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How often have you started your day groggy and tired? Or, maybe you started out awake and lively, but by mid-morning you are tired, moody, and just want to take a nap. Do you find that your productivity at work is at risk as you sit there staring out into nothing? Brain fog is the feeling of fatigue, distraction, lack of motivation, or simply being in a haze.
Most workers experience brain fog at least once in their life, but for others it is a common occurrence which may lead to a feeling of being unaccomplished or worse, losing your job due to lack of motivation or productivity.
Unfortunately, in today’s fast-paced society, brain fog has become more common as we try to manage eight or more hours a day at work, raising kids, keeping up with extra-curricular activities, hobbies, and much more.
The average worker stays up later at night and wakes up earlier in the morning. In addition, today’s worker eats more processed foods, fats, and calories, yet are also nutrient deficient and lack consistent exercise.
Unfortunately, these life stressors add up to a breeding ground for brain fog. But that doesn’t mean you are stricken for life as a brain-fog-employee. There are lifestyle changes you can make—and they aren’t that hard—which can help you shed the fog and increase motivation and productivity.
Here are three tips to help you avoid brain fog and increase productivity:
Tip 1: Get a better night’s sleep.
Your sleep is a critical time to allow your brain to recover from the previous day and prepare for the next one. Sleep is closely tied to your mental health and your ability to maintain focus and practice critical thinking during the day.
To improve your sleep, develop a consistent routine of going to bed and waking up at the same time each day. You can make this stick by developing a wind-down routine that prepares you for bed with a warm bath, reading a book, and doing some light stretches.
Tip 2: Change your diet.
Diet quality is just as important to your overall health—and overcoming brain fog—as is a good night’s sleep. If your diet consists of fast food restaurants and meals-in-a-can then it is likely that you suffer from significant nutrient deficiencies. You’ll also take in more fats, refined carbs, and calories.
So, what do you do? For starters, focusing on nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables to get through your day instead of a candy bar will help you feel fuller as well as provide energy. Other simple ways to adjust your diet are eating your lightest meal at night, drinking one or two glasses of water prior to each meal, and cooking larger meals or simple crock-pot meals at home so you have home-cooked leftovers the following day instead of fatty fast-food.
Tip 3: Exercise more.
Did you know that exercising more does not mean you need to go to the gym every day or even three times a week? Simple changes to the way you run through your daily routine may actually provide plenty of exercise to keep your body strong and the brain fog away.
To add a little more exercise to your day, see if your employer will provide a stand-up desk, park in the farthest parking spot (trust me, it’ll be open), take the stairs as much as possible, and pack a lunch that will allow you to walk and eat at the same time. Taking the time for a little fresh air can also help boost your productivity once you return to work.
If you consider all these tips and make efforts to live a healthier lifestyle, you’ll start seeing the results in no time!