I’m in a complete brain fog lately. On my weekly email, I recently mentioned how July 4th messed up my mental calendar. Well, it messed it up so completely that I got ahead of schedule and tried to drop my son off at preschool camp a week early.
We did have fun at the playground instead, and my son is the champion of rolling with not-so-great surprises, but still, I was a little worried about myself.
In short, it’s summer and my brain has turned to mush.
Truthfully, taking my son to preschool camp on the wrong day was really just one of the things I’ve forgotten lately. On our day trips to see family, I could guarantee I left something essential behind, and I told my husband it was the Day of Me Forgetting Everything. (Mark your calendars, it’s being held annually on July first!)
And just before I wrote this post, I reached in the fridge for my coffee and started to grab my daughter’s sippy cup of milk instead.
I’m blaming summer for this behavior…which is dangerous, because what will I do when Fall hits and I don’t know what day it is?
It’s too hot to think, and it’s too unstructured to plan. So as I’m trying to keep the house relatively clean and the kids somewhat entertained and fed, while I’m trying to combat boredom and mom guilt and lack of sleep, I’m also trying to stay sane and soak up memories and remember how old I am.
It’s a difficult task.
I gathered all my best tips, chose ones that are feasible for busy moms, and came up with a pretty epic list of tips to fight brain fog.
20+ Tips to Get Mentally Sharp and Rock Mom Life (even in the summer)
Eating for Nutrition
Let’s talk about what goes in our bodies. I was recently struck by the words of an herbalist who wrote, “eat for nutrition” and it was much more of a ground-breaking thought for me than it should have been. These basic (but hard-to-master) tips will help keep your mind clear, focused, and calm, too.
For mental fitness, experts say to avoid
- refined carbohydrates
- too much caffeine
For mental fitness, experts say you’ve gotta have
- water: drink lots of it! Hypothetically, a person could develop kidney stones just from not staying hydrated. But I wouldn’t know…
- one of those healthy, well-balanced diets
- brain-loving foods like
avocados, blueberries, salmon, broccoli, cauliflower, dark chocolate, coconut oil, and turmeric
When your body is healthy, your brain is much healthier too. As a mom, I know these three things are so much more challenging than they sound, but they’re a must for staying sharp!
- sleep: 8+ hours a night (new moms, I feel your pain!)
- physical activity: When you’re physically active, your brain releases all the happy endorphins. Run around with those kiddos, even when it’s hard!
- hormonal balance: see a doctor if you have concerns about your hormonal health (thyroid, allergy testing are good places to start)
Mental Health Tips
Ladies, we’ve got to take better care of our minds. The Bible is full of wisdom about this, but I’ll just sum it up by saying guard your hearts and minds (Php. 4:7), and think about lovely and pure things (Php. 4:8).
It means taking an honest look at what we’re allowing to influence our minds as well as what we’re actively doing with them. To stay mentally healthy…
- pray and meditate
- avoid entertainment that’s violent, obscene, etc.
- limit your screen time
- choose positive entertainment
- get out in nature, breathe in some fresh air, and soak in the sunshine
- journal the events of the day, your feelings, and what you’re thankful for
- read something you enjoy
- do something fun every day
Memory & Focusing Tips
Simply put, it takes brain power to increase your brain power. Put your mind to enhancing your memory and focusing skills, and you’ll reap the benefits in real-life situations when your brain would otherwise fail you.
- Take time to focus. You will perform your tasks better if you’re concentrating on what you’re doing. I’m really guilty of multi-tasking, but all signs point to the fact that I need to slow down and do one thing at a time.
- Ignore your phone. If your smart phone is distracting (errrr….I mean, because it totally is) change the settings on your apps to alert you only when you really want to be bothered.
- Use reminders on your smart phone if you have an app that works for you. You can also just tell Siri or Google Assistant to remind you about something and you won’t have to open an app.
- Memorize scripture, a biblical practice that also keeps you sharp and mentally healthy!
- Get a planner or add events to your online calendar…just find the method you like and stick with it. For me, sometimes it’s helpful to have things on paper, because using my phone to enter essential information means seeing emails, social media pings, and LOTS of things that can distract me before I even open my calendar. Plus, I’d rather my kids see me looking at a planner than looking at my phone.
- Do a brain dump before bed – it helps me to write down the things I want to remember tomorrow or anything that’s on my mind before I go to sleep for the night.
- Play brain-boosting games. Try a sudoku, crossword, a trivia game, or an app like Lumosity.
- Use white noise to help you concentrate or sleep…here’s what I think of Relaxio’s White Noise app for Android.
- Set things to automatic whenever possible: set your bills to autopay electronically, have your vitamins or other household items sent to you on a schedule, etc.
Mental health and fitness includes a huge umbrella of potential influences. Focus on what you can do and tackle these ideas one at a time.
Full disclosure: I’m currently doing 8 of these. We’re in this together, right? If you’re staying sharp, you’ve gotta share as much as possible about how you’re doing it.
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