Did you ever feel like your mental clarity has gone out the window, and you can’t seem to focus on anything lately? That might be because of brain fog.
Brain fog has become pretty rampant since the Covid-19 pandemic, and rightfully so—facing the restrictions and all the drastic changes is not an easy feat.
Thankfully, there are things you can do to manage the symptoms and improve your overall cognitive function.
In this article, we’ll talk about how to deal with brain fog in 13 simple ways. Read on!
What is brain fog, exactly?
Brain fog or mental fog is a condition characterized by mental fatigue, forgetfulness, and an inability to focus.
You might feel like you can’t think straight, and your motivation and productivity levels might be low.
Your memory might suffer, and you might have trouble finding the right words to say.
In short, mental fog can make everyday tasks feel like a struggle.
Other people find brain fog as a mild cognitive impairment that lasts for a few days, while others describe it as a full-on cognitive dysfunction that affects their lives for months on end.
What causes brain fog?
There are many possible causes of mental fog.
For one, it could be a side effect of certain medications. It could also be caused by:
- sleep deprivation or sleep disorders
- chronic stress
- and other mental health conditions (e.g., BPD, ADHD).
It’s also common in people with the following:
- chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)
- lyme disease
- thyroid disorders
- cancer (i.e., chemo brain)
- systemic lupus erythematosus (i.e., lupus brain fog)
- and people who have been infected with Covid-19 or dealing with long Covid (i.e., covid brain fog).
Mental fog can also be brought on by hormonal changes, such as during menopause.
Certain dietary deficiencies can also lead to brain fog. For example, not getting enough B vitamins, omega-three fatty acids, or iron can all contribute to cognitive problems.
Dehydration can also cause mental fog. So, if you’re not drinking enough water throughout the day, that could be why you’re feeling fuzzy-headed.
Now that we know what brain fog is and what causes it let’s move on to how to deal with it.
How to Deal With Brain Fog
There are a number of things you can do to combat mental fog and improve your brain function in the long run.
Here are 13 simple tips:
1) Trace it back to the source.
The first step to dealing with brain fog is to try and identify the source. If you can find out what’s causing your cognitive problems, it’ll be easier to treat them.
- Are you not getting enough sleep?
- Are you feeling particularly stressed lately?
- Have you changed any medications recently?
Answering these questions can help you get to the bottom of your mental fog.
If you can’t seem to figure out the cause, it might be a good idea to see a doctor. They can help you run some tests and rule out any underlying health conditions.
Once you know what’s causing your brain fog, you can start taking steps to treat it.
2) Rule out medical causes.
As we mentioned, there are a number of medical or health conditions that can lead to mental fog.
So, if you’re experiencing cognitive problems and you can’t seem to identify the source, it’s best to see a doctor. They can help you rule out any underlying health issues.
Some standard tests they might run include blood tests, thyroid tests, and brain scans.
If you do have a medical condition that’s causing your brain fog, treating the underlying condition will usually help improve your cognitive function.
However, even if you don’t have a medical condition, there are still things you can do to combat brain fog.
Keep reading for more tips.
3) Get more quality sleep.
One of the best things you can do for your brain function and central nervous system is getting enough quality sleep.
When you sleep, your brain gets a chance to rest and repair itself. So, if you’re not getting enough sleep, it can lead to problems with focus, memory, and concentration.
A new study suggests that sleep deprivation is a common cause of brain fog. So, if you’re not getting enough sleep, that could be why you’re feeling fuzzy-headed.
To improve your sleep, make sure you’re sleeping in a dark, quiet room. Avoid using electronics in bed and try to stick to a regular sleep schedule.
If you have trouble falling asleep, there are a number of things you can do to help, such as taking a warm bath or reading a book before bed.
Making these simple changes can make a big difference in your cognitive functioning.
But if you’re still having trouble sleeping despite following these recommendations, you might have a sleep disorder, which you should get checked by a specialist.
4) Get some exercise.
Exercise is not only good for your physical health, but it’s also great for your brain functions and reduces brain fog.
Studies have shown that exercise can help improve focus, memory, and concentration as it improves the flow of red blood cells to the brain.
It can also help reduce stress and anxiety, which can lead to brain fog.
