The Brain Energy Support Team (BEST) is excited to announce our theme for the national Brain Injury Awareness Month in March of this year.
Our 2020 theme is:
Creativity is a Superpower ⚡💡
All month long, we’ll be exploring creativity in self-care, education, awareness, sharing resources, conversations and much more.
By exploring our superpower of creativity, we’ll engage, energize, and empower ourselves, each other, our communities and the world!
Here are our specific plans!
Whether you’re a brain injury survivor or caregiver, we’d love to hear from you!
How do you explore creativity?
What kinds of superhero creative solutions do you use to approach your injury or your caregiving?
Send your thoughts to Kim at email@example.com or you can private message us on our social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest).
Prefer to drop us a line by mail? Send your thoughts to:
Kim Thompson, Brain Energy Support Team
3800A Bridgeport Way W #393
University Place, WA 98466
The 2020 Washington State Brain Injury Conference will be held on April 15, 2020 from 3 pm to 7 pm and April 16, 2020 from 9 am to 4 pm at the Hotel Murano in Tacoma, Washington.
Here is the save the date flyer with information, schedules, costs and more:
A limited number of scholarships for the conference will be available for individuals with brain injury and unpaid caregivers of individuals with brain injury.
Click HERE to apply for a scholarship (Note: you must scroll to the bottom to see the application form link to download).
Scholarship applications are DUE NO LATER THAN MARCH 1, 2020. Please follow the instructions on the form. Here’s what the form looks like:
(Editor’s Note: Writer, BEST guest blog contributor, and stroke survivor Isaac Peterson shares how he spends his free time before and after his brain injury, with his love of trivia being a special and favorite activity. Check it out below! KT)
If your traumatic brain injury is severe enough, and if you’re like me, you suddenly find yourself with lots of time on your hands.
Since bright lights are pretty much unbearable, I find myself staying indoors more, so as to avoid the torture of intense bright sunlight. And the same with loud noise and large crowds.
I did manage to survive and enjoy a concert recently where there were all three, but I couldn’t do that all the time like I did in college.
Other than that, I spend a lot of time indoors. It would be easy to just lay around doing nothing and staring at the ceiling, feeling sorry for myself, but there are a few things I do that take up my time and make me glad I have all that time to myself.
Every day I do a lot of reading. There is always a book I’m working on, but I spend more time web surfing. The way I’m wired, whenever I find myself saying things like, I wonder or what if, well, I just have to get on the internet and find out the answer.
And like everybody else, there are websites and places on the web I visit every day, and often, several times a day.
I love spending all day reading comic books; I always have since I was a young boy. I don’t do it any more, though; my approximately two thousand comic books are still in Minnesota, and I’m in Washington now, and with prices the way they are now, they’re out of my price range.
And of course there’s my writing, although I really don’t spend all that much time doing it.
But one thing I’m really into is trivia, and always have been.
You really don’t want to be playing Trivial Pursuit against me.
I know lots of absolutely useless facts. If a degree in the trivia field had been available where I went to college, I would have majored in it.
I subscribe to a few websites that send me trivia questions every day. One that I signed up for years ago, Trivia Question Of The Day, is one I still subscribe to. Some of their questions are really hard.
I don’t know whether you enjoy trivia, but here are some real trivial bits of information for you to try on.
Before Grover Cleveland became President Cleveland, he served as a county sheriff as well as its executioner.
The word Eskimo means eaters of raw flesh.
Fifteen percent of women send themselves flowers on Valentine’s Day.
Because of the altitude of La Paz, Bolivia, the air is so thin it is practically immune to fires.
Frank Mars named a candy bar Snickers after one of his horses. The name for Baby Ruth candy bars isn’t a play on the name Babe Ruth, the famous home run hitter: it was reportedly named after Grover Cleveland’s daughter, Ruth.
Ben & Jerry learned how to make ice cream by taking a $5 correspondence course offered by Penn State.
Dr. Seuss wrote Green Eggs and Ham when he was challenged to write a book using no more than 50 different words.
Thurl Ravennscroft was the voice of Tony The Tiger and was the voice who sang You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch.
The Vatican Bank has ATMs that let users make transactions in Latin.
Judge Judy makes about $45 million dollars a year.
Elephants can’t jump.
M&Ms use the first letter of the last names of their creators, Forrest Mars and Bruce Murrie.
Mr. Rogers was a ordained Presbyterian minister.
Aristotle was a stutterer.
Was that trivial enough for you? Although I said I’m good at trivia, I didn’t know some of those until I saw them in trivia quizzes, pretty much the only times you will need to know this kind of stuff or for bar bets.
So, what do you like to do with your time?
Isaac Peterson grew up on an Air Force base near Cheyenne, Wyoming. After graduating from the University of Wyoming, he embarked on a career as an award-winning investigative journalist and as a semi-professional musician in the Twin Cities, the place he called home on and off for 35 years. He also doesn’t mind it at all if someone offers to pick up his restaurant tab. Peterson also welcomes reader comments. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Editor’s note: BEST’s own Gloria Kraegel penned an article on different ways to navigate the holiday season while taking care of our ourselves. We’d love to hear the creative ways that you manage this time of year. Send your thoughts to me, Kim Thompson, at email@example.com. Thank you! KT).
Navigating the Holidays
By Gloria Kraegel, BEST Executive Director
It’s that time of year when those of us with a brain injury are challenged, more than any other time of year, to figure out gift giving, deal with increased lights and sound, navigate social events, work on our social skills, and so much more.
It’s exhausting, and yet we want to enjoy the spirit of the season with friends and family.
How do we balance all of this with our own needs?
The first thing I would recommend is to find a way to advocate for ourselves by asking for help, saying no to some things so we can enjoy other things, and to keep things simple.
Ask for help: Everyone needs help no matter what time of year it is. We might need help with shopping, even on the internet. Perhaps we want to bring a simple dish to a family holiday dinner and can ask someone to help us prepare it. Whatever it is, identify who in our circle of support would be the best person to ask for help. Not only that, if someone offers to help, let them.
Saying no: Saying no is a healthy way to save energy this time of year. Actually, learning to politely say no is a good practice any time of year. We don’t have to accept every invitation, allow every visitor, engage with everyone at an event. If the lights are too bright, ask to turn them down. If the music is too loud, ask to turn it down. Remember that we engage with others best when the stimulus is low.
Keep things simple: All the decorations, rearranging furniture for that large tree, and everything else a lot of us think are necessary for the holidays really isn’t. A smaller tree, simple decorations, and less lights all help to reduce stimulus, thereby reducing overload and creating a quieter holiday we can fully enjoy.
Eat well: That doesn’t mean eat a lot, or to eat everything offered to us. Eat smaller portions of healthy food. We know that our food choices affect our brains and cognitive abilities. Too much caffeine and sugar are unhealthy. Nuts, fruits, and vegetables provide the nutrients our brains need to function at its best.
Sleep well: Often after a brain injury we find it hard to sleep regular hours. This can be especially true during the holidays when we may have more to do or be a part of. It’s important to keep a regular sleep schedule (and personal quiet time) to help us get the most out of our holiday activities.
Plan: Finally, and this always helps me get through the holidays; have an idea of the things you want to do in advance of doing anything. Plan which events are most important to you and that you would enjoy the most. Attend those and say no to the rest of the invitations. Have what you want to wear to these events already picked out and put together in the closet. This way you don’t have to worry about what’s clean or ironed, or which sweater goes with what pants.
These aren’t the only ways to reduce stress and navigate the holidays. If you have tips that work for you, please share them with us and have a safe, peaceful, enjoyable holiday season.