The key to successful healing after a stroke comes down to two things: intensity and frequency of exercises. This is why it’s so important to stay motivated and perform your home therapy program daily or as prescribed by your therapist. Easier said than done, right?
Here are 10 tips that can help you stay committed to your stroke recovery program at home:
Set a goal for yourself: Setting a goal for yourself can help you stay motivated. When setting goals, don’t forget to take time to celebrate the small wins that lead to big wins. For example, if you love to paint you could set a long-term goal to be able to paint and you may set a short term goal to pick up a paintbrush with your affected hand.
Set up a routine: Setting a routine will lead to seeing good results from doing your therapy. The more you stick with your routine, the easier it will get! Consider setting reminders on your phone or calendar.
Find your motivation: In order to stick with a program, it’s important to be motivated. Before you start your home therapy program, figure out what your true motivation is. Perhaps it’s being able to cook again. If you feel like you are starting to slack at your home therapy program, remember your motivation. Keep that recipe book nearby!
Stay as independent as you can: Sometimes being in a hospital for awhile and getting help with everything can cause you to quickly forget how much you can still do for yourself! Once you’re home however, fight back to get your independence back. For example, put your shirt on yourself and just ask for help with buttoning if needed.
Find support: Having support during the healing process is important to staying committed and motivated during the rehab process. That support can come from friends, family members or peers in a stroke support group. You just have to be remember that this journey doesn’t have to be lonely!
Be present and celebrate each success: Don’t forget to celebrate each success instead of just looking at the end goal. It’s easy to lose motivation if you are thinking about all the things you can't do instead of the things you can. For example, if you want to be able to pitch a baseball again, celebrate when you’re first able to hold the ball in your hand again. Little by little, you’ll get there.
Stay active in your hobbies: Stay committed to the activities you enjoy doing! It will help you stay motivated to get better.
Learn about your body: After a stroke many people will have tone. It’s helpful to pay attention to when your tone is at its best and perform your home therapy program then. For example, if your tone is best in the morning then you should perform your home therapy program in the morning.
Don't ignore emotional distress: It’s very common to start feeling down after a stroke. Make sure to reach out for some support if you are starting to lose your motivation or are feeling down. Your friends, family, and peers at local support groups want to see you succeed as much as you do.
- Find a fun and motivating way to perform your therapy: Home exercise programs can get boring, so look for fun ways to stay engaged. NEOFECT developed the Smart Glove and Smart Board to bring fun and motivating therapy into homes. The Smart Glove and Smart Board use a gamified approach to perform therapeutic exercises and are able to capture all improvements along the way!
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