What are you forgetting?

Olive cat in the morning sun.
Olive’s memory is just fine.

Have you noticed yourself forgetting things lately? I have. I can walk into a room for something and forget why I am there. Also, I can’t go the grocery store without forgetting items on my list — or things I forgot to add to my list. I also am forgetting names and words. I notice my husband is in the same boat.

I found an article in the Wall Street Journal called “Why We’re All Forgetting Things Right Now: Short, temporary moments of forgetfulness are happening to more of us more often these days, memory experts say” by Elizabeth Bernstein. She writes for WSJ’s Life and Work section.

Here’s an excerpt:

Short, temporary instances of forgetfulness—those ‘senior moments’—are happening to more of us more often these days, memory experts say. We’re finding it difficult to recall simple things: names of friends and co-workers we haven’t seen in a while, words that should come easily, even how to perform routine acts that once seemed like second nature. 

We’re living in yet another moment of big change as we return to offices, create new routines and find our footing in yet another new normal. (And don’t forget a scary war in Europe on top of that.) All this change consumes cognitive energy, often much more than we think, neuroscientists say. It’s no wonder we can’t remember what we had for breakfast.  Our minds are struggling with transition moments.

“Our brains are like computers with so many tabs open right now,” says Sara C. Mednick, a neuroscientist and professor of cognitive science at the University of California, Irvine. “This slows down our processing power, and memory is one of the areas that falters.”

The chronic and cumulative stress of the past two years has taken its toll, too. Research led by Dr. Shields shows that people who have experienced recent life stressors have impaired memory. Stress negatively affects our attention span and sleep, which also impact memory. And chronic stress can damage the brain, causing further memory problems, says Dr. Shields, an assistant professor in the department of psychological science at the University of Arkansas. 


The article also said we are bombarded with too much information and scanning through info on our phones isn’t helpful. Another thing that an expert pointed out was the sameness of every day during the shut down. Apparently we need novelty to help our memories.

They offered suggestions on how to deal with memory loss. If other people are noticing it, you should probably see a doctor. Also, don’t try to force it if you forget something because that’s counter productive. Stay calm and turn off the TV and phones to be present in the moment.

Have you noticed a lag in your memory or a spouse or friends since COVID hit? What types of things do you forget?

30 thoughts on “What are you forgetting?

  1. I do forget things, like I’ll get up to get something and I’ll forget I wanted to get tape…but I’ve always been a write it down sort of person. I don’t know if it’s a side effect of Covid or just aging

  2. Oh my goodness- this is so me! My mom was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and I keep thinking I need to be checked out too. But my daughter says she is having the same issues as I am, and she has read it’s a lingering issue many people experience after having covid. Maybe, like the article you mentioned, it is just from the stress. I’ve been under my fair share of that too. But man, I really notice it!

  3. Forgetfulness isn’t new for me. It’s not anything I’m worried about (at least right now) as I see it to be associated with aging.

  4. I’ve been noticing a gentle decline in memory over the years. I used to think it was sort of funny, six of our friends, sitting around the dining table trying to remember the name of a movie, spice, or poem we used to have memorized. I’ve accepted it. Thank God for google! xxoo, C

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