Stroke therapy at home doesn’t have to be overwhelming – but sometimes the lack of information can make it that way.
While rehab exercises are your bread and butter, these extra tips are going to carry you the extra mile.
They’re simple tips, but sometimes something simple is exactly what we need.
1. Harness the Relentless Force of Kaizen
You probably remember Kaizen from the motivation section of our stroke recovery series.
For those who haven’t learned about it yet, Kaizen is the Japanese practice of continuous improvement through small, consistent steps.
Sound simple? Maybe too simple?
Well, the simplicity is actually the hardest part. Kaizen involves patience and persistence, something that many of us tends to lack these days. You can see it in our obsession with quick-fixes and radical diets – we want our results and we want them now!
But the truth is that rehabilitation works just like kaizen.
You can’t achieve your results all at once – it’s physically impossible. Instead, the best thing you can do to achieve success is take it one step at a time. This slow yet steady pace is exactly what will lead you to victory.
No gimmicks, no tricks, no hacks.
Just good hard work that will absolutely pay off in the end. So take it one day at a time and you will see success.
2. No If’s Allowed – You’re Doing This until It Works
Ditch the “Let’s see if this might work” mantra and repeat after us, “I will do this therapy until it works!” No IF’s allowed.
Success starts with a positive attitude. If you approach your therapy from a hesitant, skeptical perspective, you’ll be setting yourself up for failure. Skeptical thoughts have no place in your rehabilitation.
Instead, approach each therapy – new and old – with positivity and open-mindedness. It really has an effect on your psychology which has an even bigger effect on the results you see. Have you ever heard stories of stroke survivors who regained full mobility by thinking, “Yeah I guess I could try that new therapy but I doubt it will work.”
No. Stories like that don’t exist.
Stories of people who believe in themselves exist.
3. Power Posing Is Your New Secret Weapon
If you’re practicing your rehab exercises solo, pay extra attention to your posture.
Sometimes we slump and slouch without even realizing it – and it has a crazy effect on our attitude. For one, slouching makes us pity ourselves which sets us up for failure. But when you’re sitting up straight, you’ll notice that you suddenly have conviction and determination.
It’s called ‘Power Posing,’ and this TedTalk by Amy Cuddy explains how radically our posture affects who we are.
By sitting up straight, you’re telling yourself, “Yes, I’m ready to conquer these exercises and I will get better.”
And then you become someone who gets better!
Give it a try. This one simple tip can make a world of difference!
4. Make a Schedule but Be Smart About It
We’ve talked about the importance of scheduling your rehab exercises before…
But what do we mean by being smart about it?
Well, we mean putting careful thought into when you’re scheduling your exercises. We recommend doing your rehab exercises right after a nap when you’re refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to make some serious progress.
Or, since coffee helps reduce your risk of stroke, maybe you can develop a habit of doing your rehab exercises an hour after you have your morning coffee.
By choosing a time when you’re energetic and motivated, you’ll push yourself harder and get better faster because you won’t be wasting any time on haphazard practice.
5. Turn the Background Noise OFF to Turn Your Brain ON
Our home can be distracting, and sometimes we don’t even notice the distractions because we’ve conditioned ourselves to tune them out.
But your brain recognizes it.
And when your brain is distracted, you’re not reaping the full benefits of your rehab exercises. So make sure that you schedule your exercises when your environment will be the quietest.
Turn off the television and tell family members not to disturb you until you’re done.
Your brain is hard at work rewiring itself, so let it focus on that – and only that. Unnecessary distractions are not welcome in your at-home rehabilitation space.
Now you have the 5 essential ingredients for a successful at-home rehabilitation:
- Slow and steady steps
- Positive thinking
- Excellent posture
- Smart scheduling
- Distraction-free zone
Once you incorporate these elements into your rehabilitation, you’ll start to see see accelerated results.
For more information on stroke recovery, see our article on how to recover from stroke.