“The things that make me different are the things that make me.” Let’s hang on to that as our #SuperheroSunday mantra and keep in mind that with all our uniqueness and difference we are one community. #BESTcares
We know a brain injury dramatically impacts both an individual and their family. Whether it’s for the short term or for a lifetime a brain injury changes our lives in both visible and invisible ways. Now, research is showing that the COVID-19 has significant neurological consequences for the majority of those recovering from the virus.
Because of this increased need for brain injury outreach, peer support, and family education, BEST created the BEST COVID-19 Impact Fund to provide assistance for individuals and brain injury support groups in Washington State.
UC San Diego Health neurointensivist Dr. Navaz Karanjia outlines three ways by which COVID can attack the nervous system:
A small study published in the New England Journal of Medicine documented neurological symptoms in a group of COVID-19 patients. Symptoms ranged from cognitive difficulties to confusion. All were identified as signs of encephalopathy, a trend that researchers in Wuhan had noticed in coronavirus patients in China in February 2020.
In April a study conducted in China found that strokes, altered consciousness, and other neurological issues were evident in approximately 36% of COVID-19 cases. These symptoms also appeared in patients without typical COVID symptoms such as fever, respretory issues, or headaches.
A study out of Spain that was published in July studied patients between 1 March and 20 April regardless of whether or not they manifested typical symptoms. The research team found that 73% of patients with COVID-19 had cerebral ischaemia; a condition in which there is insufficient blood flow to the brain to meet metabolic demand, leading to poor oxygen supply or cerebral hypoxia and thus leads to the death of brain tissue or cerebral infarction / ischemic stroke.
The need for emotional and educational support for individuals and families navigating brain injury after fighting the devastating and long-term affects of the COVID virus is critical. Without funding support groups cannot do the outreach, provide technical support, virtual meetings, and more. In Washington State BEST has been at the forefront of peer support, education, and advocacy for the brain injury community.
We know from many years of experience that support groups, in particular, allow people with brain injury and their families to meet others who are in similar situations, gain valuable emotional support from one another, form friendships, obtain information and resources, and hear speakers discuss a variety of brain injury topics.
Unfortunately, brain injury support groups were one of the first activities in early March to shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In-person support groups continue to be postponed and canceled throughout Washington at a time when they are needed most.
BUT YOU CAN HELP! Your contribution ensures that individuals and families have a connection with support groups and the BEST resources available as we all navigate COVID-19 and the social and economic impact of this pandemic.
Our goal is to provide virtual support groups, online video meetings, events, webinars, resources, and valuable facilitator training just like we have been doing since March. But the truth is we cannot keep doing this valuable work without your help.
Help us meet the need by contributing to the BEST COVID-19 Impact Fund. This fund was created by the Brain Energy Support Team to provide COVID-19 assistance for individuals and brain injury support groups in Washington State.
Funding is critical to the brain injury community and BEST support as we work to restart, reopen, and help our community to heal and rebuild.
The Brain Energy Support Team (BEST) has joined Giving Tuesday (#GivingTuesday), a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide.
The BEST Giving Tuesday mission is to engage, energize and empower the brain injury community, those with other cognitive challenges, their caregivers, and their families, through support, education, and awareness.
Occurring this year on December 1, 2020, Giving Tuesday is held annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving (in the US) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, to kick off the holiday giving season and inspire people to collaborate in improving their local communities and to give back in impactful ways to the charities and causes they support.
This year, BEST will be sharing empowerment is an extra special way using our special symbol of the superhero.
Superheroes are near and dear to our hearts, as we think our community members, their caregivers, and their families, are real-life superheroes in every sense of the word.
As the COVID-19 health crisis has upended all of our lives, especially in the disability community.
One thing we know for sure that did NOT get upended: Our super(hero) love and support for each other.
It’s more critical than ever that we take care of ourselves and each other as we manage through this challenging and unprecedented time in history.
It’s a win-win way to save the world!
