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Sunday, May 31, 2020

When Life Gives You Lemons - Be A Brain Hacker

Today is May, 31, 2020.  It is the last day of the month and then we look forward to June.  However, the government has put the brakes on our typical way of life.  The expectations of summer may not be met. 

Now, I have my own personal opinions regarding what we call a pandemic.  I certainly have my own opinions about maintaining health. So while most of the world has driven itself into a terribly unproductive situation in an attempt to make sense of a new presentation of illness, we can make the best of it as we ride it out. 

Hence, the saying about making lemonade comes in very handy. 

There has been a drastic change in financial circumstances for most people.  Many of our routines have been disrupted.  Families have had to deal with loss of contact with other relatives.

We have transitioned to this situation as best as we can and keep striving to do so in a positive manner.  

Here are some of the ways I've realized I can turn lemons into lemonade: 

1- I can maintain a healthier sleep routine.
Many businesses have reduced their hours.  I can buy the items I need at a reasonable hour and get home.  

Also, I have not had meetings late in the evening.  This means I am home and not eating late at night which is not going to help my sleep, either. 

2- My own work day has been shortened.
I am not seeing as many clients as usual for now.  This means I am getting home between 4:00 and 5:00.  I must admit, I am getting spoiled.  Preparing dinner is more relaxing and we haven't felt so exhausted.  

3- Not driving to school so early in the morning is a true benefit.
It was too early for my son and his friends.  They were tired and frazzled.  They aren't eating the horrible foods provided by the USDA.  My morning rush is no longer a rush.  

4- My teenage son is not at school.  Tremendous stress relief for all of us!!!
The modern school life is chaos.  When other students don't want to be there they just make trouble for their classmates and teachers. It is a nonproductive time.  While, some good parts are missed and children need specialized programs, my son hasn't been exposed to fights, acting out, overt sexualized culture in the hallways, and demoralized teachers.  He has been more pleasant.  We enjoy our conversations.  

In many ways school pressures are an intrusion in our lives.  Currently, we are parents again without school authority figures getting in the way.   Sad as it is to say, young people feel torn and don't know how to face the challenge of balancing loyalties.  There are existing ideologies that separate young people from their first teachers, their own parents. Parents have to stand up to the "one size fits all" mantra of state run schools on a constant basis.  (Private schools are not immune. Many have their own power trips.) It's our job to do so, but it gets tiring. Children are caught in the middle.  It's a daily stress for children that I feel they do not deserve.  Adults in the working world don't have to deal with that kind of divisiveness because they can exert their own independence and change jobs.  

Right now there are no school sports, music, drama, etc., but that can be overdone as well leaving kids exhausted.

Before I go off on a tangent here, I need to add that childhood and teen-hood are important stages in brain development.  Early experiences shape the brain.  They may seem young, healthy, and resilient, but that's not for us adults to take for granted or damage.  

The common denominator is our lives have slowed down.  This is a very important part of healing.  As long as someone is taking steps to reduce isolation, depression, and feels comfortable at home with enough food and meaningful hobbies inside the home, they can experience positive health benefits of this change of pace. 

Remember stress is fine when kept at a minimum, but dragged out and repetitious is how we lose our health. 

S - stress should be very short, in minutes, not hours, days, months
T - stress should be a real threat to one's life, not drama
R - our resilience should be preserved and rejuvenated, not abused
E - energy is high during stress, but not to a state of exhaustion
- sleep is what we need, and we shouldn't skimp on it
S - sleep again, can't overemphasize the importance of rest. 

As you pursue a better brain so you can live a profound life, reconsider the stress in your life.  Not all stress is in our control.  Things can happen that you didn't have a choice in, but most of our stress we have created.  

Make sense of your stress and make peace with the modern would with a BFA Coaching relationship.  Let me know when you're ready to try something new and meaningful. 

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