Brain fog: it's hard to describe, but you know it when you feel it. You're not thinking as clearly as you usually do. Your memory isn't quite as good. You get distracted easily and overall you just feel… foggy. Brain fog has a number of causes, but that means it has a number of solutions too. Here are 8 strategies to get back to thinking clearly.
- Sleep Well: Your brain needs rest to function properly. There's no way around it. If your sleep hygiene isn't what it should be, you probably know it. And by now you probably know the drill: 7-8 hours on a regular schedule, put your phone away an hour before bed, keep your room dark and restful. Commit to good sleep and see if your brain fog lifts.
- Check Your Diet: Excess sugar can lead to brain fog. It's also a recipe for imbalances in your gut microbiome. Address both issues by increasing your intake of lean meats, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. A smoothie with beet powder or greens powder will get you off on the right track.
- Take a Break: Be intentional about taking a few "brain breaks" throughout your day. Let your mind rest while you take a walk or look out the window. This may be all you need to shake off the fog and get back to it.
- Call a Friend: Socializing is a great way to pull your mind out of a fog. While texting isn't a bad thing, physically talking to someone over the phone or face to face is better.
- Put Away Distractions: Raise your hand if you're guilty of having your phone out next to you while you're working on something. We're guilty there too. Keep distractions to a minimum by stashing interrupting electronics somewhere you can't see or hear them.
- Keep it Moving: Just like so many other aspects of health, regular exercise is a must for a healthy brain. If you feel a fog coming in, get up and move around. Take a walk, do some push-ups, or stretch it out. If you don't have a regular exercise routine, start building one. You may find yourself seeing a gradual improvement over time.
- Breathe Deep: Take a few deep breaths to clear your head and ensure your body is getting the oxygen it needs. Deep breathing and mindfulness meditation can be an effective way to reduce stress, which in turn can help minimize brain fog.
- Talk to Your Doctor: Brain fog can be an indicator of another underlying problem. If lifestyle changes don't fix it, it may be time to talk with your doctor. They'll guide you through your next steps and get you back on the road to mental clarity.