The pandemic we’ve been in has been incredibly stressful for so many. Some are dealing with job loss, others are battling health issues, and still, others are dealing with extra fear and worries caused by the virus or the political reaction to the virus that is threatening their families and loved ones. This extra stress can wreak havoc on our bodies, including our minds. It can cause brain fog, lowered spirits, anxiety, feelings of sadness and loneliness, lack of sleep, headaches, and many other symptoms that are come from the stress of living in this pandemic. If you’re suffering from pandemic stress, we do have good news for you. We’ve put together some options on how to fight brain fog and lowered spirits during the pandemic. First, let’s discuss what’s causing all of this stress. Even if you feel relatively calm, your body may still be responding in fight or flight reactions, and you’ve just become used to it. So what causes this? During times of negative emotions and stress, the brain’s limbic system becomes hyperactive. This system is the control center for feelings and how we react to things, which would explain why you may be struggling with brain fog and feeling more down than usual. Essentially what has happened is your limbic system is overriding other parts of the brain and emotions are taking over, shutting down the more logical aspects. Luckily, this is by no means something that is not reversible. There are a couple of different ways to help reverse this process and get your brain back into the proper order that it should be.
- Be mindful. This is one of the quickest ways to snap your brain out of the worry and negative thoughts that it may be looping through during this pandemic. Take a moment to pay attention to your surroundings, notice the smells, notice the sights, try to find something to focus on for each of your five senses. Try to calm your mind and focus on the here and now. This simple exercise will help you to release the stress and break the worry loop that your brain has going.
- Eat nourishing meals. A mostly-raw plant-based diet, like the Hallelujah Diet, can be a wonderful option during this stressful time. Eating meals rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes and organic grains can be beneficial for your physical health, which is important when under stress, as well as for your mental health. The Standard American Diet (SAD) is full of preservatives and sugar and even caffeine, which can all add to your stress and anxiety levels, whereas fresh fruits and vegetables will help to keep your body nourished and your mind sharp and without the extra stressors.
- Snack healthily. Stress can also make you want to snack more, and stress eating could be particularly detrimental to your body if you choose unhealthy options. But if you choose raw fruits and vegetables, stress eating can become a healthy way to nourish your body. However, if you find that you are snacking excessively, take some deep breaths and then determine if you are truly hungry or if you are looking for something to help pass the time.
- Prepare meals together. If you are stuck at home quarantining with others, make the meals together. You will get some social time this way, and you’ll also have a bit of a routine, which will help. When whipping up raw meals, you can use all the help available to make sure everything is diced, blended, and sliced properly and ready for your meal. This can also help you to guide your entire family towards a more healthy diet.