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Self-care and the things that you do

Hi all,

I've been having wild ups and downs and have been really trying to keep some things consistent and controlled in my life, such as the things I eat, the environments I'm in, the things that I do with my time. I was curious about the kinds of things that help other people. The kinds of things that people swear by, stick by and have confidence in. They don't have to be scientifically proven things, but I'd like to hear about the things that have been helping you since your brain woe.

Dietary - avocados, walnuts, coconut oil, sage tea, fruit, nuts and seeds, magnesium. I fully believe that breakfast is a must. The things listed are things that i have stocked always for energy bursts, calmness and cooling. Is there anything in your diet that you've stuck with and recommend?

Practices - yoga, meditation and walking. I don't do yoga or mediate often because of time wobbles and structureless days but I really want to find ways to be more active. Do you exercise? Are you socially active? Gyms? What are some good in-house practices for those that don't get out much? Do you write in journals? Do you organise? Do you volunteer?

Socialising? What are your ideal social environments? My mood swings flit between being able to socialise and not at all. Right now I like socialising with less than 3 people, in a park or in a quiet cafe. Places with little distractions. Slowly realising that drinking and smoking are big anxiety crutches.

Please add your own things and tell your own stories. I'm very interested to read about how we try to help ourselves (successfully or, usually, not so successfully).

17 Replies

Hi I would have Tai Chi near the top of my list for sure. I'd never done it before my illness and very reluctantly tried it when I was in a residential rehabilitation unit for a few months at the 'end' of my illness. I used to participate in judo to a decent standard, had boxed etc. it's helped so much with my balance, fatigue, coordination problems....hard part is finding a good instructor as I believe there ads lots of poor ones out there. Ivebeen extremely lucky on this front. Where in the country are you if at all keen? I eat healthily too and do many of the things you list. Consistency is everything!


I bought a tai chi video, but I can't remember the moves and looking backward and forward at the screen doesn't help the balance and interrupts the flow, perhaps I should persevere. I have a treadmill at home and can manage fifteen minutes twice a day on a good day with at least 3 mins at 3km/ hr, doesn't sound much but is about my limit, and means I can exercise when the weather is bad, not bringing the weight down, 1 1/2 stone extra since my BI and I'm so careful with what I eat, just not enough activity


Come on now Janet...........what about the sticky-toffee pudding that I KNOW you're partial to ?

I should talk ; I demolished most of the deadly (dark chocolate) birthday cake which my daughter left at my house by mistake.

I'm afraid, inney, that I'm not one of the better examples of healthy living but exercise-wise, having been a lone parent, I've had to learn many strenuous skills over the years which I still have to practice from time to time..............and of course there's the regular hedge-cutting and mowing. I do make myself walk a couple of miles each day to try to improve my balance and general mobility but I don't have any formal fitness regime.

Like Janet, I do try to eat healthily (apart from when temptation strikes) and eat lots of salad and green vegetables and never any red meat. For protein I eat chicken, tuna, pulses and bread with loads of nuts, seeds and fruit, and eggs now and again.

I stopped smoking when I had my SAH 2&1/2 yrs ago and haven't had a sniff of tobacco since. I have an occasional yearning though, especially when I see others who've nipped out from their workplace for a quick one...........but I won't weaken now I've got this far ; too stubborn for that. And never any alcohol, too scared of undoing the wonders performed by the neurosurgeon who gave me back my life.

I take standard multi-vitamins, aspirin and cod-liver-oil every day (amidst a shocking array of prescription drugs). A curious point is that my consultant dealing with my osteoarthritis tells me that my ex-rays don't match up with my level of mobility and it could be that the long-term use of high-dose cod-liver-oil has built up protection over the years.

Blimey I've really rambled on here ; I suppose it's cathartic though. :-/

Regards Cat.


Well apart from the odd helping of sticky toffee pudding, I only partake once a week really!!!!!!!

I don't eat many carbohydrates either, I lost most weight and felt healthiest when I followed the Dukan diet, but that was when I was working, seems like too much effort now, but I eat plenty veg and salad, I think the cappuccinos I drink don't help either, I must drink at least 5 a day. I'm not totally blind to what I need to do to improve things just the spirit is willing but the flesh is unable to respond!


There are so few pleasures in life nowadays and the occasional chunk of gateau is a great ant-depressant. :-/


I dont drink now but I must admit to finding a long drink of Malibu and pineapple juice with ice very palatable at the party at weekend could get used to those and two lasted all evening, made me feel a bit more normal, and no after effects, bonus, but I gave the birthday cake a wide berth, my daughter is coeliac and it was gluten free, not the best !


