Brain fog is a symptom of many chronic illnesses and chronic pain. The cognitive symptoms of Fibro Fog are well known in fibromyalgia. Just seems that when we get ill and our bodies get fatigued or are fighting pain, or both, add in some lack of sleep… you get brain fog.
I listed some of them there but really there can be more. For example, transposing numbers is also transposing letters so we can spell words wrong frequently. As well as, of course, forgetting words and then using the wrong word. And massive concentration issues. I used to be a disorganized person. One might say I am by nature and inclination. However, brain fog has made me become, to the best of my ability, an organized one. I have to be because I at times forget things I Know, so I need to have little notes of things I need to access on a daily basis for those blank-out times. It is a constant frustration to think through this fuzzy, muddled head. Not to mention the damn typo brain causing tiny errors you have to hunt down.
There are a few tips we can keep in mind that can help out with fibro fog during the day:
You knew I was going to say that right? It is always on the list. But indeed it helps boost our mental clarity. Even just a 20 min walk. In fact, if you are working and you find your concentration is shot try getting up and taking a short walk around, sometimes the act of changing activities to motion and then getting back at it can stimulate the brain.
Eat regularly and snack
Do not skip meals. In fact, have regular snacks between meals. Snacks really help maintain your energy and you will find it helps with mental fatigue.
Change activities or tasks
Sometimes the act of changing what you are doing, shifting the brain from one activity to another can help clear your mind. Then go back to your task and you may find your mind more focused.
This may be difficult if you have insomnia or pain or both, but good quality sleep also helps with combating mental fatigue. Something to consider is a sleep study just in case you have something like sleep apnea which can cause daytime sleepiness, irritation but also poor concentration. Also maintain good sleep hygiene.
I personally use B12 and Rhodiola for mental clarity and fatigue. I get the B12 from a B complex, so all my Bs.
Stress also can be a cause of increasing our brain fog so reducing it is beneficial. One way to help reduce it is with such things as deep breathing exercises and meditation. Even if it is just some short deep breathing exercises during the day to calm yourself down.
I do meditation every morning. And deep breathing exercises throughout the day.
Routine is our friend
Established routines help reduce our stress by taking away any stress associated with being flustered or in a rush. It helps maintain balance in the body. It is also beneficial to make lists and reminders to help us remember things, as again this takes stress off of us when we might have issues remembering non-routine events and appointments.
And to help with remembering things in your daily routine use calendars, phone reminders and alarms, a planner- whatever method will help ease the pressure of events that are not routine and help you remember them.
It has been established in studies that the brain actually works better when we focus on one thing… I suspect a lot better for those of us with chronic illness and issues with brain fog. So avoid this inclination of multitasking.
Take breaks as needed as we can overextend ourselves and small breaks can be greatly beneficial
Do a medication check
There are medications that can cause mental fatigue and overall fatigue and if it is an issue that is of concern see if it is a side effect you are dealing with and ask your doctor about it. If you find your mental and physical fatigue has been significantly worse lately this is something you should talk to your doctor about.