If you feel like you can’t focus, feel detached and unfocused with a cloudy mind, feel tired even with plenty of sleep, or struggle to stay on task, you might be experiencing “brain fog.”
Brain fog can be caused by various issues, including depression, anxiety, and chronic stress. Research shows that it’s also a common symptom of long-Covid, presenting as deficits in memory and cognitive reasoning.
Even for those who have not contracted the Covid virus, due to the events of the last few years, it’s no wonder that so many people are dealing with mental health struggles – especially brain fog. Brain fog is a common byproduct of the stress and uncertainty many have endured.
We often see brain fog at our clinic, Calm San Diego, specializing in brain and nervous system health, holistically addressing symptoms associated with anxiety and stress.
- How are you sleeping? There’s no doubt living through a pandemic has been stressful. Stress can affect your sleep, which can lead to poor cognitive function.
- How is your social life? If you’re working from home or generally going out less, it can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation.
- How is your diet? Drinking more wine to cope with anxious feelings or indulging in comfort foods when you’re stressed can lead to brain fog and poor mental health.
Chinese Medicine - the concept of Dampness
Addressing Brain fog with Lifestyle and Diet Changes
Take a minute to recharge.
Stress, worrying, and overthinking can damage the spleen. If you’re working nonstop, constantly connected to your phone, or staring at screens all day, it can take a toll on your mental and physical wellbeing. Take regular mental breaks throughout the day, intentionally stay off your phone, and practice yoga or meditation to help your mind relax and recharge.
Enjoy warm foods.
Think of your digestive system as a fire. If you throw something cold on the fire, the fire will go out. If you throw something warm on the fire, it helps stroke it. Cold foods, even raw foods, can be hard on your digestive system and can diminish the function of the spleen. Warm foods, such as soups and cooked vegetables, help keep your digestive fire burning.
The spleen functions best when you create consistent patterns. Try to eat meals around the same time each day and avoid skipping meals. Take a break when you eat. Instead of scrolling your phone or working, enjoy your food and let your mind and body focus on digestion.
Create a sleep routine.
Get to sleep early enough to ensure you get 7-9 hours of sleep. Wake up around the same time each day to create a consistent sleep pattern.
Consider Chinese herbs.
Several Chinese herbs can nourish your spleen and support mental focus.
Acupuncture has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years to treat various conditions and improve whole-body and cognitive wellness. During the practice, thin needles are inserted into the skin at acupoints, stimulating the central nervous system and triggering the release of chemicals into the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These biochemical changes can stimulate the body’s natural ability to heal and promote overall health and wellbeing.
Specific acupuncture points can also help with mental clarity specifically.
• DU 20 (Bai Hui) can raise qi and yang, clear the mind, calm the spirit, and benefit the brain and sensory organs.
• Si Shen Cong can clear the mind, improve memory, and calm the spirit.
• ST40 (Stomach 40) is the main point used to clear pathogenic Dampness and water metabolism blockages and helps clear the mind and beat brain fog.
• GB 14 (Gallbladder 14) is a when you’re struggling to recall information
If you’re dealing with brain fog due to COVID, parenthood, or general stressors from our modern lives, taking a Chinese medicine approach can help you find balance and improve your health as a whole.