Written by Dr. Valentina Quintana MD on
May 18, 2022
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Medically Reviewed by our Medical Affairs Team

Written by Dr. Valentina Quintana MD on:

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Have you been having trouble with productivity lately and can’t seem to focus on anything?

You’re not alone. A lot of people are experiencing brain fog right now, especially those who have been affected by the covid-19 virus, even after they have healed.

Brain fog can be frustrating and debilitating, but there are steps you can take to get back your mental clarity and keep your brain healthy and sharp in the long run.

In this blog post, we’re going to discuss how to overcome brain fog in 14 simple ways. So, read on to learn more.

What is brain fog, exactly?

Brain fog or mental fog is a term used to describe the feeling of mental fatigue, confusion, and forgetfulness.

It can affect your ability to focus, make decisions, solve problems, remember things, and be productive.

This mild cognitive impairment usually lasts for a few days to a couple of weeks, but recently, people who suffer from long covid have experienced brain fog for months.

There are many possible causes of brain fog, including:

  • Stress
  • Sleep deprivation 
  • Poor diet
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Hormone imbalances
  • Covid-19
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Lyme disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Medication and treatments (e.g., chemo brain)

Also, the symptoms of brain fog vary from person to person, but the most common ones are the following: 

  • Lack of focus and concentration
  • Poor memory
  • Trouble solving problems
  • Slower thinking processes
  • Indecisiveness
  • Disorganization
  • Fatigue

If you have been feeling any of these symptoms, then you might be suffering from brain fog.

And remember that it is always better to consult a doctor to check if you have any health condition that is the underlying cause of your cognitive dysfunction.

But don’t worry; there are steps you can take to overcome brain fog and improve your overall brain health.

How to Overcome Brain Fog and Improve Cognitive Function

Here are 14 simple tips that can help you get rid of brain fog and improve your brain function:

1) Sleep efficiently

One of the best things you can do for your brain is to get enough sleep.

Having a poor sleep quality can cause brain fog as it affects your ability to focus and pay attention, as well as your decision-making skills and memory.

To sleep better, establish a regular sleep schedule, create a relaxing bedtime routine, and avoid caffeine and screen time before bed.

You should also make sure that your sleeping environment is dark, quiet, and cool.

2) Rehydrate often

Dehydration can cause brain fog as it leads to fatigue, headaches, and poor concentration. So, make sure you’re drinking enough water throughout the day.

The recommended daily intake of water is about eight glasses, but it can vary depending on your age, gender, activity level, and climate.

If you live in a hot climate or exercise often, you will need to drink more water than the average person.

Also, keep in mind that other drinks like coffee and alcohol can dehydrate you, so it’s important to limit your intake of them.

Instead, focus on drinking lots of water and other healthy fluids like herbal tea and vegetable juices.

3) Eat brain-friendly meals

What you eat has a direct impact on your central nervous system and overall cognitive function.

So, make sure you’re eating plenty of brain-friendly foods like omega-three fatty acids, antioxidants, and B-vitamins to strengthen your immune system.

Omega-three fatty acids are found in oily fish like salmon and mackerel, as well as in nuts and seeds.

Antioxidants are found in fruits and vegetables, especially dark leafy greens, berries, and tomatoes, for healthy red blood cells.

And B-vitamins are found in poultry, eggs, whole grains, and legumes.

In addition to eating brain-healthy foods, you should also avoid processed foods, sugary drinks, and excessive amounts of caffeine.

These can all lead to inflammation, which has been linked to damaging brain cells and risks of cognitive decline.

So, focus on eating lots of fresh, whole foods and avoid anything that comes in a box or package.

4) Avoid alcohol and drugs

While a glass of wine or beer might seem like an excellent way to relax, alcohol and drugs can actually have the opposite effect and often trigger brain fog.

They can lead to dehydration, disrupt your sleep, affect your mood and psychological function, and mess with your blood pressure.

So, it’s best to avoid them altogether. If you do drink alcohol, make sure you do so in moderation and stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

The same goes for drugs. If you’re taking any medication, make sure you talk to your doctor about how it might affect your cerebral function.

