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Easy Things You Can Do to Brighten Someone’s Day

At times, it can be difficult to think of ways to give back to others. You want to make a difference, but how? Do you volunteer at another organization? Add more money to your donation? The options can feel endless… and overwhelming. 

If you strive to live an altruistic lifestyle, there are lots of ways to serve others, and most of them don’t have to be grandiose or extravagant. They’re simply conscious, selfless decisions during day-to-day activities. Even a small gesture can have a huge influence on the people around you. Here are a few ideas of some easy things you can do to brighten someone’s day.

1. Share a compliment. 
Compliments go a long way towards brightening someone’s day. Even a simple accolade, such as, “Your hair looks nice,” or, “You have such a fun personality” can change someone’s entire perspective for the day. If you notice something you like about a person, take the time to share it with them.

2. Pick up extra chores.
For your friends, family members or roommates, offer to pick up extra chores around the house. If you notice dirty dishes in the sink, clean them. Or, if you see that someone’s laundry is still in the dryer, offer to fold it. Chores can be exhausting, so taking something off someone’s plate can really make a difference.

3. Pay the bill. 
Whether you’re out with loved ones or standing in line at a restaurant filled with strangers, cheer someone up by paying the bill. This doesn’t have to be anything big or expensive; even receiving a small meal for free is exciting. Spend a little money and go the extra mile to perk someone up.

4. Leave kind notes. 
Similar to a compliment, but in note form! When was the last time you received a kind note—particularly a note from a stranger? See if you can leave a kind note for your loved one, or even someone random. For example, leave a sticky note on a public bathroom mirror for the next person to find.

5. Say thank you. 
Gratitude makes a huge difference in someone’s day. If there’s a person in your life who helps you, supports you or who has made a difference, take a moment to simply say thank you. Send them a message, call or go for the handwritten note. Tell them the impact they’ve had and thank them for everything they’ve done.

6. Start a conversation. 
Sometimes the best conversations are those random ones you experience with strangers in random places. Take a chance and step outside your comfort zone to start a conversation with someone new today. Who knows? You could be exactly what that person needed to brighten their day.

7. Give unexpected gifts. 
We expect gifts on our birthdays and holidays, but what about all of the miscellaneous days in between? Make a difference in someone’s life by surprising them with a small, unexpected gift. This can be for your closest family member, the teacher at your school or even the barista you regularly see at the coffee shop. 

Altruism means more than volunteering at a nonprofit or donating money. While these things matter, there are also lots of little activities you can do daily to make a difference. Consider these ideas and see how you can put them into action to brighten someone’s day.

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Simple Ways Journaling Can Improve Your Life

Anne Frank once said, “I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.” During an incredibly difficult time in her life and within the world, Anne Frank turned to journaling to channel her thoughts and process through her surroundings. As she wrote, her circumstances didn’t change, but her view on life certainly did.

Needless to say, journaling can have a profound impact on our lives. The simple act of slowing down, taking pen to paper and using valuable time to write can benefit our mental, emotional and even spiritual well being. If you strive to live a good life in all areas, journaling might be the next step to consider. Take a look at simple ways journaling can improve your life.

Reflect on Life
In today’s busy world, life moves pretty quickly, and we often take little time to actually sit back and consider how things have changed. Before long, we feel overwhelmed because we didn’t take the time to process as things moved. However, journaling forces you to slow down and truly reflect on life—what happened the last few days that you want to think about? How are things going? This time spent working through your thoughts can significantly strengthen your emotional and mental health.

Process Emotions
As you reflect on life in your journal, you have a chance to process the emotions you felt. Emotions are incredibly powerful and subjective. They can cause us to make wonderful decisions, or terrible ones. While emotions are very valuable, they should also be handled with caution. Journaling gives you time to consider your emotions from more of a “third party” perspective. Rather than feeling everything in a single moment, you can walk through them, find the source and decide where to go from there.

Explore New Ideas
As you journal, you also have the chance to explore new thoughts and ideas that pop into your head. For instance, have you ever had an idea, then thought, “Wow, I should write that down so I don’t forget.” Well, you can with a journal! Sit for awhile and allow thoughts to come to you as you explore new ideas for your personal life, problem solving or even business ventures. When it comes to journaling, the world is your oyster.

