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  • Susan Galvin

The Mushy Brain

Updated: Jun 24

4.19.2020

Many of us our cooking more in our homes and I have a recipe to share:

Recipe for Mushy Brain

1 ounce - lack of normal brain stimulation

1 ounce - restriction of options for free time

1 ounce - social deprivation

1 ounce - changing stressors

Throw in a dash of changes in exercise and eating routines and voila!, you have a lovely dish of Mushy Brain.

Our brains are not being stimulated in the same ways that they were just a few weeks ago. Think about a typical day before social distancing (if your mushy brain will let you think that far back). You worked, went to school or tended your home, then you ran errands where you interacted with people, maybe you met someone for lunch, went to the gym or took a walk. In the evening you attended social gatherings, meetings or chauffeured kids to after school activities.

Your analytical brain was processing information and problem solving. Your emotional brain was receiving social input. Your body was moving throughout the day. All of this has changed and your brain may be feeling a little fuzzy. You may find yourself forgetting things. Words don't come as easily. This is to be expected. Just like our muscles become soft if we don't get regular exercise, our brain slows down a bit when it is not exercised.

You may need to take some time to find new ways to stretch your brain. Taking up a new hobby, playing some brain games, reading a new book or trying a new physical activity are all ways to challenge your brain. Getting your brain to think in new ways can help combat Mushy Brain.

Let me start you off with a challenge:

I have talked about the benefits of regularly engaging in a Gratitude Practice.

I now want to add a Graceful Practice. What is it, your mushy brain asks?

It is challenging ourselves to look at the people around us through the lens of Grace. As we go through our day, we challenge our brain to assume that everyone around us is doing the best they can to get through the pandemic. We remember that we don't know our fellow citizen's life stories and stresses. We assume that, just like us, they are trying to make the best decisions that serve their families and our community. Try it today and see if it changes how you think and how you feel.

Here are some other ways to challenge your brain:

Brain Games: Here is a free site that has a variety of brain games. Enjoy! Games for the Brain

https://www.gamesforthebrain.com/


Books To Read: Here are a couple of lists of different types of books from classics to more modern. All should inspire or challenge your brain.

https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/news/25-books-that-will-stick-with-you-and-blow-your-mind-a6898176.html

Changing Perspective:

An interesting talk about how we see. He ends his talk with this thought: "Only through uncertainty is their potential for understanding". A very topical thought for our times.

https://www.ted.com/talks/beau_lotto_optical_illusions_show_how_we_see#t-971757




Moving through this together. Stay well.

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2017 SUSAN GALVIN, LCSW          WIX