Is Your Brain Fog Covid Related or Change Related?

Lately we’ve been doing a lot of presentations for senior leaders on the topic of change leadership. They are recognizing their need to get equipped themselves before making more decisions about changing the work environment. One of the consistent themes is change overload or saturation.

The pandemic has created change for everyone. There is a limit to how much change a human being can process and transition through. When a perfectly normal, well-adapted person hits their limit and moves into overload they can exhibit signs of dysfunction.

In our discussions, once leaders understand the impact of too much change, they are quick to ask what can be done. Here are a few tips to fight through the fog, no matter what it’s related to.

  1. Make a list – identify all the changes you are experiencing. (There is a worksheet in the Change Leaders Toolkit that can help with this.) You can do this exercise individually or for your team.
  2. Consider the impact – how is each change uniquely impacting you or your team? Is it a significant impact? What are you being asked to know, do or feel differently as a result of the change?
  3. Chunk the change – break down the immediate changes into doable tasks or activity chunks. Your brain wants to feel successful and that it’s making progress. By clearly defining the chunks and tackling them one by one you help your brain start feeling in control.
  4. Practice gratitude – this may seem like an oddball addition. However, there is overwhelming evidence that regularly pausing to pay attention to what you are grateful for will impact your state of mind. Just like constantly inputting negative news results in negative outputs like worry or fear, regular gratitude inputs result in positive outputs of joy and peace.

If you are feeling more forgetful or challenged to concentrate, consider that the changes you are working through have sucked your capacity and left you empty. This is a completely normal experience. This too shall pass. Remember, it’s not you, it’s the change!

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