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3 Mindset Shifts for Concussion Recovery

Do you focus on your mindset? 

Mindset is such an important thing in concussion recovery. 

concussion recovery

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In my first two years, I mostly focused on my physical symptoms because I thought if these symptoms would be solved, I don’t need tools for my mindset as everything would then be solved, right?

But when you’re sick for a longer period of time, your mindset can achieve so much in your healing process.

From the moment I focused on my mindset, things started to improve. I never expected that. But everything is connected.

Three things helped me when it comes to mindset.

In the 5-minute video below I explain more about the 3 things. Click on the video to watch it. Prefer to read? Scroll down. 

Three things helped me to create a concussion recovery mindset

concussion recovery mindset

I was anxious that I would experience setbacks, so I did everything I could to prevent them. So, I pushed myself to do a lot of things. I made rules for myself and believed they would help me get better.

One day, I was talking to my psychologist, and she said, “Why are you so hard on yourself? Are you happy? Too many rules can backfire.”

I had to write down all the rules I’d made for myself for at least one week. I didn’t even notice that I had become such a control freak. I knew something needed to change, but I was anxious. What if I didn’t do all those things? Would it slow down my recovery? Would I experience setbacks? Would I be doing enough?

When I created these rules, I thought they were temporary, but I realized I had already been living those concussion rules for two years without an end date in mind. Something needed to change.

Here are some of those rules:

  • I need to go to bed before 10 PM; otherwise, it will mess up my rhythm.

  • I need to jump out of bed immediately in the morning; this will give me more energy.

  • I need to open the curtains; daylight is good for me.

  • I need to get dressed immediately; otherwise, I will be slow the whole day.

  • I need to drink a full glass of water and take my supplements before I eat anything.

  • I need to eat one or two pieces of fruit afterwards.

  • I need to drink my green smoothie after I eat the fruit.

  • I need to exercise for at least 30 minutes or go for a walk.

  • I need to meditate after the exercise.

  • I need to do some cognitive tasks.

  • I need to eat my lunch around the same time because structure is good for me.

  • I need to do at least one useful thing after lunch (e.g., work, reading, groceries, etc.).

  • I need to eat enough vegetables with my dinner.

  • I need to cut out all the sugar in my food.

  • I need to see a friend at least once a week, so as not to get isolated.

  • I need to listen to podcasts to learn new things.

  • I need to clean my house to feel more peaceful.

  • I need to do yoga sessions a few times a week.

  • I need to make progress on some long-term goals for work.

  • I need to write in my journal every day.

  • I need to do healing affirmations every day.

Don’t get me wrong; some of them aren’t “bad” rules and are really helping, but doing all those things felt like I was just existing and not living my life. I felt like a robot, and it drove me insane.

The most important thing is to listen to your body and not fight it, and by applying too many rules, you are maybe fighting against things.

Try to let go of some rules for at least a week and see how it feels.

I get it; it’s scary to let go of them. You may feel guilty because it feels like you’re not doing enough to recover. But sometimes, just doing nothing is what your body and mind need to take a step forward.

concussion recovery

It sounds maybe a bit silly, but for every negative thought, try to replace them with two positive thoughts. At the beginning, it might take some time to practise or instruct your brain to automatically think this way, but the more you do this, the easier it gets until you notice you start automatically thinking of positive things more often.

setbacks recovery concussion

Setbacks, we all get them, right. When you’re in the middle of this process, it feels like you will never get out of it. It can really be hard to stay positive. It always felt like whenever I took a step forward, a step backwards was already waiting around the corner.

I’ts okay to feel sad, let those feelings be there, ride that wave and keep in mind this, too, shall pass.

And remind yourself that your process isn’t gone. I know it can feel like that, but that’s not true.

This photo always helps me when I am in a setback.

Try not to be so hard on yourself and give yourself permission to rest during those setbacks. I always felt guilty when I was doing “nothing”. Know it’s not nothing, it’s taking care of yourself, and instead of calling in sick for work, I say to myself: I am calling in sick today. This feels like I give myself permission to rest.

What helps me to stay positive during a setback is to read my gratitude journal and my progress journal. I have those two books, and I write in them on my good days. It helps so much to see how much progress you’ve made and see how many things in your life you have to be grateful for.

Remember, when you’re out of that setback, you feel better than before the setback. So, I believe sometimes a setback is needed to move forward again.

Hope this helped you! 


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anxiety after a concussion


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