We’ve all had those moments where it feels like the three-pound organ in our heads has gone on vacay. Basic tasks (ya know, like thinking) become total struggles. After a while, it can feel like the brain fog you’re experiencing wants you to give up on adulting altogether.
As tempting as that sounds, that’s not really what your foggy brain is trying to tell you. It is the single most complex organ in your body so the messages it sends you when things are a bit hazy can be somewhat difficult to decipher. Complicating matters further is the fact that brain fog isn’t even acknowledged as a medical condition (who else calls BS on this?), which makes it even more confusing.
But when you’re in the midst of one of these instances of incoherence, you’ll know it. WebMd describes brain fog as “certain symptoms that can affect your ability to think. You may feel confused or disorganized or find it hard to focus or put your thoughts into words.”
In others, you spend most of your day functioning like a real-life zombie, minus the craving for human flesh.
To get to back to feeling like your bright-eyed, clear-minded self, here are eight tiny things to do to clear up your brain fog.
1Take more breaks.
Seriously, being busy just for the sake of being busy is actually counterproductive, especially when your brain is crying out for some downtime. If you refuse to give your body a break and insist on pushing through, making sound decisions and crossing items off your to-do list will only become more difficult, and maybe even impossible.
2Lay off the alcohol.
That means passing on those happy hour invites, skipping the mimosas during weekend brunches with your friends, and not refreshing your stash of wine for those stressful work days. If you’re suffering from an overworked brain, you’re likely to feel low on energy, and guzzling alcohol will only make you feel more fatigued.
3Minimize the stress in your life.
There’s only so much pressure the body can take before you have no choice but to pump your breaks. If brain fog is consuming your life, take stock of all the things that are bugging you on a regular basis and come up with healthy ways to manage stress, which may require you to completely eliminate the source(s) of it.
4Avoid sleeping too much.
On average, a healthy amount of sleep falls somewhere between seven and nine hours a night. If you’re logging more than that, it could be one of the causes of your brain fog, Mental Health Daily reports.
5Eat more fruits and veggies.
We’re constantly hit over the head with reasons to improve our diet, so it should come as no surprise that alleviating the symptoms of brain fog is on that seemingly endless list. To help pull yourself out a mental fog, try including more energy-boosting foods like plain yogurt whole grains and nuts.
6See a doctor and/or therapist.
While it’s not a certified medical condition on its own, the symptoms of brain fog are very real, and may be connected to a serious physical or mental ailment like multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue syndrome, anxiety or depression, according to Prevention. Additionally, some medications can cause you to struggle with concentration and focus, so definitely have your doctor check for alternative prescriptions or treatments.
If your brain feels like it’s on the fritz, definitely consider taking a hiatus from social media or using the internet, no matter how brief. It’s no secret that social media has some negative effects on the brain, so even setting aside a couple of hours where you’re not constantly ingesting and processing information or engaging online will help you feel more relaxed and clear-headed.
If you can take longer blocks of time off the grid, that’s an even stronger step towards taking your brain back from social media and ultimately strengthening your overall mental health.