How to Survive COVID & Concussion Stress 101

We are finding the current COVID-19 situation mirrors concussions in several ways:
  • External stressors that are out of our control
  • Difficulty navigating the landscape appropriately for an effective response
  • Persevering through what feels like infinite “unknowns”, and much more.
This can feel incredibly draining and leave us all feeling overwhelmed and unsure of a plan moving forward. Here at Shift Concussion Management, we want to try and help add structure back to the days and weeks moving forward. If you are recovering from a concussion, or know someone who is suffering from a concussion, applying the 4 P’s of energy management may help!

  1. PRIORITIZE- Decide what activities are most important to you. You can chunk them into: urgent – needs to be done immediately, important – need to be done later this week, or not urgent – can either complete later, or someone else may be able to do a task for you
  2. PLAN – Plan your day and week appropriately to properly address your prioritized tasks. Perform the most urgent and difficulty tasks when you feel best in the day. If you feel best in the morning, and an urgent task is grocery shopping – do not wait until the 5 o’clock rush to grocery shop.
  3. PACE – Allow yourself time to recover between tasks to help avoid completely depleting energy levels for the day. This may also require to planning breaks mid-way through longer tasks, and planning breaks BEFORE your even feel symptomatic.
  4. POSITION – Put yourself in environments where you can be successful at completing your tasks. For example, concussed individual’s often have difficulty with multi tasking and filtering out external noises and stimuli, so trying to complete a work email with the TV or music on in the background is not recommended. Another example, is avoiding busy times in the grocery store.

This is a great concept to try and apply, however there is not a one shoe fits all approach to managing concussion symptoms. This may require a trial-and-error approach, but if you are struggling we would be happy to help, just reach out!

**The above recommendations have been modified from Holland Bloorview’s Concussion Centre. **

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