As we link more and more memories to the same cues, it becomes harder to find a memory with those cues. This is like a Google search – it’s easiest to find what you’re looking for if your search term is unique to that particular thing.
Osth explains that the answer is to mix up your routines and surroundings where possible. Also, James Herman explains that the brain can recover:
“If you create for yourself a more enriched environment where you have more possible inputs and interactions and stimuli, then [your brain] will respond to that.”
In other words, as your routine returns to its pre-pandemic state, your brain should too. The stress hormones will recede as vaccinations continue and the anxiety about dying from a new virus (or killing someone else) subsides. And as you venture out into the world again, all the little things that used to make you happy or challenged you in a good way will do so again, helping your brain to repair the lost connections that those behaviors had once built