Consider Other Perspectives
The act of slowing down and dealing with your emotions, thoughts and perceptions can actually encourage you to consider other perspectives, as well. For instance, if you and your family member have an argument, journaling about it could actually give you the chance to think what their side might be. Some journaling activities even have entire prompts focused on writing from another person’s perspective, which forces you to step out of your comfort zone and look at the world from an entirely new angle.

Establish Goals
Finally, as you journal over time, you have the opportunity to establish long-term goals, track them and then see how you accomplish them. Goal-setting is a great way to identify your dreams in life and then work toward achieving them. Very few goals are accomplished if you don’t write them down. By journaling, you can dream as big as you want to, then track what your goals are and how you hope to get there. Over time, you can look back on past journals and see what goals you have accomplished.

Like Anne Frank said, writing can erase your sorrows and inspire your courage. If you want to improve your mental, emotional and spiritual well being, consider taking up journaling. You might be surprised at how much your life can grow simply by writing.

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BUILDING BLOCKS: HOW 8 BIS CLIENTS FOUND SUPPORT THROUGH THEIR BRAIN INJURY JOURNEY

These 8 brain injury survivors, BIS Clients and members of our Speaker’s Bureau are a true example of our awareness campaign theme this month: My Injury does not define me. They share their stories and how they overcame obstacles to follow their dreams and achieve their goals, even when the odds were against them.

These survivors make us proud of the work we do every day. 


As a part of our brain injury awareness month campaigns, we will be highlighting client stories that truly exemplify how brave and strong  brain injury survivors and our clients are.  Find out how you can support our work and our clients here.

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Brain Injury Awareness Day on Capitol Hill

How to participate:

The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) is pleased to announce that the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force, chaired by Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-N.J.), has scheduled Brain Injury Awareness Day on Capitol Hill Wednesday, March 13, 2019. As in years past, there will be an awareness fair, congressional briefing, and reception.

Schedule of Events

10:00 AM – 2:00 PM 
Brain Injury Awareness Fair 
Rayburn House Office Building, First Floor Foyer  

2:30 PM – 4:00 PM 
Briefing: Living Well with Brain Injury 
Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2043

5:00 PM – 7:00 PM 
Reception: Celebrating Brain Injury Awareness Month 
Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2043

If you are unable to attend Brain Injury Awareness Day in person, don’t worry — you can take action at home! 

How to participate virtually:

Write a letter or email to your legislator: Download a template here.

Invite your legislator to participate in an event. 

Contact your legislator- if you are not sure who your legislator is you can find out at this link: Who is My Legislator or click here to see what legislators cover the areas we serve. 

Share and participate via social media:

How to participate:

The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) is pleased to announce that the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force, chaired by Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-N.J.), has scheduled Brain Injury Awareness Day on Capitol Hill Wednesday, March 13, 2019. As in years past, there will be an awareness fair, congressional briefing, and reception.

Schedule of Events

10:00 AM – 2:00 PM 
Brain Injury Awareness Fair 
Rayburn House Office Building, First Floor Foyer  

2:30 PM – 4:00 PM 
Briefing: Living Well with Brain Injury 
Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2043

5:00 PM – 7:00 PM 
Reception: Celebrating Brain Injury Awareness Month 
Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2043

If you are unable to attend Brain Injury Awareness Day in person, don’t worry — you can take action at home! 

How to participate virtually:

Write a letter or email to your legislator: Download a template here.

Invite your legislator to participate in an event. 

Contact your legislator- if you are not sure who your legislator is you can find out at this link: Who is My Legislator or click here to see what legislators cover the areas we serve. 

Share and participate via social media:

Images for Social Media Use

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6 Benefits of Learning Another Language

In today’s fast-paced and technological world, people from different backgrounds, ethnicities and languages are interacting now more than ever before. What used to take weeks to communicate via letter can now be accomplished in mere minutes through a text message. 

This means if you want to keep up with the world today, learning another language could be a great first step. Not only can learning a second language have a multitude of personal benefits in your life, but it can also have a profound impact on your relationships with the people around you. There’s no doubt about it: If you want to live a more knowledgeable, cultural and altruistic lifestyle, then learning another language has big benefits in store.

1. Boost Brain Power
You might already know this, but learning another language significantly boosts brain power. A language has a completely new set of intricate rules, systems and lexis. Navigating these structures makes your brain cope with complexity and absorb new patterns. As you continue to grow in the language and endeavor to communicate, you develop key learning skills such as cognitive thinking and problem-solving.

