BEST’s own Diane Rasch shares her slogan and approach to creativity, one piece of art at a time.
Tag Archives: Creativity is a Superpower
Take Care of Yourself the BEST Way Possible
Self-care is all the rage. You see recommendations for spas, facial products, types of massage therapies, and wellness weekends. Where ever I turn, there’s another ad for something to buy.
My goal is to find ways to spoil myself (other than binging on old Star Trek episodes) that don’t cost anything. Or, at the least, very little.
Most people think of going for a walk as one way to exercise for free. I think that’s great, but we can incorporate so much more into that walk than simply counting laps around the block. Weather permitting, step outside with your socks and sneakers in hand, not on your feet, and stop to wiggle your toes in the grass out front of your home or in the dirt of your garden. Let it get between your toes. Feel its softness. Remember how much fun it was when you were a kid to run and roll in the grass.
No grass or garden? That’s hard to imagine even in most urban settings, but let’s go with it. Step onto the concrete and feel its warmth, feel the roughness of it under your feet. Look down. Do you see moss peeping up between the cracks? Perhaps there’s an ant scurrying along with a bit of twig on it’s back.
Pay attention to your breathing; in and out. Notice if it’s shallow or deep, slow or quick. Does it fill your chest? Does it go all the way down to your gut? Does it make a little whistle when you inhale? Take a moment to appreciate this life-giving activity.
You may also notice that you feel calmer. You may even be smiling. And we haven’t even gone anywhere.
At this point, you’ll want to put on your socks and shoes and take that walk.
What are some other things that you can do to take care of yourself for little or no money?
Some wellness gurus recommend a good pen and a special book that feels comfortable to write in. Others simply suggest you have a pen and paper. These things are great if, as I do, you like to write. I also love to draw and color and paint. I recommend you have crayons and a blank sketchpad (or use the back of each of those 60-pages of the report you had to print to review).
Reflect on your day, how you felt about it, what you experienced, who you met, and the things you are grateful for, are only some of the things you can journal about. Write a poem about what happened at the doctor’s appointment. Draw an emotion you had with colors that represent how it felt. Sketch out stick figures of the people you met. Be creative! If you have stickers or ink stamps use those. This is your journal. Have fun with it and enjoy. It’s a wonderful way to let what’s bottled up inside out.
2. Invite two friends over for a potluck dinner
If you’re like me you probably spend a lot of time online. Or you may spend too much time at work. Maybe your situation is such that you can’t get out much. Inviting two friends over is a wonderful way to engage with people face-to-face without feeling over-stimulated. And a potluck means you’re not the only one doing the cooking.
Think about asking them to each bring something different. One could bring a salad and the other dessert. Suggest a leftover night. Everyone gets to bring what’s left in the fridge to share.
Sharing food with friends is one of the best ways to take care of yourself.
3. Volunteer at a local organization you care about and believe in
Volunteering is proven to make us feel good. And feeling good is what self-care is all about. First of all, you stop focusing on you and have a chance to focus on others. This sends endorphins to our brain and lightens our heart.
Which organization should you volunteer with? There are many to choose from and you may already be donating money to one or more of them. Become a museum docent. Spend time at the humane society caring for puppies. Spend time with children in an after-school program at your local Y or community center. Be an usher at the local theater.
Pick your cause. Grab your face mask and head on over to your agency of choice.
4. Say NO more often
Too often we say yes because we feel guilty if we don’t. Or we feel it’s our responsibility to say yes when asked to do something. Saying yes out of guilt or obligation only induces stress. That’s not taking care of yourself. Learning to say no once in a while is a way of honoring your boundaries. It’s also liberating.
So, next time you are about to say yes when you don’t want to, stop and think about why you feel like you should say yes and then politely say no. No explanations needed.
I don’t think you have to sit on a cushion like a pretzel to do this. I do think you need to find a quiet moment and a comfortable space. This is your opportunity to unplug and reboot.
Think of how your computer gets when it runs hot or has been working overtime processing all those chats and pins. Instead of throwing it against the wall, you most likely shut it down and reboot it after a few minutes.
The same applies to us. A great self-care activity is to stop, bring your energy inward, relax, and meditate for a few minutes before moving onto the next task or activity.
These are just a few ideas. If you have other thoughts or things that you do to take care of yourself share them with us.
Gloria's career as an independent nonprofit consultant, trainer, and writer spans over 30 years giving her lots to talk about. She has a deep passion for sustainability, both environmentally and organizationally. Enjoy her perspectives on community, development, and tales from her virtual world travels.
Tip Tuesday: Creative Brain Boosting Meals and Foods with Dr. Krause
(Editor’s note: The Brain Energy Support Team is delighted and honored to share a blog exclusive article from our BEST friend, Dr. Jannine Krause! Dr. Krause shares her thoughts steps to healthy eating. Read on for some great tips and strategies to start in the new year. KT)
So you have a brain injury and you want to eat healthier.
Or perhaps your family wants to help you eat better.
The thought of making your own meals is overwhelming.
Where do you start?
Whether you’ve just had a brain injury, or it was decades ago, you can use food to support and regenerate your nervous system.
