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How to manage isolatio...

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How to manage isolation after brain injury

How to manage isolation after brain injury

Top tips to help you cope with and overcome the challenges of isolation.

We’ve put together a list of top tips to help you cope with and overcome the challenges of isolation, suggested by brain injury survivors and experts in the field.

Remember that different things will work for different people, so don’t be afraid to experiment! Try a few of the tips, adjust them to suit you and keep track of your feelings to help build your plan for managing isolation.

How to manage isolation communication tips infographic - Communicate! •	Try to explain the impact of your injury to friends, family and colleagues. Tell them how it makes you feel and how they can support you. Use Headway’s information to help.  •	Find new ways to socialise, as government guidelines allow. Try online chats via Zoom if you can’t leave home, a walk with a friend in a quiet park if you struggle with noise, or a catch-up in a familiar location if you have difficulty with planning routes.  •	Join online communities of like-minded people, such as, to help you share experiences and thoughts with others who understand. •	Contact your local Headway group or branch to find out how they can support you in your area, whether it’s via their outreach teams, in a day centre or through remote meetings.  •	Find a method of communication that works for you. If you are no longer comfortable with or able to talk on the telephone, why not send an email or write a letter to a friend instead? •	If you are thinking of someone and missing them, reach out to them. It might be that they miss you too, so send them a quick message to say hello. •	The Headway Brain Injury Identity Card helps explain the effects of your brain injury and get the support you need. Visit to find out more.

Find things to do

  • If you are isolated at home, make a list of things you want to do and the goals you want to reach, big or small, to give your days structure and purpose.
  • Get outside if you can - fresh air is good for mental health, and small day-to-day interactions such as saying hello to people who pass by can help you to feel less isolated.
  • Consider volunteering, which can be very rewarding, allowing you to develop skills while meeting people who share your interests.

Focus on the little things

  • Try to take time out to appreciate small things, especially in nature, such as watching the clouds in the sky.
  • Remember that recovery after brain injury takes time and any improvements, even if they are small, are worth celebrating.
  • Try mindfulness - a technique that allows you to focus on how you are feeling in the present moment rather than being distracted by things around you or unhelpful thoughts.

Seek professional support

If your isolation is causing you to experience negative emotions such as depression or anxiety, talk to your GP. They may be able to refer you to specialist services such as counselling, psychotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or a neuropsychologist.

You can also contact the Headway helpline on 0808 800 2244 or to talk through your feelings and get guidance on further support if you need it.

Above all, remember that things can and do improve...

While brain injury can cause many difficult changes in your life, it is important to remember that things can improve over time and that you will gradually come to adjust to things.

It can help to remember that even if you are feeling isolated now, things can improve over time and you may form friendships and good memories even in your ‘new’ life with brain injury.

We hope that this information offers some useful tips for coping with isolation after brain injury. Browse the links below to find out more about our A life of lockdown? campaign and the issue of isolation.

Thank you to all of the brain injury survivors who contributed to this factsheet by sharing their experiences of isolation after brain injury.


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