I’ve been complaining to anyone who listens – surprisingly not many – about my inability to focus and at my sluggish brain function these past few weeks, especially at the phase just after lock-down. I was slightly getting worried at my less-than-optimal skill at making decisions but then again I was never much of a decisive person:) All joking aside, turns out I was having brain fog! Despite it not being anything serious, thank heavens, but exposure to long term stress can affect people’s ability to focus and to think clearly. So how can you know if you have brain fog and if so, can you do anything about it?
What Is Brain Fog?
If you’re feeling rather overwhelmed and are finding it hard to make decisions even on a small scale then it’s probably brain fog. You might feel as though the simplest tasks are requiring more of your focus and attention. You can get more forgetful, you will probably misplace your things, and you can even have a hard time having a normal conversation. Simple decisions such as what to have for lunch might suddenly seem like too much. Brain fog can be caused by many things, mainly stress, in addition to other factors such as sleep deprivation, a poor diet, dehydration, lack of exercise, or depression.
Tips To Overcome Brain Fog
1 || Get Enough Sleep
With your mind in turmoil, sleep can get disrupted. Try to cut down on screen time just before bed, have chamomile or lavender tea before bed and make sure you get the full eight hours of sleep.
2 || Vitamin B12
You will need to amp up your supply from this vitamin as it can reduce depression, improve memory, and tackle brain fog. Foods that are a good source of B12 are eggs, salmon, lean beef, and nutritional yeast.
3 || Find Your Stress Outlet
It is crucial that you find an outlet for your stress and anxiety. Any form of physical exercise can help immensely, yoga, meditation, crystal healing, and aromatherapy can be creative outlets as well, you just have to keep trying till you find that thing that brings you the most joy.
4 || Meditation
I cannot stress enough on the importance of meditation. Meditation rids your brain of all negativity, it makes you more patient, calms down your nervous system and it even lowers your heart rate and blood pressure. Incorporating a meditation practice into your daily routine will bring you more clarity and sharper focus.
5 || Self-Care Essentials
Do you have a self-care routine yet? If not, then this should become your top priority right this minute. Developing a self-care routine or an early morning trophy-hour routine is what sustains all those grounded people you’re so envious of. You can build your own routine but make sure it includes any of the following; journalling, prayer, breathing or meditating, listening to uplifting or calming music, reading, affirmations, visualisation, watching a 5-minute YouTube video to learn something new, tending your plants, or running outdoors. Whatever it is you do make sure not to skip it even if it means rescheduling your life to wake up earlier.
6 || Time Outdoors
Not getting enough sunlight has detrimental effects and will cause Vitamin D deficiency which can also affect brain function and might make you weak or even depressed. Apply your sunscreen and make it a habit to get some sun by either walking outdoors, gardening, swimming, or simply sitting in the sun for a few minutes each day.
7 || Cut Back On …..
Caffeine, alcohol, sugar, simple carbs, and deep fried foods. Contrary to what you’ve been doing, caffeine won’t clear up your brain. In fact, cutting down on caffeine improves cognition and reduces brain fuzziness. Along those lines you need to cut down on sugars and simple carbs as well. Sugar and simple carbs make you sleepy in case you haven’t yet noticed; you will need to counter that with healthy fruits and green juices. Alcohol and deep fried foods can also slow down our brain functions.
8 || Spirulina
Incorporating spirulina into your diet can have amazing anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits for your brain and body. Spirulina is a kind of algae that can be consumed as a powder or supplement. It is packed with vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, C, E, and B, calcium, magnesium, zinc, selenium, and iron. Just don’t take it at night.
9 || Hobbies
You will need to make time for some hobbies that can also help you with practicing mindfulness. When you’re focused on a certain activity such as reading, painting, gardening, baking, or even playing a video game you can actually give your brain a chance to rest and recharge.
10 || Challenge Your Brain
Added to the point above, you may want to add come challenging activities and games that can be mentally stimulating such as puzzles, sudoku, riddles, and card games. These will strengthen your cognitive abilities and improve your mood.