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Answer transcribed from the Brightway Answers interview with clinical specialist Marlene Rivera:
Practice, practice, practice! Repetition, repetition, repetition!
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of creating a healthy, balanced, daily routine that incorporates everything you need to do to remain medically stable, and that gives you purpose.
We talk about doing things that are meaningful and I think that gets lost sometimes. If you can't identify what's meaningful to you, then I suggest starting there. Think about what's important to you in life, what are your goals in life, what do you want to do to reach those goals.
Just because you've sustained an injury doesn't mean you can't continue to serve a role in this world where you can serve other people. We may get used to just having everyone serve us after sustaining a brain injury. You might feel like everyone's doing things for you but you can't do anything for them, and that's not true. There is a lot that you can still do for other people, but again, it's identifying what those things are. What's your personal mission?
We did a session with RediscoverU recently where we talked about what's your personal mission statement. What are your life goals? What do you want? What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind? Start with identifying your personal mission, and then move to how you put that mission into practice. What does it look like in your everyday life? What does it look like on your schedule? How are you dedicating time to that while also taking into account all the medical recommendations you’ve been given to keep you healthy.
Once you've created that blueprint for your lifestyle, once you find something that works for you, stick to it for a few months. It’s common knowledge that it takes 21 days to form a habit, but what doesn't always get communicated is that it takes 21 days to form the habit but it takes longer to maintain it. So you want to give yourself a few months to follow the same schedule over and over again.
That will allow your brain to get used to the routine and it'll eventually help you to conserve energy for newer things. Think of when your brain is on autopilot because you do something so often. It doesn't require as much brain power to complete that task any longer because it's something that your mind is used to. So if you can follow your routines long enough, you’ll be able to manage novel situations better.