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LoveYourBrain Tip: Get Organized To Improve Your Memory!

GET ORGANIZED TO IMPROVE YOUR MEMORY!

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BRAIN HEALTH | 2.22.2016 | BY DAYA ALEXANDER GRANT, PH.D., M.S.

One of the most debilitating consequences of any TBI is memory loss.  Impaired memory is often the longest-lasting symptom and can have a profound effect on daily life.  Where are my keys?  Did I pay the Internet bill?  What did I need to get from this room?  These types of questions circulate constantly after a TBI, so instead of focusing on healing, your brain is consuming energy trying to remember seemingly simple things.   The goal is to organize your external world so that you minimize distractions for your mind.

One way to improve your short-term memory is to create an organized environment.  We all know clutter in your surroundings can cause stress and anxiety, which directly affects your ability to retain and recall information.  When your brain already feels disorganized after a TBI, extra external clutter only makes it worse.

Here are some organizational strategies to ultimately improve your memory:

 

  • Use colorful post-it notes to remind yourself what needs to be done with certain objects

  • Make lists

  • Have a specific place for every item in your home – and remember to put things back.

  • Establish a daily routine

  • Spend 15 minutes each day tidying up a small, defined space (such as a single kitchen drawer or the surface of your nightstand)

Although you may have the intention to get organized, you may find that converting that intention into a plan, and ultimately an action, is overwhelming and mentally exhausting.  Luckily, there is an entire service industry devoted to home organization.  Search for professional organizers in your area (this website is a good place to start) and recognize that many pros have experience with people living with a TBI, so be sure to inquire about that.