Trauma Brain

Last week I missed a morning ZOOM call (thinking it was in the afternoon.)  I also forgot the name of my children and how to put on shoes.  (Not really but sort of.)

Word on the street is that our brains are not working as well as they usually work because of the social distancing, unexpected home schooling, Clorox-wielding way of life we are now living.  We’ve all heard of:

  • New Baby Brain – When was the last time I took a shower?
  • Bride/Groom Brain – Of course it’s worth it to pay for white doves to fly into the horizon as we climb into our limo.
  • Home All Day with Toddlers Brain – Just lick the apple sauce off the table, Sweetheart.
  • Grief Brain – I can’t believe this is happening.  This is not happening. Who cares that you can’t find a @#%$-ing parking space? My mother/husband/child/sister is dead.  (I have multiple examples of Grief Brain.)

Clearly we are living with Coronavirus Brain – and we don’t even need our own personal diagnosis of COVID 19 to have it.

There are numerous articles out there about our brains during times like these.  But the basics are these things:  We’ll need to sleep more.  We won’t be as productive.  Daily beauty will be more essential than ever.  Checking in on each other is imperative.

That last one is especially difficult for me because I spend each day checking in with church leaders, committees, cohorts, and colleagues.  By the end of the day, I don’t have the energy to talk with more people.  I just want to shut down and pull the covers over my eyes.  This is okay too.

Random gifs seem to help. I have found joy in this deep dive into Triscuits.

One of my friends has been sending short prayers in his own buttery voice to several of us and frankly, his voice is everything.  He could be reading The History of Straw and it would be soothing.

I’m keeping hot pink flowers in my apartment because I need something bright and alive in here.  I have a lavender candle burning.  Both are better than Calgon.

I’m still loving my lavender infused wool dryer balls. They’ve changed my life.

And I’m giving my own brain permission to slow down.  All of us will be in this situation for a while and so let’s not pass up this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to let our brains rest a bit.  We will come back stronger and more grateful.

Image source.


13 responses to “Trauma Brain

  1. Thanks, Jan. Love this.


  2. Thanks for this. I gave myself permission to slow down on Thursday. Working on a new normal…


  3. Indeed the buttery prayers are gift. As are you.


  4. Jan, this is superb and much needed. I haven’t seen much that addresses this reality. May I share it, with attribution?

    Blessings to you, Jo Ann


  5. This is superb, and much needed. I haven’t seen much addressing this reality. May I share it?


  6. The Triscuit thing – golly, that was a riot! Thanks!


  7. A friend encountered the grief brain while in the pharmacy this past week. Doing what she was supposed to be doing, waiting one at a time, she was accosted by a woman who wanted her turn and felt my friend was taking too long. The attack was quite loud and obnoxious. My friend, who is just coming out of treatment for breast cancer, has had a few rough years and this made her fragile emotions come crashing down.

    When she left the pharmacy, my friend was stopped by a woman in scrubs who asked if she was alright. My friend thanked her for asking and also thanked her for the work she was doing, taking care of the sick. Turned out, the lady in scrubs was a hospice nurse caring for her own dying mother. My friend felt that the second encounter wiped out that first one.


  8. Thanks for your always straightforward and a bit humorous voice.

    Phyllis green


  9. Pingback: We Can Do This Hard Thing | The Mustard Seed Journal

  10. I’m super curious about the need for more sleep. Any references on the biology you can point me toward?


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