The stroke Journey A fresh start 1. a fresh start A fresh start There are more than 1.2 million stroke survivors living in the UK today. The physical and mental consequences of stroke vary from individual to individual and for many survivors, the hope of recovery after stroke is very real. Often people will notice improvements in what they can do for months – even years – after the stroke happened. The speed of recovery depends on things like age and the severity of the stroke. If you have recently suffered a stroke, the first weeks and months as a survivor can seem very daunting: Use this time to take stock of your life and consider what is really important to you. Comparing things now with how they used to be will not make you any better. Set yourself daily targets for what you expect to achieve, but be realistic and open to trying new ways of doing things. Don’t push yourself too hard or you will slow down recovery. Take it easy, and make time to relax and do things you enjoy. Look after your health, including a good diet, gentle exercise and reducing alcohol and cigarette use. Be open and tell your family or close friends about how you feel, and what help you need. A good cry can help. For more detailed information on coping strategies, click here. There is no one way to ensure recovery, but we have found that other stroke survivors and their carers are a great source of sensible advice. The following pages include information and advice on a wide range of subjects to do with living and recovering from stroke.