Brain fog has become a recent buzz word related to prolonged viral infections. However, it is not a new phenomenon. In fact, brain fog has been around for quite some time. Brain fog is when your thinking is fuzzy, you may be forgetful or even confused. As we age, our brain and body go through changes which can make us more susceptible to brain fog.
What does brain fog look like?
Brain fog symptoms present as confusion, memory problems, an increase in the amount of time to process information, taking longer to focus or concentrate on a task, being uncertain about what tasks you have completed that day, forgetting appointments, or overall mental exhaustion.
What can contribute to brain fog?
There are many things that can impact our ability to think and process information readily. These can include things such as dehydration, nutritional deficiencies, infections, side effects of medications, lack of sleep, lack of movement or exercise, environmental toxins, or medical issues.
How can I reduce brain fog?
At Nestcare, our nurses will work with you to help you integrate these activities into your daily life to reduce brain fog. Our top five activities to reduce brain fog are:
Increase Your Hydration
Our brains are over 75% water so hydration is critically important to processing information. Hydration can impact many things such as visual-spatial processing, how quickly you can make decisions, memory and attention. It can be easy to become dehydrated (especially when you are dealing with brain fog) and forget how much water intake you need. As we age our interoception (the sensory system that sends messages about hunger and thirst) can slow down. To combat this, try using a water bottle so that you can easily keep track of your intake. If you struggle with drinking plain water, add some fruits and vegetables to your water for additional nutrients as well.
Improve Your Sleep
How much or how little we sleep can impact our brain processing as well. As we age, our internal clocks change and we may get up earlier than before. Developing a sleep routine can help you fall asleep easier, and improve the quality of your sleep. Decreasing electronic use in the evening, sleeping in a cool and darkened environment, and going to bed at a consistent time all can impact the quality of your sleep. Having adequate sleep can reduce brain fog as well.
Reduce Environmental Toxins
Environmental toxins are all around us. Toxins from chemicals and plastics find their way into the air and water supply. Many of these toxins act as endocrine disruptors and can confuse your brain as they are similar to natural hormones and body chemicals. You can reduce your exposure to toxins by using water filtration systems, air filtration systems, cleaning with non-toxic products, reducing your plastic use, eating fresh, whole foods, and properly washing your produce as well.
Move Your Body More
Movement is critical to the brain and body functions including processing speed, thinking, coordination, and even memory. So get moving! The best way to increase your daily movement is to begin with a simple goal. This can be to move your body for 20 min per day. Make sure to check with your healthcare provider before starting a new exercise program. Next, you will track each day that you move for 20 min per day. Walking is a great way to build your brain and works well for most clients. Integrating cross-lateral movements into your daily routine is another brain boosting movement.
Incorporate Brain Boosting Activities
Did you know that there are fun activities you can do that also build your brain and reduce brain fog? As a Nestcare home health client you will participate in our trademarked MINDSBOX program. This program is unique in that each month your care provider will deliver a box which contains activities to build your brain and reduce brain fog. The MINDSBOX includes instructions for the activities which cover the areas of Movement, Intellect, Nutrition, Dexterity, and Sensory. Using things such as puzzles, mazes, word searches, and sensory activities can all support the reduction of brain fog. Combining movement with games is also a great way to reduce brain fog and build your brain.
Overall, brain fog can be incredibly frustrating to deal with, and can make life more difficult. Incorporating activities into your daily routine to reduce brain fog are critical to improving your processing, cognition, and mind body balance.