Things are really hotting up for the festive season as we fast approach Christmas. The shops are busier with people, lights and noise which can be overwhelming to say the least. And sometimes even more so, if you have a brain injury.
Our tips for the festive season
This December, we’re sharing some tips to help you survive the madness! These tips are also useful to share with your family and friends to help them understand how you feel.
Time and Rest
After a brain injury, you need more rest than you used to. Your brain works differently after the injury and you can feel ‘brain tired’. It’s more tiring for your brain to think, process and organise. So remember to take a nap if you need a break. With all the Christmas food on the go, you won’t be the only one to shut your eyes!
Too many noises can make it difficult to filter sounds in a crowded atmosphere for anyone, but especially after a brain injury. Noise cancelling earphones can be handy for some peace and calm amidst the hustle and bustle. Choose small social gatherings or shop online to avoid the crowded shops and bars.
Make a list – and check it twice!
With so much going on in the run up to Christmas, it’s easy to forget things. Stick to your routine as much as you can and remember to make a list if you are going to the shops. It’s a good idea to go shopping early in the morning or late in the evening, to avoid major crowds.
Ask for help
It sounds obvious but many of us forget to do it – ask for help if you need it and accept help if it is offered to you. A lot of tasks that arise at Christmas time, only happen once a year which makes it easy to forget how to do them. Two heads are always better than one!
We often see a lot more people at Christmas time and many of us enjoy time off at home. It can help to write a list of what’s happening each day. Don’t be afraid to ask your hosts about what’s planned as well so that you don’t have to worry about surprises. If there’s going to be a lot of people coming, you might decide to pack your noise-cancelling headphones or earplugs so you can slip away from some peace and quiet. And don’t be afraid to go to bed early to get your rest. Socialising can be very tiring.
If flashing lights are bothering you while visiting, ask your friends and family to turn off the flashing features on Christmas trees and other decorations. Choose a seat facing away from the lights or use sunglasses or a peaked hat to shade you from the dazzle.