Pandemic Brain27 Jul 2021, Posted by FYS News in
Feeling anxious about going back to work?
You are not alone. I have had a few conversations with people recently where they told me they feel a bit of anxiety about their return to work.
Maybe you are thinking “why is she talking about going back to work when we have just hit summer holiday time?” But hear me out…
This isn´t the normal “end of summer, back to school” anxiety, it is something new and to do with going back to “in-office” rather than virtual work.
Digging deeper I think there are a couple of sides to this.
Firstly, I think a lot of people have appreciated the chance to create their own rhythm to the day – a day based on virtual work rather than face to face. And while we all miss the human connection the challenge is how to keep the best of both sides.
Secondly, we have had an extraordinary level of chronic stress, coupled with so much restriction in what we can do and experience in our lives. Both of which may harm our brains.
“We’re all walking around with some mild cognitive impairment,” according to Neuroscientist Mike Yassa
That is quite a quote; but one I fundamentally believe to be correct.
We have have all been hit hard, mentally and emotionally, by the last 18 months. The term “Pandemic Brain” has been used and I think is quite well described in a recent Guardian article
That got me thinking.
Isn´t it refreshing to see these topics of cognitive impairment, mental and emotional health, which affect all of us, talked about so openly? We need to talk about them to remove the taboo.
There are also practical steps we can all take that can help…..and I think this IS worth thinking about and planning for as we head into holiday season.
– Diet and lifestyle create the environment for our brain chemistry.
– Diet and lifestyle have a direct and fast-acting impact on our gut-brain axis
– We have a lot more control and impact over our brains, our cognitive, mental and emotional health than we might at first think.
Finding your way through supporting your brain doesn´t need to be confusing or difficult. I made a short video (11 minutes) for my friends at the Wellbeing Portal which I am sharing below to give you some starters on helping the brain to be more resilient.
The 3 key take-outs being:
1. Use my plate ratio to give your brain the right fuel and resources
2. Feed your microbiome in your gut with a plant-based diet and fermented food and drink
3. Use foods like dark berries, green tea and dark chocolate which can all help “brain plasticity”
Simple steps to improve your mental resilience, to get the most from your holiday and for the return to…. whatever you choose it to be!
But in the meantime, enjoy your summer!
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