So, if you’re feeling fuzzy-headed, try going for a walk, going for a run, or even just doing some light stretching.
You don’t have to go to the gym to get exercise. Just getting up and moving around is a great way to improve your cognitive function.
If you’re not sure how to get started, there are a number of resources available, such as free exercise or training videos online and fitness apps.
5) Spend less time on your computer or mobile phone.
Spending too much time on your computer or mobile phone can lead to eye strain and headaches, which can contribute to brain fog.
So, if you want to improve your brain function, it’s a good idea to take a break from screens.
Try setting a limit for yourself and spending less time on your devices.
You can also try using apps or software that limit your screen time.
And, when you are using your devices, make sure to take breaks every 20 minutes or so to avoid eyestrain.
6) Revamp your diet.
What you eat can have a big impact on your immune system and cognitive functioning.
Eating a healthy diet is important for maintaining a sharp mind.
So, if you’re looking to improve your brain fog, it’s best to focus on eating whole, nutritious foods.
That means filling up on fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats.
And it’s also important to limit your intake of processed foods, sugary drinks, and alcohol.
These simple dietary changes can help improve your brain fog and help you feel more alert and focused.
If you’re not sure where to start, there are a number of resources available, such as healthy cooking books and online recipes.
Making these simple changes to your diet can make a big difference in your brain function.
7) Rehydrate all the time.
Dehydration can lead to a number of problems, including brain fog.
So, it’s important to make sure you’re drinking enough water throughout the day.
The best way to stay hydrated is to drink eight glasses of water a day.
But, if you’re struggling to drink that much water, there are a number of things you can do to make it easier.
For example, you can try carrying a water bottle with you everywhere you go or setting reminders on your phone to drink water.
You can also try adding fruits and vegetables to your diet, as they contain high levels of water.
Making these simple changes can help improve your brain fog and help you feel more alert and focused.
8) Consider supplementation.
Brain fog is often caused by nutritional deficiencies. So, if you’re struggling with mental fog, it’s a good idea to consider supplementation.
There are a number of supplements that can help improve cognitive functioning, such as omega-three fatty acids, B-vitamins, and magnesium.
These supplements can help improve focus, memory, and concentration.
So, if you’re looking to improve your brain fog, we recommend that you talk to your doctor about supplementation.
They can help you figure out which supplements are right for you and how much you should take.
9) Avoid cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs.
Cigarettes and alcohol can cause dehydration, which can lead to brain fog.
And drugs can have a number of negative side effects, including brain fog.
So, if you’re looking to improve your brain function, it’s best to avoid these substances.
There are a number of resources available to help you quit smoking, drinking, or abusing any substances, such as counseling, online programs, and support groups.
10) Develop a stress management plan.
Stress can have a number of negative side effects, including brain fog.
So, it’s important to develop a stress management plan.
There are a number of things you can do to manage your stress, such as the following:
- aerobic exercise
- deep breathing exercises
- getting some sun
- doing things you enjoy
- getting a massage
- laughing with a friend or loved one
You can also try journaling or talking to a friend or family member about your stress.
11) Spend time in nature.
Spending time in nature can help improve your brain fog.
There are a number of things you can do to connect with nature, such as the following:
- walking in the park
- sitting in the sun
So, if you’re looking for ways to improve your brain fog, it’s a good idea to spend some time in nature.
12) Train your brain with fun activities and games.
You can also fight brain fog and improve your cognitive functioning by training your brain with fun activities, such as learning a new language that you like and playing games.
There are a number of apps and websites that offer brain-training exercises, such as the following:
- Fit Brains Trainer
- Brain Games
So, if you’re looking for ways to improve your brain fog, it’s best to try some of these brain-training exercises.
13) Consider therapy.
If you’re struggling with brain fog, it’s good to consider therapy.
There are a number of different types of therapy that can help, such as the following:
- cognitive-behavioral therapy
- eye movement desensitization and reprocessing
So, if you’re looking for ways to improve your brain fog, we recommend talking to your doctor about therapy.
Brain fog can be overwhelming, frustrating, and debilitating.
It can affect your productivity at work negatively and impact your relationships as well as goals in life significantly.
Thankfully, you can make some lifestyle changes to deal with brain fog naturally and take back your mental clarity.