Fumbling Through the Haze of Brain Fog

7 Ways to Get Back on Track

Do you ever deal with a lack of clarity, sluggishness, or an inability to concentrate? Sometimes, the best way to describe it is just feeling “fuzzy.” I’m confident this is something we’ve all felt at times, but if you deal with this regularly, it’s time to get to the root of the brain fog so you can feel top-notch.

Here are seven ways to kick brain fuzzies to the curb and lift the fog:

Ditch the sugar

I know, I know. Easier said than done, right? Sugar might give you initial pep, but what comes next is the energy plummet. Simple carbohydrates can also slow you down and make you feel sluggish.

Stop sitting for long periods

You may have an office job that has you sitting at a desk for most of the day, but taking short breaks throughout the day can combat the inactivity.

So get up every 30 minutes to an hour to stretch or take a quick lap around the office. This movement gets the blood circulating and keeps things going throughout the day.

Make sleep and meditation top priorities

Why do we always put sleep on the back burner? Start going to bed earlier each night.  If this is a recurring issue in your life, start by going to bed 30 minutes earlier each night for a week, and adding another 30 minutes the following week — until you get to a decent bedtime that gets you the sleep you need.  During the day, aim to meditate for at least 5-10 minutes. Meditation has the effect of making you feel well-rested and improves your mental well-being, clearing the fog.

Spend your spare time on cognitive puzzles

It’s too easy to zone out on the TV or social media. Challenge your mind to crosswords, sudoku, and other cognitive puzzles and games to keep your mind sharp.

Say ‘sayonara’ to stress

Focus on what stresses you out the most and turn it around for the better. There are always baby step improvements we can make to lessening our stress load — so start small, and start with something reasonable and actionable you can easily adjust to. If you haven’t been moving your body, also focus on some type of movement you enjoy to get your blood pumping, and your stress levels evened out.

Give St. John’s Wort a try

It’s a natural mood booster that could help you shake off that feeling of being “off” with brain fog. Don’t forget to consult your doctor first to make sure it won’t interfere with any medications you’re taking.

If nothing seems to help, though, schedule an appointment with your doctor to get thoroughly checked out. Brain fog can merely be a symptom of lack of sleep, or pushing yourself too hard. But it can also indicate an underlying condition if it persists. Chances are, if you make some of these changes and see no improvement, your doctor will need to get to the root cause to help you clear the fog away.

Highly Effective Ways to Lower Stress Naturally

Stress is remarkably damaging to our mental and physical health. Even though we know how serious it is, most of us can’t seem to find an effective way to get rid of it (or at least reduce it). Here are six all-natural, healthy, and highly effective ways to reduce chronic stress in your life.

1. Exercise
You’ve probably heard this one before, but exercise is a marvelous stress reliever. Exercising releases endorphins, which are natural compounds in your body that reduce stress and pain. You don’t have to do strenuous or intense workouts to experience this benefit. Try to be physically active every day, whether it is a brisk walk in the sunshine, swimming, or weightlifting at the gym. You might be surprised at how good it makes you feel.

2. Natural Adaptogen Supplements
Adaptogen supplements are natural herbs that help your body adapt to stressors in your environment. A common adaptogen is Ashwagandha. Although the stress response might feel as though it’s limited to your mind, your entire body responds to stress. Your heart rate and blood pressure increase, you might have difficulty focusing, and you start breathing rapidly. Adaptogens help calm the nervous system down and are completely natural.

3. Schedule in “Me-time”
Although life can get overwhelmingly busy, don’t forget about yourself. Scheduling in “me time” is equally as important as that business meeting or lunch with friends. Take time at least once a week (or as often as your schedule allows) to relax and do things that calm you down. Read a book, have a bath, meditate, or watch a funny movie, and don’t cancel on yourself!

4. Get Enough Good-quality Sleep
I can’t stress how important getting enough sleep is for your overall wellbeing. Getting enough quality sleep is proven to reduce feelings of anxiety and stress significantly. You probably know how irritated, frustrated, and upset you can get when you feel exhausted and haven’t slept enough. Make sure you’re getting at least 7 hours of sleep each night.

5. Eat Healthy, Whole Foods
The foods you eat can have a tremendous impact on your stress levels— both positive and negative. If you eat processed, sugary junk foods, you will notice that your feelings of stress will only get worse. A diet full of real, nutrient-dense, whole foods can counteract the damaging effects of stress on your body and can help you feel significantly better. Healthy fats (especially omega-3 fatty acids) found in salmon, avocado, nuts, and seeds can help regulate levels of cortisol, your stress hormone.

6. Calming Essential Oils
Essential oils are powerful and natural remedies for numerous health problems, from indigestion to stress. Lavender essential oil is well-known for its calming properties. You can put this oil in an aromatherapy diffuser or apply it topically to help you relieve stress and sleep better. Rose oil is also a powerful calming oil that can help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. However, be careful as essential oils are very potent, and you don’t want to use too much.

Are you an early riser or do you struggle in the mornings?

I want to invite you to try an experiment.  First of all, you can pick the time frame — but I suggest picking 3, 5, or 7 days.

For whatever time frame you pick, rise with the sun those mornings.

It may be uncomfortable to get up that early at first, but this is simply an experiment to see what shifts in you as you take this extra time in the morning for yourself.  There is one crucial thing: no electronics.  Use this time to bundle up outside on the porch (if you have one) to see the colors the sky displays as the sun rises.  Use it as a little recharge for yourself in the morning.

That’s my challenge to you. Do you accept?!

 

I find it so helpful to do regular check-ins to see how things are going internally and logistically in my life.  Have you ever done this before?

It can be as simple as putting a reminder in your phone for a specific day every month to have a small check-in.  Ask yourself how you’re feeling, what’s working and what’s not, what could take some improvement or extra attention — and devise a game plan from those questions.

Set a reminder on your phone right now that can reoccur every month for your monthly check-in dates.  Pour a cup of tea, have a notebook handy, and see what comes from it.

 

What’s tugging at your attention today?

I’d love to invite you to be mindful of what’s on your mind today. Pay attention to what’s swirling inside of you — dig into what’s filling your mind and find the lesson in it.

Being mindful of our patterns helps to reveal underlying thoughts, worries, and hopes.  Try to pay attention to what fills your mind this week and notice any patterns that arise.

So tell me… what’s on your mind today?