Brain fog can affect everyone and can be hard to shake. It can be brought on by many factors, including overwork, stress and tiredness. It can make it hard to concentrate and leave you unmotivated, but luckily the experts say there are things you can do to reduce it.
It can’t be stressed enough just how important it is to take care of your mental and physical health—especially right now—whether that's journaling your feelings or finding crystals for anxiety. The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown our normal daily routines out of the window, left us stressed and often suffering from brain fog.
Following recent research on brain fog by AudleyVillages (opens in new tab) , neuro-linguistics coach Rebecca Lockwood explained to us what brain fog is and how to reduce its effects.
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What is brain fog?
Brain fog can stem from when you’re unfocused and constantly in your head, worrying and overthinking. This can leave your brain feeling foggy and make it really hard to concentrate.
Rebecca says: “It can also leave you feeling as though making the smallest of decisions is hard, can cause headaches and heightened stress and anxiety levels.”
Brain fog can make everyday tasks feel impossible to complete or leave you feeling constantly burnt out. It can make you feel low, anxious and like you can’t be productive in anything you do. But thankfully, Rebecca has some helpful tips to reduce the effects.
Taking frequent breaks is the real key to tackling brain fog, whether you’re in the office, working from home or studying. Moving around and taking coffee breaks will help break up your time and stop you from feeling unmotivated, and burnt out.
Rebecca says not to push yourself. “If you are feeling like you need a time out, then take one. Have no expectations of yourself and what you should be doing and allow yourself to honor the feelings you have.”
Limit that screen time
In the 21st century, this is easier said than done. We have mini screens in the palms of our hands, and Netflix is always too tempting. But while it might seem like you’re relaxing in front of the TV, it’s still stimulating your eyes and making you concentrate intensely on one thing.
Rebecca says this is called foveal vision, which can make you feel stressed and cause you to feel less motivated to do anything else.
So if you’re feeling like you really can’t think straight, turn off your screens, put your laptop away and try to relax without it—we recommend taking some time to meditate or doing some gentle yoga, even a nice bubble bath would do the job.
Say goodbye to distractions
We love TikTok and Instagram, but the temptation to scroll social media can be too great. If you can’t concentrate, eliminating things around you that distract you is a game-changer. If it’s not in sight—you won’t reach for it.
Now we’re not saying to stop using your phone, because what kind of life would that be? But if you have a task that you need to complete, try leaving all distractions in a completely separate room or put them away out of sight.
Water, sleep, repeat
The most overused wellbeing advice ever, but for brain fog it really helps. Brain fog can often be caused by being overtired, so it’s important to get the recommended hours of sleep (between seven and nine).
Keeping your body hydrated throughout the day will also help you feel more energetic and fresh.
Diet is key
Your diet can be a huge factor in how you’re feeling. Nutritionist Ellie Busby says to make sure you’re getting enough iron in your diet, drinking plenty of water and getting brain nutrients. Not eating a balanced diet can leave you feeling low and lethargic.
One of the most important tips is to try your best to unwind and relax. If your brain fog is being caused by stress or anxiety, it's important to take time for yourself. Whether it’s doing yoga, reading or just throwing on your PJs and getting cozy.
So take care of yourself and maybe treat yourself to a much-needed self-care day—or three.
Naomi is a Lifestyle News Writer with the Women's Lifestyle team and has recently earned her Gold Standard diploma in Journalism with the NCTJ. She has a background in design, having studied Illustration at Plymouth University but has taken a leap into the world of journalism after always having a passion for writing. She currently writes pieces on beauty, trends, fashion, and entertainment for GoodTo and My Imperfect Life. She also tests and reviews beauty and skincare products and tries out the latest TikTok hacks for My Imperfect Life.
Before working for Future Publishing’s Lifestyle News team, she worked in the Ad production team. Here she wrote and designed adverts on all sorts of things, which then went into print magazines across all genres. Now, when she isn’t writing articles on celebs, fashion trends, or the newest shows on Netflix, you can find her drinking copious cups of coffee, drawing and probably online shopping.
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