I’m in a complete brain fog lately. On my weekly email, I recently mentioned how July 4th messed up my mental calendar. Well, it messed it up so completely that I got ahead of schedule and tried to drop my son off at preschool camp a week early. We did have fun at the playground instead, and my son is the champion of rolling with not-so-great surprises, but still, I was a little worried about myself.
In short, it’s summer and my brain has turned to mush.
I thought I was the only one until I talked with a responsible, intelligent friend who had both forgotten to drop her daughter off at swim lessons, and planned an elaborate day out to see a family-friendly play, only to discover it wasn’t running anymore. Another close friend I admire asked me to pray for her ability to focus and have balance, because having her kids home in the summer is seriously stretching her, especially when it comes to her ministry/work.
And actually, taking my son to preschool camp on the wrong day was really just one of the things I’ve forgotten lately. On our day trips to see family, I could pretty much guarantee I left something essential behind, and I told my husband it was the Day of Me Forgetting Everything. (Mark your calendars, it’s being held annually on July first!) And just before I wrote this post, I reached in the fridge for my coffee and started to grab my daughter’s sippy cup of milk instead.
I’m blaming summer for this behavior (which is dangerous, because what will I do when Fall hits and I don’t know what day it is?). It’s too hot to think, and it’s too unstructured to plan. So as I’m trying to keep the house relatively clean and the kids somewhat entertained and fed, while I’m trying to combat boredom and mom guilt and lack of sleep, I’m also trying to stay sane and soak up memories and remember how old I am.
It’s a difficult task.
So here’s what I would like to do to combat brain fog. I browsed online for tips, asked my husband (he’s a mental health therapist), chose ones that I think are feasible for busy moms, and I added my own too.
20+ Health Tips to Combat Brain Fog
Experts say to avoid
- refined carbohydrates
- too much caffeine
Experts say you’ve gotta have
- water: drink lots of it! Hypothetically, a person could develop kidney stones just from not staying hydrated. But I wouldn’t know…
- one of those healthy, well-balanced diets
- brain-loving foods like
avocados, blueberries, salmon, broccoli, cauliflower, dark chocolate, coconut oil, and turmeric
- physical activity
- hormonal balance: see a doctor if you have concerns about your health (thyroid, allergy testing are good places to start)
Mental Health Tips to Combat Brain Fog
- pray and meditate
- get out in nature, breathe in some fresh air and soak in the sunshine
- read something you enjoy
- do something fun every day
Memory & Focusing Tips
- Take time to focus. You will perform your tasks better if you’re concentrating on what you’re doing. I’m really guilty of multi-tasking, but all signs point to the fact that I need to slow down and do one thing at a time.
- Ignore your phone. If your smart phone is distracting (errrr….I mean, because it totally is) change the settings on your apps to alert you only when you really want to be bothered.
- Use reminders on your smart phone if you have an app that works for you. You can also just tell Siri or Google Assistant to remind you about something and you won’t have to open an app.
- Write things down
- get a planner or add events to your online calendar…just find the method you like and stick with it. For me, sometimes it’s helpful to have things on paper, because using my phone to enter essential information means seeing emails, social media pings, and LOTS of things that can distract me before I even open my calendar. Plus, I’d rather my kids see me looking at a planner than looking at my phone.
- do a brain dump before bed – it helps me to write down the things I want to remember tomorrow or anything that’s on my mind before I go to sleep for the night.
- Play brain games (not mind games, brain games). Try a sudoku, crossword, a trivia game, or an app like Lumosity.
- Use white noise to help you concentrate or sleep…here’s what I think of Relaxio’s White Noise app for Android.
- Set things to automatic whenever possible: set your bills to autopay electronically, have your vitamins or other household items sent to you on a schedule, etc.
Full disclosure: I’m currently doing 8 of these. We’re in this together, right? If you’re staying sharp, you’ve gotta share as much as possible about how you’re doing it.
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