HomeMediaArticle Display

Tips for improving your memory after a concussion

Staying mentally active, such as working puzzles, is a great way to keep your mind active and improve your memory, and enhance your ability to learn and retain new things. (U.S. Marine Corps photo/Lance Cpl. Paul Peterson)

Staying mentally active, such as working puzzles, is a great way to keep your mind active and improve your memory, and enhance your ability to learn and retain new things. (U.S. Marine Corps photo/Lance Cpl. Paul Peterson)

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Imagine suddenly having trouble with your memory, such as remembering to do simple things. Memory is one of the most important human functions and unfortunately, one that's often damaged after a concussion, or mild traumatic brain injury.

Remembering appointments, trying to learn and retain new information, and generally feeling confused and distracted isn't uncommon for people after a brain injury. In fact, the most common cognitive symptoms involve memory problems, decreased attention, poor concentration, slowed thinking and difficulty finding words.

What can you do? In addition to seeing your doctor, there are a number of things you can do to improve your memory and ability to learn and retain something new. Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center's tip sheet, "TBI Symptom Management: Improving Memory," offers these practical tips:

1. Avoid distractions - When you're learning new information, focus on one thing at a time. Pay close attention when you're being given directions, instructions or having conversation.

2. Get enough sleep - Seven to eight hours of sleep for adults is recommended. Are you getting enough sleep?

3. Write things down - Keep a notebook, planner or calendar with you and write down important dates, tasks or other things you need to remember.

4. Avoid alcohol, tobacco and caffeinated drinks.

5. Prioritize - Keep a list of things you need to take care of, place them in order of importance, and check them off as you complete them.

6. Maintain a routine - Being consistent can improve your ability to remember information. Simple things like leaving your keys in the same place and taking your medication at the same time each day can make it easier.

7. Stay mentally active - Reading, writing, working crossword or other puzzles are great ways to keep your mind active. Explore smartphone and tablet apps designed to exercise your brain, too.

8. Lower your stress level - Learn to say "no" when you start to feel overwhelmed, and ask for help when you need it.

9. Stay physically active - Regular exercise helps prevent fatigue and improves concentration. But before returning to physical activity, consult your doctor.

10. Eat high-quality foods regularly.

11. Allow extra time for tasks - Understand that certain things may take longer than they used to.

If you're still concerned about your symptoms, or if they're not improving, see your doctor. For more insight on tips to improve your memory and a helpful tool to track your memory problems, download our fact sheet, "TBI Symptom Management: Improving Memory."
Twitter
Every day, 22 veterans die by suicide. Suicide survivor and AFW2 staff member, Armando Franco, sheds light on his… https://t.co/cUjQOKmUjv
Twitter
It is National Hispanic Heritage Month! During this time, we honor the achievements and contributions of Hispanic A… https://t.co/CVtTb6kXct
Twitter
AFW2 is at the 2021 @AirForceAssoc Air, Space & Cyber Conference! Major Gen. Christopher Craige, @AFCareers comman… https://t.co/8M6C4LK1Qr
Twitter
Alcohol and substance abuse can play a significant role in increasing the risk of suicide. While there are multiple… https://t.co/66WPbTAHbP
Twitter
Happy 74th Birthday, @usairforce 🎉 We have a special video made just for you with birthday shout-outs from your fe… https://t.co/xKrpZ3y74r
Twitter
The Military Adaptive Sports Virtual Challenge continues to prove how there is nothing stopping these warriors from… https://t.co/s1037DHY8B
Twitter
22 military veterans die by suicide every day. It is the second leading cause of death for post-9/11 veterans, whic… https://t.co/PxoOTnhJJc
Twitter
Today is the last day of the Military Adaptive Sports Virtual Challenge! Join us on the AFW2 Facebook page at 2pm… https://t.co/qErWCvauzY
Twitter
RT @usairforce: Today is POW/MIA Recognition Day. We recognize the more than half-million service members who have, at one time, been held…
Twitter
Warrior athletes are going strong and adapting to their environment during the sport challenges. We also had AFW2 W… https://t.co/aQ364o9nHB
Twitter
The indoor rowing challenge is LIVE! Tune in and cheer on your fellow warriors! 💪 https://t.co/tHesG7P3j0
Twitter
It is day 4⃣ of the Military Adaptive Sports Virtual Challenge and we have the indoor rowing challenge coming at yo… https://t.co/mNiM3fpRkl
Twitter
Warrior athletes showed no signs of slowing down during the second day of the Military Adaptive Sports Virtual Chal… https://t.co/zhKN8s9GH4
Twitter
This #WarriorWednesday we recognize Major Jesse Bogart who serves as an Aircraft Maintenance Officer. In 2015, Jess… https://t.co/Q8S54yV5bG
Twitter
Wheelchair Basketball challenge is LIVE! Check out the event here: https://t.co/0Cuwvu6pKm
Twitter
Who's ready for some wheelchair basketball?? 🏀 In the next hour, we will be LIVE with the last adaptive sports ch… https://t.co/6y5JMeJHlv
Twitter
We have the Military Adaptive Sports Virtual Challenge shooting results coming at you LIVE in the next hour! Tune… https://t.co/InJ6YtJW01
Twitter
Cycling challenge is now LIVE! Tune in to the AFW2 Facebook page and show your support! https://t.co/166TXwE9eL
Twitter
We are halfway through the Military Adaptive Sports Virtual Challenge! 💪 Take some time out of your day and tune i… https://t.co/r1dhhpjVP1
Twitter
Check out the video below to see a recap of yesterday's events during the Military Adaptive Sports Virtual Challeng… https://t.co/thVuZaih5v
Twitter
5,512
Follow Us