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How The Trials Of 2020 Forever Changed Me – For Good

Patricia Faust January 2021 new

Brain Health Kuel Category Expert: Patricia Faust, MGS

It is the start of a new, New Year. Usually my end of year/beginning of year blogs are all Rah-Rah about new starts and new possibilities waiting for us.

We make goals for exercise and weight loss, for job promotions and higher income. This year that seems too superficial. We are in the midst of a paradigm shift. The reality that we operated under previous to 2020 no longer exists. And, I am here to tell you I have been changed for good in 2020. Here’s why.

This Year Is Different:

“we are suffering from COVID fatigue and at the very least, brain burnout”

Where does that leave us? How are we to process the unknown that we are so fearful about? This is a complicated question. Our brain has been and continues to be on high alert. The purpose of our brain is survival – our brain is hardwired to sense threat and respond with ‘fight or flight’. This year we have not seen an end to the threat of COVID and all of the losses we have sustained as a result of COVID. So now we are suffering from COVID fatigue and at the very least, brain burnout. How do we enter a new year in such bad shape mentally and emotionally?

There comes a time within the paradigm shift (a fundamental change in approach or underlying assumptions) that we need to accept the changes that we have no power over. Fighting the good fight over what cannot change, keeps us in a state of fear and anger. Our brain is quite capable of changing to our new reality. We have the power to make that happen. We just need to realize that the positive change is something that we must actively work on every day. This may seem like a ‘pie in the sky’ approach but it is just a viable as keeping your brain in chronic stress/threat mode. It is now up to us to dig in and build some resilience to all of the losses of COVID.

Begin Your Transformation:

“You need to reignite your belief that you are worthy”

Where do you start with that transformation? First of all, take three deep breaths. Breathing actually has the power to break the chronic stress cycle. Then start small. Forgive yourself for any responsibility that you are experiencing because you lost your job, or you can’t find a job. You need to reignite your belief that you are worthy and that these circumstances do not dictate who you are. You cannot keep going back to your old ways and continue to say, “what if”. Be honest with yourself about what you need to do. Believe that what you need will come to you. 

When you shift your thoughts about where you are and where you want to be, and totally believe that you can accomplish this change, your subconscious brain will start taking you where you need to go. That means that you need to listen to your underlying thoughts. Or when you get ready to go to sleep, write your questions about ‘what’s next’ and be aware of any thoughts that come to you in the morning.

Your conscious brain blocks many of your subconscious thoughts because your brain is again – programmed for survival. Your conscious brain is in that mode of chronic stress. As crazy as your subconscious beliefs might seem to you – it is your real truth. Believe in it and trust in it. Then do one of the hardest things you might have ever done. Start over. Our world and culture are no longer the same as before. We must make the appropriate changes in order to move forward. It is ok to admit that you’ve been changed for good in 2020.

Believe In YourSelf:

“many things about having no money taught me some big lessons”

There is another big leap of faith that you must take. In the realm of losing everything financially, you must believe that you can make changes to turn that around. There is nothing more terrifying than to have no money. I have found myself in that situation in the past. The sleepless nights trying to figure out how to pay bills did nothing to change my situation. I found that I had to relax in that situation, and I had to believe that we would make it. There are many things about having no money taught me some big lessons.

You really drill down into what is important. You have to be willing to let go of the way you saw yourself. No money doesn’t mean you are a failure. I took it to mean that I had to make some serious course changes in my life. I have a lot of education and I had to realize that what I did wasn’t who I was. So, I went to work at Amazon to make some needed income. Amazon is not ageist – you just have to be able to do the job. I have learned a lot about myself with this experience. And I also learned that I didn’t have to worry about paying my bills. That then changed the way I looked at changing my life. It is such a relief to have that financial burden relieved so that I could get on with what I want to do.

Power To Change Your Life:

This solution might not be for everyone or anyone. But trust in yourself that you have the power to change your life. Your brain is so capable of doing that. Just believe in where you are going next. Use the power of your brain to the MAX. Finally, God help us all.

About the Author:

Patricia Faust is a gerontologist specializing in the issues of brain aging, brain health, brain function and dementia. She has a Masters in Gerontological Studies degree from Miami University in Oxford Ohio. Patricia is certified as a brain health coach and received a certification in Neuroscience and Wellness through Dr. Sarah McKay and the Neuroscience Academy. My Boomer Brain, founded in 2015, is the vehicle that Patricia utilizes to teach, coach and consult about brain aging, brain health and brain function. Her newsletter, My Boomer Brain, has international readers from South Africa, Australia, throughout Europe and Canada. She has also been a frequent guest on Medicare Moment on WMKV and Cincy Lifestyles on WCPO.