More details to come in how you can join our cause, support the community, and be a superhero to yourself and others.
Ready to support us today? Make your superpowers known right now! Please visit our support page and learn how you can help by clicking here.
Self-care can seem daunting. How often have we thought, I don’t have enough time? Or we think we have too much to do to take time out for ourselves. Sometimes it can even feel selfish to close the door and leave the world outside so we can be alone, even for a short time.
In this article I hope to help you slow down for just a moment and to share how the Japanese concept of wabi sabi can be the first step in a regular habit of self-care.
You may have heard of wabi-sabi in passing. Someone may have mentioned it in a video seminar you attended. You may even think it’s the green stuff that comes with sushi. Or, maybe, like me, you read about it as part of your efforts to take care of yourself during these turbulent times.
If you’re not familiar with wabi sabi, it’s a traditional Japanese concept derived from two verbs; wabu and sabu. From a Buddhist perspective, it embodies the impermanence and imperfection of life. The Japanese take it one step further to see the beauty in the imperfection. Think of it as the patina brass or silver gets over time or a garden bench after being out over the seasons.
While there isn’t a direct English translation for these words, wabi is about our inner being and experiences; inner peace, solitude, even a little nostalgia. Sabi, on the other hand, is about our experiences of the world around us as it changes; seeing the beauty of aging, fading flowers, and the change of seasons.
More than that, wabi sabi is about experiencing the imperfection of things; seeing things as they are without judgment.
After a brain injury, we often judge ourselves as “not as good as” we were before the injury. Many of us feel judged for not remembering, losing our words when our brain gets overloaded, or taking “too long” to get something done. Bringing the idea of wabi sabi to the way we see ourselves can be the first step in creating a habit of self-care.
What an empowering feeling to see ourselves as we are, embracing the beauty, and preciousness, without judging or comparing ourselves to someone or something outside of ourselves.
For today, let us accept who we are as we are. We aren’t perfect, we never were. There isn’t any right or wrong. In the spirit of wabi sabi there is only the truth of who we are in this moment without expectation of something else and without judgment.
This is self-care.
Download our free mindfulness worksheet that has a list of simple suggestions for daily self-care.
Want to create your own? Download our blank chart.
Gloria has enjoyed a career as an independent nonprofit consultant, trainer, and writer. She has a deep passion for sustainability, both environmentally and organizationally. Enjoy her perspectives on community, development, and tales from her virtual world travels.
We are reaching out for your help.
We know that COVID-19 has touched all our lives in profound and unimaginable ways.
We know you’re worried, and we’re worried, too.
Our team knows from years of personal experience that navigating a brain injury or other cognitive challenges is hard on individuals, caregivers and families.
It’s without saying the pandemic adds more difficulty.
From having to cope with stay at home orders, to navigating online and new technology now more than ever, the pandemic has upended how we all live and work.
Those in our community have shared with us that while they are trying to stay positive, there’s still tension, anxiety, sadness, and loss. We want to continue to support our community and need your help.
As the pandemic hit, we were able to adapt online quickly with information, educational opportunities and more.
Most importantly, through out these difficult months, we have been providing valuable support for brain injury support group facilitators to continue their efforts to support the community and those who are hurting and need help.
We are deeply determined to reach out in love, care and support to make sure our community isn’t overlooked and forgotten.
Despite our hard work, efforts and intentions, it’s not enough financially.
The facts are clear.
We need your urgent support by September 30, 2020.
Following 4 easy and fast ways you can help us TODAY:
What’s in it for you?
Helping a large, and often overlooked, community network with the lifelines and resources that they need, in a time of great need.
And supporting a creative organization to expand their offerings and capacity to welcome and embrace more community members, and to continue to offer free and reduced-cost activities and education.
Click here to help.
There’s more: you don’t have to take our word for it. Take theirs (see graphic below).
Thank you, for your time, attention, and sense of urgency. You will make a difference as you are the difference.