FEATURED IMAGE DESCRIPTION: A photograph of fireworks behind the CN Tower in Toronto at night.


Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, the New Year will arrive – so 5-4-3-2-1 – Happy New Year to you!

Many people make New Year’s resolutions, hoping to create improvements in their lives. We all know that, more often than not, these resolutions fail. The question is: will these individuals consider breaking down their resolution into small, attainable goals and find joy in this journey? If so, they may be more successful.

As individuals with brain injuries, our medical transformation in life can be an analogy with making a New Year’s Resolution.

My Traumatic Brain Injury occurred almost seven years ago. My main challenges are: cognition, short term and long term memory issues and soft tissue injuries on my right hand side.

I had (have) challenges to face on a daily basis, however there are strategies to implement into our lives that are helpful.

I Am Lost, What Can I Do To Find Myself?

  • Put emotional support systems in place (these can include: family, friends, counsellors, support groups etc.)
  • Having a good doctor is important (finding a doctor you trust who understands brain injury can be easier said than done. If you are looking for a doctor, and you live in Toronto, BIST can help. Call the office at: 416-830-1485 or email info@bist.ca.)
  • Have a support person with you at appointments – in Toronto, BIST has supervised social work students who may be able to offer this support, with notice.
  • Eat healthy food, get plenty of sleep, rest, get the right amount of exercise that your body needs and drink enough water.
  • Join various organizations, or communities, to assist you such as BIST or your local Brain Injury Association. You can also dial 211 for information on more resources in your community.
  • Take any workshops that seem valuable to you (your local brain injury association will offer these. Feel free to attend online workshops offered by a brain injury association outside your area, such as the Brain Injury Association of York Region.)
  • If you were injured in a motor vehicle crash, or in another situation where you were not at fault, you may be entitled to compensation. Look for good legal representation – find a personal injury lawyer by word of mouth, or search an online directory, such as this one via the ABI Network in Toronto, HERE. Be sure to interview the lawyer before hiring them.
  • Do your best to have a positive attitude, practice meditation/gratitude and have faith in yourself.
  • Engage in events that you enjoy (for example, writing, Tai Chi, yoga, cards, reading celebrations).

Moving forward

Having an Acquired Brain Injury is a life changing event that is a challenging experience, with much courage needed. Believe in yourself! Try activities to fill the physical, emotional, spiritual and social aspects of your life.

Remember that changes can be made in any of these areas when and if you want to. Similar to making a New Year’s resolution, it is up to each of us to make our plans for changes, implement them and to consistently congratulate ourselves for even attempting to implement a change and periodically reevaluating our lives to realize if we want to implement any other changes.

Be patient, caring and compassionate with yourself! We all learn and improve with time and effort. Consider what your passion(s) are. Reach out to others who can assist you with your passions. Follow through with your passions at your own pace.

IMAGE DESCRIPTION: An image of a brain divided into a creative side on the right and logic side on the left. The right side is multicoloured paint with splashes spreading out. The logic side is surrounded by equations such as E=mc2.