Resilient 2021: Has pandemic Hijacked Your Brain?
January 1, 2021
Have you been feeling more overwhelmed, unfocused, or blindsided by emotions? I have!!! Together, let’s be more resilient for 2021 and moving forward.
I’m sure we all have so many stories in 2020 of how we just lost it. I was in a group with lots of differing opinions about COVID safety. Because I felt I had to hold back on sharing ALL of my opinions, I found myself tearing over everything. I constantly had to hold back tears for a day or two. This felt very uncharacteristic of me. Can you relate?
We are all in this together. Let’s try to understand why we feel this way and how we can work towards becoming more resilient. When we are resilient, we make better decisions, we stay more focused, we reach our goals whether it be weight loss, getting healthy, career goals, parenting goals, etc.
During times like the COVID pandemic when things are uncertain, ambiguous, or volatile, our brain reacts and it’s not always for the better. This high stress time degrades our super power: our attention. What we pay attention to creates our reality. And when overwhelmed with ever changing COVID news, no wonder we become vulnerable to stress and poor mood. Our attention also becomes limited because we are expending so much energy to keep social distance and not fall into old instincts and habits. Our mind wanders and we lack cognitive resources to regulate emotions, making us feel unsteady. We get trapped into wanting to live like the past or yearning for a time in the future when COVID is over. Our thoughts aren’t always facts and they end up fooling us. We lack the attention to pull it back together and feel in control of emotions. So what is the solution?
- Acceptance. 1/3 of us judge ourselves for negative emotions or we push them aside. We even jump to stop our children from crying. We need to accept emotions as a way to build resiliency. When we push our emotions aside, they become stronger.
- Accurate label. As we accept emotions, we also have to label it correctly. Every emotion is not stress. Maybe, it’s overwhelm, sadness, loneliness, disappointment, etc. When we know the emotions, we have solutions. This step creates resiliency and allows us to learn.
- You are not your emotion. You notice that you’re feeling sad. You are not sad. You own your emotions; You are not your emotions. Be curious because courage is not the absence of fear. You deserve compassion. Don’t jump to conclusions and start judging (yourself or others).
You may have showed up here wanting to be healthy, lose weight, and focus on nutrition but we can’t do any of that when our brain is hijacked. We have to learn coping skills for our brain so we don’t resort to emotional eating, binging, or simply gravitating towards unhealthy choices to “feel better” momentarily. Cheers to a New Year and working together to be better because none of us are perfect.
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~ Samantha Hua, Nutrition & Holistic Health Coach, San Diego, CA