Five Ways to Banish Brain Fog
I don’t know about you, but summertime is a time where I slow waaaaaay down. For me, it’s the perfect time for sitting in the shade by a river with a book or my most recent light lacy crochet project. Here in Colorado, surrounded by outdoor enthusiasts, that sentiment can sound positively lazy. YES!!
The downside of the “summer is for slowing down” perspective is that the slow pace and lots of naps can leave me with brain fog. Does that happen to you? My sister refers to the time between stirring out of a deep sleep and the first few jolts of caffeine as “staring straight ahead time.”
You know, that feeling. You struggle to find the next word in a simple sentence, or you struggle to decide what’s next. When lost in brain fog, about the best you can do is stare straight ahead.
As part of my on-going quest to learn new ways of living my life, I am attempting to banish my brain fog by changing my routines. Here are a few things that have worked, so far:
- Put a pen to paper. My journal sits right next to my rocking chair where I land in the morning for my first cup of coffee. Emptying my mind of ponderings and worries helps clear the slate for the day ahead.
- Touch base with creativity. Brain maps are a huge thinking-tool for me. A harebrained idea can gain substance and complex ideas take shape when I put my colored pencils to paper. Ideas are ephemeral; mind maps bring them into concrete form.
- Focus the mind. I like to crochet – a lot. Not only does it give me a chance to be creative when I design my own work, it also gives me zone-out time. Focusing on counting stitches focuses my mind. As much as I’d like to say I meditate daily, this is as close as it gets.
- Create a new challenge. I can learn software through Lynda.com, I can expose myself to new ideas through TED talks and podcasts, and I can read books that force me to consider different perspectives. For a while I tried Duolingo, an app that helps you learn a new language, but it dropped off the radar. Perhaps learning a new language will return to my world when I’m ready to step up to that challenge.
- Get the body in motion. It might mean I go for a short walk, or putt around in my garden, or stretch with my Qi Gong DVD. Weekly, I’m committed to bicycling to my outdoor office. So much of my life is spent with words that I find it especially useful to seek balance by focusing on the physical.
Like you, I’m a work in progress. These are only small steps that I am taking to be more intentional about my life. I invite you to try one or more of these ideas and comment below about your experience. What works for you?