by Linda W. Arms
A while back, I came across an article “10 Steps to Mindfulness” by Leo Babauto. As I was reading it I realized it had many good tips for people in general but especially those with a brain injury.
After a brain injury, many things are difficult or impossible to do. Instead of constantly attempting to do things as you did before and fail, realize that it’s best to focus on one thing at a time. You will be more successful and be less frustrated. After my TBI, I really did not have much choice but to approach everything slowly and methodically. My brain did not allow me to do any more than that. I realized that having 1 or 2 tasks (besides getting up, dressing, showering and eating) was often more than enough in one day.
Even today, I have to often step back and remove the multiple tasks I have before me. I select a few that are most important and concentrate on doing them well. When I have too much on my plate, I become easily overwhelmed, fatigued, clumsy and cannot move forward successfully. Here are the first two steps from Babauto’s article:
- “Do one thing at a time. Single-task, don’t multi-task. When you’re pouring water, just pour water. When you’re eating, just eat. When you’re bathing, just bathe. Don’t try to knock off a few tasks while eating or bathing or driving. Zen proverb: “When walking, walk. When eating, eat.””
- “Do it slowly and deliberately. You can do one task at a time, but also rush that task. Instead, take your time, and move slowly. Make your actions deliberate, not rushed and random. It takes practice, but it helps you focus on the task.”