Here are our favorite tips and strategies adapted from Stress and the Holidays: Coping Strategies to Keep You Sane by Helen Hunter, ACSW, CMSW. We also have more important links for you to explore noted below.
Make the holiday season a time for you and your loved ones to have fun and share special memories. When you make an effort to have a joyous, stress-free holiday, you avoid stress.
The first thing to consider is pace. The holidays tend to bring on a hectic pace for everyone. Delegate responsibilities and activities so that one person is not taking on more than can be accomplished without help.
Any task you have chosen to do, whether it be the cooking, cleaning, gift wrapping, card addressing, organizing, decorating or shopping, it can be viewed as a choice you made. Make choices that make the most sense for you and for your loved ones.
Work minute by minute on your attitude. When things feel hectic or overwhelming, pause, reflect, and consider your choices. Empowerment is an important tool when it comes to pace. Remember: you are always empowered and you know what’s BEST for you.
An important point to remember: if old traditions cause heartbreak, stress, or depression, change the tradition. Start traditions that make the most sense to you in your life now. It doesn’t always have to be done in the same way every year, either.
Deciding on traditions as noted above, can help you get organized and figure out what tasks, events and activities can help support your chosen traditions and help you feel your BEST during the holiday seasons.
If you cannot be with family, try to spend time with friends or neighbors instead. You can also get involved with an activity that helps others by volunteering with an organization you care about during the holidays or perhaps visit or call someone who will be alone for the holidays.
Consider your plans and people early in the season. Organizing what you want to do will save some stress, energy and time.
Do things together as a family or as friends that you all truly enjoy. Honor your choices on pace and organization (see above). We’ve read about some survivors and their families who create their own special holiday within a holiday! Get creative and craft a holiday activity or event that is unique and just for you and others you care about to enjoy and savor.
Most importantly, be gentle with yourself–make this your number one priority. The holidays are not about making things perfect and doing a lot and being a lot.
Concerned about being overwhelmed? The key is keep things simple. Steer clear of anything elaborate (decorations, meals, events). You also don’t have to say yes to everything. A polite nosaid with sincerity, goes a long way. Click here for some strategies for options of giving a good no.
Make your holiday season simple, doable, and achievable. Feel good about your empowered decisions to simplify (and don’t forget to celebrate your success in managing your own self-care).
Ask for Help:
Here’s the most important BEST tip: ask for help. Maybe you need a listening ear. Perhaps you need help accomplishing your holiday to-do list. Don’t be afraid to ask for a helping hand. Remember the reason for the season for everyone: sharing our care and helping others.
What’s even more important than asking for help? Accepting help. Not only is it okay to ask for support during this time of year, it’s also okay to accept help as you need it. If someone offers their assistance and support, they are making a choice to help you.
Here are some more important links.
Especially for Caregivers:
Caregiver, BEST Guest Blogger, instructor/facilitator and BEST Board Member, Maggie DePuye-Phillips, has penned some terrific articles with informational links just for caregivers. Here they are!
Self-care for caregivers is critical during the holiday season. Click here to learn about Maggie’s self- care tips for caregivers.
Sometimes, during a hectic holiday season, it can be hard to feel or remember gratitude. Read Maggie’s inspirational article on the gift of gratitude, here.
Maggie explores humor as good medicine for caregivers, especially during stressful times. Here’s her article.
Click here to check out a good article from Caregiver.org on caregiving and holiday success.
Our BEST friends at Lash Publishing have a nice blog article on brain injury and stress during the holidays that’s worth the read. Click here to view.
Brainline.org is chock-full of resources for the brain injury community. Click here to read an important article about enjoying the holidays after a brain injury.
Special thanks: Special thanks to our young artist and BEST volunteer, Erin Thompson, for sharing her artwork with us.
Here’s to a peaceful, relaxing and the BEST holiday season ever from your friends at the Brain Energy Support Team!