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Question regarding stress. I’ve been going through a rough 1.5 years personally/professionally and I think it’s impacting my short term memory. Cont...

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Whenever someone I haven’t seen in awhile asks me what’s new, my mind goes blank and I don’t know what to say. In that moment I can’t recall the last movie I saw, the last restaurant I enjoyed, nothing- literally the only thing I can remember clearly in that moment is work. When I have a second to think and am not directly being asked, I recall the other parts of my life and am able to fully think about those experiences. Part of it is the personal elements of my life are so complicated at the moment that they cannot neatly be summarized in a quick catch-up conversation. But that doesn’t explain why my mind blanks. I’m not sure I’ve explained it in a way that makes sense, but I’d love to hear if anyone has experienced something similar or has general tips on dealing with stressful long-term situations that are not under their direct control.

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I do this with certain stressful partners that trigger a flight or fight response. It is hard to manage. I find it worse when I am doing solo work (reading/writing) then have to switch to actually communicating with people. Taking a few breaths to mentally prepare yourself when switching tasks helps me.

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Self care is essential- - eat well, get good sleep, exercise and supplements if necessary. Try relaxation techniques, such as meditation, yoga, whatever else makes you feel relaxed. Take a vacation, and do things you enjoy regularly. Do something that makes you happy every day, eg, buy a Starbucks, for example. Consider talking with a therapist. Get your blood checked.

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I am sorry to hear you are going through this. I also have had some extremely stressful personal issues occurring over the past few years. People who know me wonder how I am still standing. I don't socialize with anyone or really talk to anyone outside of my immediate family or people I see at work. It just became too much because I felt like I didnt have anything ever positive to say. Feel free to DM me if you want to discuss further.

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Thanks all. I think this is my brain’s self-preservation mode, it is focused on my main stressors and doesn’t have time to recall unrelated topics. I’ve tried yoga and meditation but that doesn’t work for me (it’s basically impossible for me to quiet the voices in my head). I need to seriously look into therapy and get professional advice on coping mechanisms. I also need to rethink how much I share with people...I am in a situation were I have a lot of people I’m friendly with but fewer close friends, so it’s hard for me to gage who really wants to know how I’m doing and who wants the generic upbeat response. But maybe I need to give more people a chance. I do have some vacations coming up this year but they’re all around weddings, which means I’ll see people I care about but also need to make a lot of small talk...it will not be a quiet year in any respect unfortunately. But I do need to address my own needs. It’s a process...

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Everyone is different. Some people are open; others not. There are pros/cons to each. One of the benefits of being open is enrichment. Life experience is valuable and interesting. Getting to really know people can be rewarding. Each person must do what’s comfortable.

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