Foods to Focus On
Foods rich in fat, protein, minerals and b vitamins support your nervous system.
Below is a list of foods and per meal portions to support your brain.
Salmon, Halibut – 4-6 oz (palm or entire hand sized portion).
Tuna – canned in water – 1/2 can.
Avocado – ½ or 4 tbsp of guacamole.
Olives – 10 or 2 tbsp of olive tapenade spread.
Raw or Sprouted Nuts or Seeds – walnuts, almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, ground
flaxseeds are best for the brain – 1 handful.
Seed or Nut Butters – 2 tbsp – size of your thumb = a tablespoon.
Eggs – 2 whole.
Beans – Navy, Kidney, Red, Pinto, Black, Mung, Cannellini, Aduki, Garbanzo.Chickpeas ¼- ½ cup – ½ to ¼ of your fist.
Lentils – ¼- ½ cup.
Eggs – 2 whole.
Salmon, Halibut – 4-6 oz (palm to hand sized).
Leafy Greens – spinach, kale, chard, collards, bok choy, cabbage, arugula – 2
cups (two fists).
Broccoli – 1 cup (size of your fist).
Cacao Powder – 1 tbsp, Chocolate – 1 oz.
Tumeric – 1 tsp.
Blueberries – ½ cup.
Fermented Veggies – sauerkraut (Oly Kraut), kimchi, pickled veggies (Bubbies
brand) – ¼ cup.
Adding the Brain Boosting Foods to Meals
Think of the foods mentioned above as medicines with dosages.
When you are putting together a meal or a snack, it’s wise to add your medicine to each
Below you will find examples of how to incorporate brain food into meals.
Here are some breakfast ideas:
Oatmeal, or Cream of Rice with blueberries, walnuts and ground flaxseeds.
o Cacao – 1 tbsp, ¼ cup of one of the following: walnuts, pecans, ground
flax or a mix of the 3.
Scrambled or poached eggs with 2 cups of spinach or dark leafy greens.
o Scramble the spinach into the eggs.
o Sauté the spinach on the side.
o Make a breakfast salad with fresh spinach & poached eggs on top.
o Avocado toast.
o Avocado with salmon lox toast.
o Refried beans on toast.
o Nut butter on toast.
Check out some lunch/dinner ideas:
Veggie Bowls – 2 cups leafy greens, ½ cup beans or lentils, ¼ cup of nuts or
o High Protein Bowl: 4-6 oz of salmon/ ½ can tuna salad on top of the
o Chickpea/Garbanzo Curry Bowl: ½ cup chickpeas, 4 tbsp full fat coconut
milk (canned), Curry Powder (has turmeric), salt and pepper to taste.
o Add fermented veggies to any bowl.
Soups – lentil, black bean (Brand: Amy’s Kitchen).
Salmon, halibut, tuna 4-6 oz with 2 cups dark leafy veggies or broccoli.
Tuna, Salmon or Egg Salad ¾-1 cup with 2 cups of leafy greens.
o Tuna, Salmon or Egg Salad Sandwiches.
o Tuna, Salmon or Egg Salad in ½ avocado.
Here’s a few snack ideas:
Hard boiled eggs – 2.
A handful (1 cup) of nuts or pumpkin/sunflower seeds.
½ avocado; 2 tbsp pumpkin or sunflower seeds.
Blueberries ½ cup with ½ handful (1/2 cup) nuts or seeds.
10 olives – any kind.
Keep in mind that you can always have more in your meals or larger portions.
The portions listed are the minimum amounts of these foods that have found to boost
Putting It All Together
Solidifying healthy eating habits takes time.
You’ll have to train yourself to add these foods in daily.
Start by picking one meal or snack to focus on at a time.
Be patient with yourself as you work to boost your brain health.
You can do this! What are you waiting for? Grab your medicine and get started.
Dr. Krause is a doctor of naturopathic medicine, an acupuncturist and podcast host dedicated to empowering people to take charge of their own health. Her unique approach is simplifying natural medicine and healthy habit formation. She believes that health starts with what we eat, how we move and how well we manage stress. She wants to help prevent little health issues from becoming big ones down the road. She’s committed to slowing down the aging process and wants to help others with this too. There’s a lot of health information available out there, and she’s here to help people focus on what’s important and sustainable for them. Learn more here.
BEST Monday Motivation: March 2, 2020
Our BEST friend, Renne Emiko Brock, is a local artist, college instructor and a passionate superhero advocate who supports and empowers others to be their best selves.
She shares her work, passions, and support in the real world, as well as in the virtual world platform of Second Life.
For Brain Injury Awareness Month 2020, Renne lends her words, wisdom and inspiration for our theme: Creativity is a Superpower!
At BEST, together we support each other in finding our voice as we explore our own creativity.
Thank you Renne for the important reminder and super Monday Motivation!
Self-Love Sunday: Welcome to Brain Injury Awareness Month
Welcome to Brain Injury Awareness Month, Creativity is a Superpower! Here’s our special schedule for the month:
Today, March 1, 2020, we begin with Self-Love Sunday. Here are 31 creative things to think about to show yourself a little love on this important month of awareness, learning, support and inspiration.
March 2020: Creativity is a Superpower Schedule!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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