Disrupted daily routines can place undue stress on those living with a brain injury during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Information surrounding COVID-19 and its potential impact on each of our lives can be overwhelming. Brain injury survivor, Jeff Sebell writes “We need to process and deal with the information we get, but processing information, dealing with change, especially a change that can be threatening, and making decisions under pressure, are not typically strong points for those who have experienced brain injuries.”

When we feel matters are out of our control, negativity and anxiety could gain a grip on our lives. Difficulty sleeping and depression can worsen our health, especially for those living with a brain injury. Staying positive during difficult times can be easier said than done, we are all human; however, choosing to remain positive can improve our health.

How can those living with a brain injury during the Coronavirus pandemic keep stress levels in check? Facing our known triggers and applying a consistent self-care routine is a proactive approach we could all use through this unprecedented public health crisis.

Many brain injury survivors learned the true meaning of resilience, having spent years acclimating to the daily changes in their lives that a brain injury forced upon them. Successful rehabilitation methods one may have used in the past could help survivors adapt to the changes in routines during the Coronavirus pandemic. If the opportunity to go outside is available, taking the time to breathe in the fresh air, exercise, and soaking up the sunshine, can improve the health of our brain and body in many ways. Listening to uplifting music is known to boost brain function and improve our moods. Reading a good book, watching an encouraging movie, or laughing at episodes of our favorite sitcoms can shield us from the harmful impact of stress.

During an extended downtime, taking the opportunity to enroll in online learning or signing up for affordable interactive games such as BrainHQ or Elevate can increase neuroplasticity. Technology helps us to stay connected with friends and family through phone calls, texting, video, or emailing to avoid complete social isolation and stay engaged.

Although countless businesses will remain closed for a while, and social distancing has become a new way of life, through the storm, there continues to be the enduring devotion of humanity. Strength from the Holy Spirit within shines through in many who cast out fear and come forward in faith, hope, and love to serve others. Those who work or volunteer for churches, non-profits, restaurants, retailers, and more are discovering innovative ways to connect with local and global communities supplying services, products, food, helpful information, and support. The heroes on the front lines in hospitals, grocery stores, and other government listed essential businesses are risking their lives every day to save and serve others.

We are all affected by this global health crisis in one way or another. Through faith, prayer, and perseverance, we can all share an extraordinary sense of peace, kindness, patience, and comradery, helping each other through these difficult times and beyond.

For current and resourceful information during the COVID 19 pandemic, patients, families, and healthcare professionals can access the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website. For those living in the state of Texas, the Department of Health and Human Services works closely with the CDC and local government officials and community leaders to provide Texas residents ongoing vital information during this evolving health crisis.