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Brain Fog and how to deal with it!

A topic I address with a lot of my students throughout the years has been on the topic of brain fog and concentration. Brain fog can make studying and working life difficult, which in turn can cause anxiety in all areas of life. It is so important to talk about how you are feeling and the struggles you are facing- to move away from this difficult phase you perhaps find yourself in. It is my passion to help you get where you want/need to be in this journey of life.

I have many students all from different walks of life, men and women who at times during their career they feel 'stuck' and more often than not it is due to their ability to think clearly and focus on the bigger picture.

Some Symptoms of Brain Fog sometimes described as feeling 'cloudy' :

  1. Memory issues

  2. Difficultly with focus and thinking clearly

  3. Tiredness

  4. Slow thinking

Some of the reasons we may experience brain fog:

  1. Stress - Stress due to daily challenges, deadlines, life events can all add stress and affect our brains and how we process information. The brain can only take so much and so added stress will take its toll. Stress can also create physical symptoms such as headaches, sinus pain, stomach aches etc etc!

  2. Tiredness - During sleep, our bodies are working hard to repair from the day and to support a healthy brain function together with physical health. It helps with hormone balances, emotional tiredness and general wellbeing. Sleep is vital and can be a huge factor in brain fog. Looking deeper, it can have an all-round effect on our stress and our hormones. So stress really is a key factor in all areas of our lives... it often starts from stress. Stop for a moment....and assess how stress is causing lots of different issues in your life. Sometimes identifying those can be the biggest breakthrough. Be honest with yourself.

  3. Hormonal changes - Shifts in hormones such as menopause, perimenoupause, can all lead to brain fog. This is a topic I am really passionate about as I have been there! The days when nothing makes sense and you just feel so tearful with lack of motivation. For me, stress was a big factor that controlled my life - living in fight or flight for too long certainly effected my hormones. Of course, this is not just for women - men can also be effected by hormone changes or supporting a partner that is going through hormone changes. Many students who are taking exams are effected by hormones in one way or another. It is a topic I feel is not addressed enough in schools and colleges but one in which if it was understood, would help with a variety of issues we all find ourselves in.

  4. Diet - What we eat plays a major role in feeling foggy. Vitamin B12 supports a healthy brain function and a deficiency in this can lead to brain fog. Eating a well balanced diet helps with all the issues listed above. We need to fuel our bodies with good food. It is so important! Staying hydrated is also very important to make sure our uptake on fluids is supporting our bodies.

Things to help

  1. Diet - Take some time to think about what you are eating and how you could improve. What times are you eating and when are you taking breaks?

  2. Journalling - every morning or evening put some thoughts down on paper- I am a big believer that getting things down on paper helps to identify what issues we are really dealing with and how we feel about them. Journalling is personal to you - you may want to use colour, shapes, flow diagrams, or just simply words.

  3. Sleep - Having a good sleep routine does wonders - my favourite is to light a candle and play some night time meditation music an hour before its time to turn the lights off. This means no mobile phones or screen time!! Try turning your mobile off or turning the notifications off- I challenge you to start doing this day by day - you will be absolutely amazed at the results.

  4. Worklife balance routine - It all starts with a plan. I help students and business owners find a good worklife balance - having a mentor is important when you are dealing with stress as it really focuses the mind and gives you some clarity. Sometimes, it is just nice knowing you have someone to talk to outside the circle of family and work who will listen and someone you can bounce ideas off. Think of it like your own private life PA. One who will help structure the dreams and goals you have in life.

  5. Exercise - Even if it is just a walk in nature - 30 mins a day with some fresh air and exercise is all it takes to get this good habit into a daily routine. You will notice a difference when you stop doing it for sure!

Brain fog may occur for a number of reasons, some medical and some due to lifestyle habits but it is important to talk. If you feel it is due to hormones then again this can be addressed with help from your GP or simply talking it out. Our bodies are constantly changing and we need to adapt to the pressures of life. Filling our cups up once in a while is crucial for our mental and physical well-being.

You are not alone in any of this - it really is important to speak up about the challenges you are facing. Take exams, building a career or a business really can add pressures in all areas of our lives so it is important to have a clear plan which will help you achieve those goals you have in place.

For help and support please do get in contact either via my website or via Merinda's Mentoring, Life Coaching & Study Services fb page.

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