Entering 2022 many of my clients have observed they do not experience the refreshment, energy, focus and optimism that usually accompanies them into a new year. The image of a marathon where the destination keeps moving comes to mind! Our ability to remain optimistic and resilient has, and continues to be tested and our brain health is suffering as a result.
Recent research focusing on the impact of COVID-19 on mental health corroborates this experience. One study concluded that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on mental wellbeing due primarily to the dual effect of infection and social isolation. What does this mean?
Many people have reported what, according to the Global Council on Brain Health, are common neurological COVID-19 symptoms, including headaches, fatigue and brain fog (difficulty thinking or concentrating). Contributing further to this negative cognitive impact is the social isolation that has created disconnection and loneliness for many people. Unfortunately, when we are disconnected, we feel more anxious and at risk which causes further decline in our mental health.
The good news is that the brain does repair itself. We can be proactive in guarding our brain health by building and promoting resilience.
What is Resilience?
Resilience is the belief that we are able to overcome the obstacles and difficulties that life throws at us. It allows you to handle stress or hardship without being completely decimated by the overwhelm of it. A resilient mindset is flexible, giving you the ability to recover from setbacks and disappointment quicker.
The key to resilience is knowing what is in your control and what is not. When we carry the belief that we should be in control, the experience of having no control can be completely flattening and disabling. Our mind becomes shutdown to taking risks and trying out new ways of doing things.
This inflexible way of thinking has the power to isolate us from the very resources we rely upon to encounter life’s challenges. Cognitive reasoning and knowledge, lived experience, courage and creativity are our best resources. However, an inflexible mind is stuck in repetitive, negative thought patterns that promote irritation, frustration, anger, anxiety and depression.
Cognitive decline eventuates when our minds are shutdown to possibilities that create new and different approaches and stimulate our imagination and creativity.
Recognising that we cannot control everything and that bad things happen sometimes, allows us to accept our present experience and move through it. An attitude of acceptance will allow you to adjust and adapt to the challenges you face. You discover that there are people available to support you and offer additional resources where you have run out.
Resilience is grown and supported by a well-balanced lifestyle. The Brain Health Network advocate these ways to guard your brains health:
- Stay physically active.
- Eat a balanced diet
- Make social connections
- Get good sleep
- Stimulate your brain by reading and doing puzzles
Are you stressed and worn out? Would you like to build your resilience? Here’s what you need to do: contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you, or press book now.