COVID-Brain. You may have heard this term. Basically, people are using it to describe a feeling of being disjointed, forgetful, and slow in response to basic interactions. Some feel like they are living in a fog – a haze shading their clarity. Others feel like they have fallen into an abyss, isolated from friends, family, work and all things familiar. It is really noticeable when we meet someone, who for all accounts, appear totally relaxed and in their element. These people may have reached a state of mindfulness – they have engaged and accepted an awareness of the present moment. Stresses from the past and future are set aside, while they calm their mind, embracing a more peaceful life. If you are new to the concept, you may be resistant to reading more, but there is more than one way of beating COVID-Brain. You may even have been participating in mindfulness without conscious knowledge. For example, have you found yourself eliminating clutter?

Does the reduction of excess stuff give you a feeling of euphoria? Now that the shock of isolation has receded, are you enjoying not having a full calendar of appointments and expectations? Have you taken stock of the pantry and freezer and realized that you really only need to shop once a week for fresh produce? Minimalism is on the rise. Thrift shops benefit from your donations and the funds made from your duplicate or discarded items, boost the economy of your community. What a wonderful feeling to know that something that was collecting dust in your home, is being appreciated, in the home of another. Check your library shelves for books on cutting the clutter. We have some great ideas on lifting the weight of “stuff” off of your shoulders.

Cleaning your physical space of the excess can be very therapeutic, but so can clearing your emotional space. Combat anxiety through meditation and/or breathing exercises.  Music, gardening, hiking, colouring…Find your personal “Zen” place, where you feel a state of calm attentiveness. You will know you have found it when you can complete an action by intuition, rather than conscious effort. Once you have found your ‘state of calm’, look into expanding it. Libraries carry books on self-healing, hobbies and so much more. Healthy diet, exercise, financial growth – there are so many topics to choose from that can lead to less stress and more control over your life. You will know you are on the right path, if you wake up feeling lighter than you did the day before.

Final suggestions are to minimalize media, social media and marketing interaction.  If you enjoy the companionship with people online, ensure that you are participating in groups with a positive mandate. Unfollow negative people and groups. Reduce your time gathering current events to just the facts. Allow your emotional intelligence to be enriched with positive images and productive information. As we say at the library – if you don’t like the book, close it! There are too many good books to waste time on a bad one.

Submitted by Paige Turner