A lot of people are mentally exhausted. Containment, added to the stress and angst of the current pandemic, affects our memory, focus and even our decision making.
Although many of us spend a lot of time in our home bunkers, these days we feel tired, both physically and psychologically. It is perfectly normal that this is so. We must keep in mind that another effect of the current social distancing is brain fog.
Is it safe to go out on the street? Will the protective measures in place be sufficient? What will happen during the Containment, what can I do and not do in the next phase? What will happen at work in the next few days? Will I be able to see my family?
These questions and more are the ones that we almost constantly throughout the day, along with the dread factor and the thread of uncertainty.
When the mind is suspended in this state, any kind of decision, no matter how insignificant, becomes exhausting. Sometimes just deciding what to eat or getting our kids to bed on time or doing their homework is a challenge, a mountain we struggle to climb.
It is important to keep in mind that all experiences and sensations are normal. We are not breaking down; we are not suffering from any mental health issues. This is a normal and expected reaction in Containment, a common reaction of the brain under these conditions. Let’s dig deeper into the subject.
Table of Contents
Brain Fog and Containment /Social Isolation
Experts tell us that it is not appropriate to talk about Containment. People are social beings, we live in society as soon as we come into the world and therefore it is impossible to “withdraw” from this scenario.
So even though we are inside our homes, we continue to be part of this structure, of this substratum of our cities, towns or cities.
We should talk more about physical isolation, because that is what the current Covid 19 health crisis is forcing us to do. However, whatever the exact definition of this type of isolation, there is one undeniable fact: confinement is not for humans, and our brains react to this unexpected situation in very different ways.
Increased Cognitive Load
When we talk about cognitive processes, we are referring to all of this activity that the brain generates. An example of this is the ability to focus attention, make sense of everything we hear, read or see, make decisions, process the sensations our body feels, learn and create new things etc.
This extraordinary flow of brain activity is affected by the environment around us and, most importantly, by how we interpret what is happening
Plus, just being in the same physical space for many hours increases stress on the brain. The mind needs changes, light, sound, interaction and new stimuli to feel active and awake
If our environment does not change and the mood is not optimal, we shape the exhausted or saturated mind
In this confined state, any cognitive process will cost us infinitely. Remembering, for example, a new phone number is a challenge right now.
The current Containment Circumstances do not allow us to make Good Decisions
The brain fog is not in a good condition to think long term. This is especially important at the decision-making level, a factor that is so important to us at this time. We must clarify our future; specify the type of changes or strategies that we should put in place.
The Covid 19 pandemic has changed the lives of many of us, both personally and professionally. This last area, for example, is often the most difficult at the moment. However, under these conditions, our minds feel unable to decide, plan, analyze, etc.
Additionally, some people even have difficulty understanding the legal documents when it comes to applying for grants, layoffs, postponements, etc. The brain fog can decide at this point whether what we want now is a nap or a cup of coffee, but cannot make good long-term decisions.
The current situation has placed us in uncharted territory. There are no valid answers that serve us all equally; however, there are some simple strategies that we can try to find out if they are right for us.
Everyone faces, interprets and experiences the current pandemic in different ways, but beyond how each faces adversity, there is something undeniable: these circumstances are difficult for everyone.
Therefore, when we deal with the brain fog, we can think about the following ideas:
Mental exhaustion is a common situation in new settings with high emotional and stressful loads. We shouldn’t pathologies something that’s normal given the circumstances
Now may not be the right time to make decisive long-term decisions. Now is the time to focus only on the present and, above all, on our well-being; to give us what we need when we need it. Focusing on the here and now reduces the mental load and worry
We have to get used to doing and thinking one thing at a time. The brain fog becomes saturated when it is aware of many things, what to do, our worries, our fears, what we did yesterday and what is happening today
So let’s take it step by step. If I eat breakfast, I focus on eating in a relaxed way. But if I’m telecommuting, I focus on this one. If I have to make a decision, I will do it at a time of the day when I can devote myself entirely to it.
Finally, it is necessary to give space to our emotions. Accepting all sensations, feelings and emotions without judging yourself is a key to health. We can’t be 100% good every day, sometimes not even 50%. But we can do that, stay calm to bring some relief to our spirit.