Following a stroke, it’s common to have feelings of sadness, depression, or anxiety. But there are ways to calm your mind and lift your spirits. Here are some activities that people who have had a stroke can do to help their mental health.
Listen to music.
Music can help you relax and focus. The benefits of listening to music include the following:
- Listening helps people relax and perform better on tasks that require focused attention.
- Listening can help people fall asleep faster and can make it easier to get a restful night’s sleep and also stay asleep throughout the night.
Relaxation techniques can help you feel calmer and more in control of your life. They are known to be relaxing and can make it easier to fall asleep. Relaxation techniques include deep breathing exercises, meditation practices, and yoga poses like savasana (corpse pose).
Relaxation techniques are not meant to replace medication or other treatments for stroke survivors. Rather, they should be used as an adjunct therapy that helps relieve some of the symptoms caused by a stroke.
Read a book or magazine.
Reading is a great way to pass the time and relax after a stroke. You can read in bed, on the train or in the bath, so there are many places where you can read comfortably.
Studies have shown that reading helps relieve stress and anxiety, which may be helpful for recovery from a stroke. It’s also been shown to improve memory function by stimulating connections between different parts of your brain involved with learning new information or recalling old memories (your hippocampus).
Arts and crafts.
After a stroke, you may need to find new ways to express yourself. Art and crafts can help relieve stress and anxiety, as well as give you a sense of accomplishment. Art is also a form of self-expression that can be therapeutic in many ways.
Art therapy has been shown to be effective at helping people with depression as well as those who struggle with anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Art therapy also provides an opportunity for people who have difficulty expressing themselves verbally because of the aftereffects of a stroke.
Visit friends and family.
Visiting friends and family is a great way to get back in touch with the world. The more you can do, the better!
- Visit your friends and family as often as possible.
- Make new friends by joining clubs or organizations at work or school, or by volunteering with non-profit organizations. You can also use social media—especially Facebook—to connect with others without actually having to talk face-to-face much at all!
- Keep in touch via email/texts/phone calls/Skype calls…whatever works best for you!
Work in the garden.
Gardening is a good way to get outdoors and spend time in nature. It can also be a meditative activity, helping you connect with nature and yourself. Gardening is an excellent exercise for the whole body, so it’s important that you not only focus on your physical recovery but also work toward improving your general health.
You may find that gardening gets you into social situations with other people who understand what it’s like to live after having had a stroke or brain injury; they might even have similar experiences themselves!
Having something to look forward to makes you feel better
Be it a big event, or just a small one, having something to look forward to helps you feel better. It keeps you from feeling bored and lonely. Make future plans with friends or family regularly. This could be a coffee tomorrow morning, a dinner date next week, and a weekend away next month. Keep your calendar full of fun.
Recovering from a stroke?
There is lots of support available for people that need it following a stroke. You can find out more about available help on the NHS website.
If you or a loved one need assistance with everyday tasks at home following a stroke, Eximius can help. We provide day and night live-in support for simple day-to-day care and companionship or for more complex medical care needs. Our service is tailored to provide exactly the care that you need and want. For more information contact us here.