If you’re finding it hard to focus, remember things or make
decisions at work, relax, you’re not losing the plot. More than likely, you are suffering from pandemic-induced brain fatigue which makes it difficult to think straight. Some people call this ‘brain
Brain fog is alive and real, when your head feels like it’s filled
with cotton wool, or you struggle to remember words and can’t think straight. You might also have a hard time calculating things or struggle to problem solve.
Brain fog can also be described as mental fog or clouding of
consciousness. It isn’t a medical term as such, but often a sign or a symptom of another issue. Brain fog is an umbrella term describing a variety of issues, which can include:
Lowered ability to think clearly
Lowered ability to react and express thoughts
Lack of focus and concentration
Memory issues and forgetfulness
Feeling confused or disorganised
Feeling disoriented or scattered
Overall decreased mental performance
No matter what the cause of your brain fog, it can negatively affect
your day-to-day life, making it difficult to be productive at work, or in your free time.
If this sounds familiar, you’re certainly not alone. Many
behavioural psychologists believe the pandemic has exacerbated the issue. This has impacted on those who have emerged from the stresses of the lockdown and also among those recovering from
Covid-19, it’s also become a huge problem, with many citing brain fog as a sign of long covid.
This can have a major impact on both your personal and business
life, and I’d like to share with you some tactics you can implement to help banish that brain fog in your life.
Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Manage exposure to
light. Get at least 30 minutes daylight every day, dim lights from about 8pm, switch off devices that emit blue light an hour before bed, sleep in complete darkness and expose yourself to daylight or
white light when you wake up.
Focus on what you can get done, not on what you can’t. Be realistic
about what you can achieve and what those around you can achieve. Also, make a concerted effort to limit distractions by only doing one thing at a time. This means not having the radio or television
on while you’re working or constantly checking your phone while doing homework with the kids or cooking dinner.
Get as much information out of your brain and on to paper or
electronic devices. Remove distractions and avoid multi-tasking. Planning and self-discipline are key to coping, and central to this is establishing and mastering what is important so you’re not
wasting valuable mental energy on worrying about things that don’t really matter or you can’t control.
4. Eat well
You may need to start slow, perhaps just two to three minutes a few
times a day. While there is no established “dose” of exercise to improve brain health, it’s generally recommended you work toward 30 minutes a day, five days a week. One way to begin is by making
small changes such as sitting less and standing more. Also watch what you eat, a healthy diet including olive oil, fruits and vegetables, nuts and beans, and whole grains has been proven to
improve thinking, memory and brain health.
5. Relax and
Pursue beneficial activities, including listening to music;
practicing mindfulness; and keeping a positive mental attitude.
Manage your stress
Put extra effort into stress management so that your working memory
isn’t constantly overloaded by worry. Choose your thoughts carefully, keeping negative ones at bay. Also, in our information overloaded world give your brain a break from the pandemic
updates and doom Sayers.
It may seem like something small, but taking steps to look after
your physical health, such as staying hydrated can have a dramatic impact on your health and mental wellbeing.
Drinking water and brain function are integrally linked. Lack of
water to the brain can cause numerous symptoms including problems with focus, memory, brain fatigue and brain fog, as well as headaches, sleep issues, anger, depression, and many more. Always
keep a bottle of water near you throughout the day. Drinking water regularly will help to keep your brain fuelled, oxygenated and energized.
8. Plan ahead
We are living in what seems like a Sci fi movie, so, naturally, it
may take time to get back into the swing of things and reduce your anxiety levels once lockdown is finally over. An amazingly simple way to help develop positive mental health and banish brain fog is
to plan ahead . Make a list of the simple pleasures you want to do again, friends you want to visit, places you want to travel to, or the restaurants you want to dine at.
I think the best advice I can give anyone, is that simple changes
can make massive changes and help us adjust to the next normal. So why not try it now.
McGinley Glassagh Consulting July 2021