2. Improve Memory
Your brain is like a muscle—the more you use it, the stronger it will be. Learning a language not only requires you to become familiar with rules and vocabulary, but it also makes you work harder to remember that knowledge and apply it on the spot. This might be why studies have shown bilingual people to be better at remembering shopping lists, names and directions. While you workout your brain, your memory grows stronger, too. 

3. Build Multitasking Skills
Studying a second language requires your brain to switch back and forth between two systems of speech, writing and structure. You constantly open one filing cabinet, then the other, then back again. One study from Pennsylvania State University determined this “juggling” skill makes bilingual speakers excellent multitaskers, because they can easily switch between structures. As you learn a new language, you might discover your multitasking skills improve.

4. Impress Employers
If there’s one way to get ahead in the job market, it’s learning another language. Bilingual employees are in hot demand because of their ability to communicate with multiple job markets. Bilingualism is a valuable skill set employers look for, so by learning a second language, you can significantly increase your chance of getting a call back. Not to mention, learning a new language shows your dedication and motivation to develop new skills.

5. Gain a New Perspective
By learning a second language, you have more opportunities to absorb content from new sources. For instance, travel to a country that speaks the language and practice. Or, watch television shows and read books in the language. Or, check in your community to meet neighbors near you who speak the language. All of these interactions allow you to gain new and different perspectives on life, which can strengthen your emotional wellbeing.

6. Meet More People
When you speak a second language, you have the opportunity to meet even more people! Get to know those around you who speak the language, volunteer with an organization that prioritizes the language, help native speakers learn your language… the list goes on. By learning another language, you broaden the scope of the people you can meet and positively influence. This provides opportunities to live a more altruistic life.

There are a multitude of both personal and relational benefits which come alongside learning a second language. If you’ve ever considered learning another language, keep these benefits in mind as you dive into the world of possibilities.

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Media Advisory: Join us for a night of Celebration and Hope!

Brain Injury Services hosts annual reception to recognizes our partners, clients, and volunteers.

SPRINGFIELD, VA (March 8th, 2019) — On March 20th, Brain Injury Services invites you to join us to recognize all those who give back to our organization and community through the year. With a spirit of hope and generosity, clients, survivors, family members, and local partners spend hundreds of hours each year making an impact on their lives through volunteerism and philanthropy with Brain Injury Services. 

Every nine seconds, someone in the United States sustains a brain injury while in Virginia, more than 168,000 Virginians are disabled as a result of a traumatic brain injury.

“One day, we hope to have the resources possible to care for everyone in our community who is in need and eligible,” said Denise Hyater. “We would not be able to accomplish our mission without the support of generous volunteers and partners, so we look forward to a night of celebration for all they have accomplished.” 

The Details:

Date: Wednesday, March 20th, 2019

Location: Waterford at Springfield, 6715 Commerce St., Springfield, VA 22150

Details: The Buffet Dinner begins at 6 PM, Ceremony starts at 6:30 PM

Entertainment: Special entertainment will include A Place to Be owner and music therapist Tom Sweitzer who will perform alongside former BIS client, Forrest Allen. Their Netflix documentary trailer “High Notes” will be shared along with a very special video showcasing BIS Speaker’s Bureau.

The theme for this year is: “Whatever good things we build end up building us,” Jim Rohn.

“Our theme this year is such a great representation of the work we do every single day,” explained Michelle Thyen, Director of Community and Volunteer Engagement. “Our volunteers, partners, and supporters are building blocks for our survivors in their journey; however, in the process of working through their journey, their resilience and determination winds up building us.”

Please RSVP to Aleena Gardezi at agardezi@braininjurysvcs.org if you would like to cover the event.

About Brain Injury Services:

Brain Injury Services helps children and adults with a brain injury build the skills and confidence they need to lead a fulfilling and productive life. For over 26 years, Brain Injury Services has been repairing lives, recovering possibility and restoring hope by offering the community innovative programs and services that meet the needs of survivors of brain injuries and their families. Each year, Brain Injury Services assists over 600 individuals and families who have experienced the devastating effects of brain injury, stroke, and concussion. We provide this assistance through core programs, including case management, specialized programs, and multiple support groups. Our services extend throughout Northern Virginia, Fredericksburg, Winchester, and the surrounding counties. Find out more at braininjurysvcs.org at www.braininjurysvcs.org.