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Why self-love is key in concussion recovery - 7 ways to practice

Updated: Jan 10

Right at the beginning of my recovery, someone told me you just need to love yourself in order to move forward. I just thought shut up, I need a doctor and need to focus on my physical symptoms, and that’s it.


Now, after 6 years of having post-concussion syndrome, I know better. If there is one thing that I learned in my concussion recovery, it’s loving myself more than ever before. Let me share why self-love is so needed in concussion recovery and how you can start loving yourself more.

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I was always putting other people first

This is just me; I am always thinking about other people first. Sometimes, I totally forgot myself and adjusted everything in life to the needs of other people. Even if this made me unhappy or if it just didn’t feel right for me.


For example, if people couldn’t meet on a specific day, I was always changing things for them even if it wasn’t possible for me. Or when we had to choose dinner and we both wanted something else, I would say okay, let’s go for yours because it made them happy. Or when my boss asked me if I could work in the evening or do extra hours, I never said no, just because I wanted to help and not disappoint people.


Now I NEEDED to put myself first

If there is something I learned in my concussion recovery is that I needed to put my health first. This wasn’t even a choice, I had to. If I didn’t, I’d be in bed for days or barely surviving.


I had to say no to social events, to my boss, to everyone around me and that was so not me! I learned to say no and look at what made me happy, at what gave me energy instead of others.

When you have post-concussion syndrome, you get forced to do this, and you will learn this very fast. At first, I felt guilty many times because I wasn’t just used to it. But when I had to do this over and over again, people seemed to understand and respect my choices.

I was always “scared” about their reaction but right now, the opposite was happening. They told me they were proud that I stood up for myself. And I was proud of myself, too, for doing it.

What is self-love? And why does focusing on that help your concussion recovery?

I see self-love as making the right choices for YOU, not for someone else but only for YOU. To choose activities that make you happy, to say no to things that don’t serve you and not feel guilty about it.

When you keep putting someone else’s needs first, you never choose for yourself and your health. Remember this:


“When you say 'Yes' to others, make sure you are not saying 'No' to yourself.” – Paulo Coelho.


If you want to heal your post-concussion syndrome, you need to listen to your body. It’s not always easy as the people around you have expectations, you may have appointments but keep in mind, you don’t have to do anything if you don’t want to.


But what if you really NEED to do things?

Of course, there are some things you need to do, especially when it comes to finances. But try to make it work on your terms. If you need to schedule appointments, try to schedule them when it fits for you.

Maybe you need a day off before and after that specific appointment? Then say no to other social appointments or if you have a partner, ask him/her to drive you or make a meal so you don’t have too many tasks on your plate.


I bet there are so many things you can change to make things a bit easier than they are right now. What helps me is to write it down. Write down what makes that thing you need to do hard and what you can do to make it easier.

An example of how I make things that I NEEDED to do easier

For example, I have an appointment with my insurer and need to go there this coming Thursday. I write down all the things that can help me during that day:

  • How do I get there? Is there anyone who can drive me? Can I ask someone for help?

  • What are things I already planned on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday? Can I cancel something?

  • What about my meals? Do I have enough food in the fridge? Do I need to cook? Can I ask someone to make a meal?

  • Can I already prepare for the appointment? Maybe write some things down?

  • Is it even possible to do this appointment online so I don’t have to travel?


Now it’s about you! 7 ways to practice self-love:
  1. Say no to others, even if it feels uncomfortable. It’s not always easy, but the more you do this, the more you notice it’s supporting your health, and you start to feel better mentally too. It feels like you’ve got back control over your life.

  2. Create a gratitude journal and write 5 things down every day about what you love about yourself and 5 things you love in general. It’s so uplifting!

  3. Create a “win” journal. This is what we do in The Concussion Community. Every Friday, we share the wins of the week. This makes you shift your focus to the positive side of recovery. I bet there is something, even the smallest thing to celebrate.

  4. Don’t grab your phone first thing in the morning, pay attention to yourself and your feelings before you pay attention to the “outside” world. How do you feel? What do you want to do today? What is your body telling you?

  5. Talk to yourself as you would talk to a friend. If a friend tells you I am not feeling well and feels like they need to take it easy, you won’t tell your friend to push and just ignore that feeling, right? So don’t do this yourself too. You can apply this to every situation.

  6. Create a morning ritual that supports your day. What works for you? Is this exercise in the morning? Is this meditation? Do what feels best for you. Once you start your day in a relaxed or positive way, it effects your whole day ;). This is what my miracle morning looks like: Click here.

  7. Surround yourself with positive people. This makes your life and dealing with post-concussion syndrome just a bit easier. So, if there are people who don’t respect your boundaries, who are making you feel not great or positive about yourself or your recovery, then try to avoid them. It’s so important, especially in concussion recovery, to get those positive vibes as you are more sensitive to all of it. Choose your friends/people wisely.

  8. And last but not least, focus on positive healing affirmations to change your mindset into a positive healing state.

Curious about which affirmations I am using? Click here.

And will you start working on it? Are there any other things you do to support self-love? I would love it if you share them with me on Instagram: click here to go to my Instagram page. With over 17k followers, you aren’t alone in this.

What else helped me (and many others) besides focusing on Self-Love?

In June 2019, I went to Cognitive FX (concussion center in Utah), where I learned everything about Interval Training and Cognitive Exercises. It changed my life (and the life of many others).


However, simply engaging in 'some' cardio exercises or doing ‘some’ puzzles won't bring about a massive change.


More is simply needed if you truly want to overcome your symptoms.


That's why I invested $10k in a comprehensive treatment that brought significant results.


As a result, I launched this 3-month program to guide you through intervals and cognitive exercises in the most beneficial way to reduce your concussion symptoms.


This way, you won't need to spend $10k as I did.

Click here to learn more about the 3-month program and how it has helped over 500 other concussion survivors.

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7 things that have helped me:

 

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✔️ to reduce my fatigue & brain fog

✔️ to have more energy
✔️ to improve my sleep
✔️to feel less stressed

✔️ to exercise again (finally!)
✔️ to have a better mood

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