"The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of 60 minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is." ~ C. S. Lewis
Our stroke or any other traumatic medical condition unfortunately ravages our minds and souls. Try as we might, the difficulty of rewinding our life or death experience and mental distress scourges our minds. In the beginning, the traumatic experiences, dwell by month, day, hour, minute and second. It’s merciless and it surrenders your logical side and coping abilities. This inferno of hell does not seem to have an end, and most people struggle how to claw their way out.
Some people focus on how they will have a good month, week, or day. It can be rather hard to attain and sometimes filled with a lot of disappointment. So how do we get through this trauma and manage to have moments that make us exhale and breathe in the good?
First, I always recommend contacting a licensed professional to assist you with coping strategies and become an impartial individual that you desperately need. They are the best tool for you in the long run. Yet, along with a professional help there are some mindful practices we can incorporate in our day to day to help us get through. Generally, we are told to picture our day. I personally find this disappointing because by large it doesn’t play out as I anticipated, therefore shutting me down. I took pause over my situation and wondered how I can I fix this. I wanted to find a way to handle my day where could feel a win and then suddenly it struck me that I need to make my goals by the hour. While this can be anxiety induced on how you fill the next hour, look at this as something that you can control and then create something new after the first hour has passed. Look at it this way, you are juggling a ton of balls in the air. When one falls, it throws off your entire rhythm. This method has you juggling only one ball, therefore focused on the one thing.
For each hour plan something for yourself.
Here is a list of things that I’ve collected along the way that help my hour go.
1. Make coffee and straighten the house up to make it your room relaxing
2. Pick out clothes and take a shower
3. Blog and/or Journal
4. Listen to calming music. Find something that will melt your mind (I don’t recommend rage, or aggressive music)
5. Do a word search puzzle or game book to keep your mind occupied
6. Go for a walk and soak up your surroundings
7. Organize- from doctor appointments, bills, any correspondence, house, etc.
8. Reach out to someone and talk
9. Watch a movie
10. Get into a craft that will take a long time, this way you can devote an hour of your time to it on different days
11. Draw or color. Even if you don’t know how, your mind will be focused on being creative
12. Read a book
13. Find a group for support- as of now via Zoom.
14. Learn a new language or something you never though you could do.
16. Listen to motivating podcast
I found a website that repeat some of the items I listed but they have 101 items listed out on how to fill your hour.
Overall, we are recovering, and will continue for months. The mental aspect of this journey is far reaching and can last a lifetime. We have a decision to stay deep in a hole or reach for a rope to pull ourselves out. We are worth it. Don’t beat yourself up if you have a failure, because the next hour you can have a win and so on. It took me a month to realize this. Once I put these actions into plan, my feelings of self-doubt started dwindling down. I finally feel more accomplished and happier. Do I have bad moments and days – YES! It’s the reality of life that won’t stop but that’s true for anyone so don’t beat yourself up. I simply tell myself, the next hour will be better rather than the next day will be better. If we can simplify and condense our lives, it makes things more enjoyable. Of course, as I mentioned above, please seek professional help if you are struggling. These are items that have worked for me but don’t replace a therapist.