And avoid illegal drugs, as they can have serious side effects on your brain health.

5) Consider supplementation

If you’re not getting enough nutrients from your diet, you might want to consider taking supplements that are great for brain functions.

Some good options include omega-3 fatty acids, B-vitamins, and magnesium.

Omega-three supplements can help improve mental function and overall cognitive health.

B-vitamins are essential for energy production and they can also help improve cerebral function.

And magnesium is a mineral that’s involved in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body, including those that impact brain function.

So, if you’re not getting enough of these nutrients from your diet, supplements can be a good option.

Just make sure to talk to your doctor before starting any supplement regimen.

6) Exercise regularly

Exercise is not only good for your physical health, but it’s also excellent for your cognitive health.

Regular aerobic exercise has been linked to improved mental function, memory, and concentration.

It can also help reduce stress and anxiety, which can both lead to brain fog.

So, make sure you’re getting at least 30 minutes of exercise every day.

And if you can, try to get outside for a walk or run in nature. The fresh air and vitamin D will do wonders for your cerebral health.

7) Manage underlying health conditions

If you have any underlying health conditions, it’s essential to manage them effectively.

Conditions like diabetes, thyroid disorders, and sleep apnea can all lead to brain fog.

So, if you have any of these conditions, make sure you’re working with your doctor to manage them properly.

This may include following a specific diet, taking medication, or using a CPAP machine to treat sleep apnea.

By managing your underlying health conditions, you can help reduce brain fog and improve your overall mental function.

8) Spend time in nature

Spending time in nature has been linked to improved mental well-being and mental function.

So, if you can, try to get outside for a walk or hike in the park.

Or simply spend time surrounded by plants and trees.

The fresh air and natural scenery will do wonders for your mental health.

9) Manage your stress levels

Stress can have a major impact on your psychological function.

It can lead to brain fog, memory problems, and difficulty concentrating, and it often manifests in physical ailments.

So, it’s important to find ways to manage your stress levels. 

This may include exercise, meditation, and spending time in nature.

You can also try to reduce stress by simplifying your life and setting boundaries with family and friends.

By managing your stress levels, you can help improve your overall cognitive health.

10) Take breaks throughout the day

When you’re feeling foggy, it’s important to take breaks throughout the day.

This may include taking a few minutes to yourself to relax and clear your head.

Or, it may mean getting up and moving around for a bit.

Taking breaks will help you avoid burnout and improve your overall cerebral function.

11) Refrain from multi-tasking

Multi-tasking can lead to increased stress levels, and it can make it difficult to concentrate.

So, if you’re feeling foggy-headed, try to focus on one task at a time.

This will help you avoid burnout and improve your overall productivity.

12) Train your brain

There are various brain-training exercises you can do to improve your cognitive function.

This may include memory games, Sudoku, and crosswords.

By training your brain, you can help improve your overall mental function and keep brain fog at bay.

13) Stay socially active

Staying socially active is important for your mental well-being.

It can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, all of which can lead to brain fog.

So, make sure you’re staying connected with family and friends, even if it’s just online.

You can also join social clubs or groups that interest you or help you cultivate your hobbies and your advocacies in life.

By staying socially active, you can help improve your overall mental health and reduce brain fog.

14) Seek professional help

If you’re struggling with severe brain fog or your brain fog has been taking so long, it’s important to seek professional help.

This may include seeing a therapist or counselor who can help you manage stress and anxiety.

You can also see a doctor to rule out any underlying health conditions that may be causing your brain fog.

By seeking professional help, you can get to the root of your problem and find ways to improve your overall mental health.

The Bottom Line

Brain fog is a common problem that can lead to cognitive issues, especially in memory, focus, and concentration. 

But there are ways to overcome it.

By following the tips above, you can help improve your overall brain function and overcome brain fog.

If you want to learn more about brain fog and how to heal it naturally, check out these resources that we have on the topic and feel free to join this discussion in this fantastic online community of brain health advocates. 

Join The Mental Health Community You've Been Dreaming Of

This discord family is a safe place where we can all (anonymously if we choose) talk about and seek help for what is going on in our heads.

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