A Health and Wellness Post
By Dr. Robert Oliva
There’s nothing more important than a healthy brain to foster a meaningful and vigorous life. Keeping your memory, focus, and coordination in tip top shape is more important than ever, especially during the pandemic.
To be honest, the reason I’m writing this post is that I recently found myself placing the used supper dishes in the refrigerator. A little startled, I worried about what this might mean. Is it a sign of dementia, a stress reaction? Is the relentless and prolonged turmoil we are experiencing affecting my brain?
For me, January 6 catapulted stress levels to an entirely different dimension. Waiting to win a spot in line to get vaccinated hasn’t helped either.
Our brains are under siege. We’re not just stressed. We are stressed out. Scientists call this unprecedented stress the allostatic load. The accumulated stress you are exposed to damages your body. But mostly, it damages your brain.
Basically, the continued isolation, worry, and grief take a heavy toll on your brain as it tries to cope with on-going attacks to your sense of safety and well-being. We are in a negative cycle of chronic fatigue, worry, frustration and inability to cope.
The double whammy is that when you add all the above to our normal unhealthy lifestyles, like poor food choices, couch potatoism, poor sleep, overwork, dull routines, and bad relationships, you get the perfect storm of shrinking brains, poor memory, and mental health disruptions.
Thankfully, there are steps we can take to offset and remedy some of the negative impacts of the persistent traumas of the past year.
Taking Care of Yourself
Keep in mind that whatever you are experiencing, a little self-care can go a long way to foster overall well-being and especially brain health. With some effort you can re-balance your brain emotionally and physically.
To me, self-care means you care enough about your brain to commit to confronting the obstacles challenging its health. There is no part of you more important than your brain. Simply speaking, you are your brain.
Let me add, that if you have children, all of what I say here goes double for them. The developing brain must be closely nurtured and protected.
My sons and I have a mantra that we recite when we feel challenged: Change that Brain! Change that Brain! When we recite this mantra, we are reminded to do the things that will help keep our brains healthy and vital. Keeping our brains healthy and staving off dementia demands commitment and effort. It’s not always easy, but it’s worth it.
There are solutions.
Jump to Dr. Oliva’s website to read his full guide. You’ll be glad if you did!