Hi there. I know exactly what you're talking about as the ups and downs. I have been seeing a phycologist to help me, and it have had four treatments so far. I am feeling much better. Try Steps to Weelbeing, but make sure you tell them that you are a brain injured person. Good luck. I'll try write some more when I get back home!


Sleep even now I try to make sure I'm well rested, or simply put my brain starts to work less well.

I eat well, I don't drink now though I hardly did before.

I exercise get out and about, which lifts my spirits the first time I went by my self for a roll very slowly to see the moat at Hampton court was glorious.

I am back at work, and while I'm close to full time there is still support etc, so I have direction etc.


what sort of support do you get at work? i don't get any, feels like all i get is criticism


Early on, I got much reduced hours, but even now my co workers and mangers are aware that I only have so much brain time. So if it's been a long day give me time, one manager hadn't seen me tired so was fussing a bit, once tired I have a slow wobbly walk.

I work in care for a big company so they really should be good, plus if something went wrong managers would be in a heap of trouble.


thanks. for me it's more dealing with tiredness and exhaustion. i'm doing 24 hours from next week


Canoeing is the best sport, the water relaxes the mind and you can go gentle or jump off waterfalls as you feel able. Plus it comes with a built in social scene.

Eating healthy is something I know I should do but its so hard when the brain craves sugar or fat any time it feels wonky.


One thing that has changed is I can't think if I haven't eaten so I do fuel with coffee etc, even sweets if need be (I don't have a sweet tooth) I used to run all day on nothing, I'd keel over if I tried that now!


hi. i try to eat oily fish (salmon, mackerel, trout) as they have the omega healthy oils in them. i agree about avocado and i also have almonds in moderation. i have always found brocolli makes me feel stronger (also before the accident). i am not badly impaired now (currently working 20 hours a week) but i still find i need quite a lot of rest. for me personally acupuncture has been helpful. particularly the first treatment i had which seemed to open a lot of space in my brain. i do think keeping a journal helps, because it's useful to be able to look back on it. i'm not as disciplined about it as i was a couple of months ago. my gp has been very supportive. and i love decaff earl grey tea!


It's really good to read peoples' replies! Oily fish and broccoli, got it. I'm Manchester based and get really anxious in places in classes and crowds. Tomorrow I'm going to try going to a meditation class eee.

What do you do to help your sleep? I'm not getting so much good sleep and I'm feeling it. Memory and coordination are the worst they've been this year. siiiigh.


Right, I'm back now. I am very involved with Headway, and we have coffee on Monday and then I do gardening at the allotment on Thursday. On Friday we do word games and scrabble, which is good for my mind. Along wit this, I have a lesson once a week on a mechanical horse. This is good for my core, and also balance and strength.

Instead of speech therapy, I have singing lessons. Not that I am much of a singer, but I practice my singing more than I would the speech therapy, and it's good for me to do the breathing exercises, and tongue twisters. You try them. It can be a bit frustrating, but is more fun than slog.

I am lucky to have a sister and niece, who do nothing byt support me. They also have a horse, and I am able to help out with him and also help them with their riding. (I am qualified in that, but now that my speech is slurred, I battle to get me words out.

I have put on about 20kg since my fall, and did try and go on diet, but even though I was very strict, could not shed more than 3 pounds. (Sounds better than kg this way) I think my brain went into panic mode, and that's why I couldn't lose it. Anyway, I've now accepted that I am not gonna ride anymore, so I haven't got the horse to worry about my weight, and I am certainly not gonna win any beauty contests, so as long as I can still tie my laces and brush my hair, it doesn't matter for now.

I hope I haven't bored you too much. Cheers


I eat tons of salad and fruit, I love marmite on toast and I've developed a love of cinnamon. I eat wraps instead of sliced bread these days. I drink gallons of water and tea and coffee.

I do yoga and I walk my dog.

I volunteer at our local cub group and I volunteered before I was given a paid position at school.

I like to eat salmon lots, I've gone off tuna, not fussed about chicken, not a big cheese eater but I do like bacon!

I always have breakfast and I find it easier to remember lunch time when I'm in school, I often forget at weekend and holidays.

I stopped smoking around two years ago, could be longer I'm not sure. I only drink occasion glass of wine o cider not fussed about booze since I don't go out since knock on head!

I did gym and swimming and aqua aerobics a part of rehab, but working 25 hours a week leaves me too tired to do much else.

I do need to be bette at going to bed in summer time, easier in winter because it is dark.


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