Do you ever feel like you just can’t focus on anything? Everybody feels foggy from time to time, but if you feel mentally fatigued more often than not, you might find it next to impossible to concentrate on important day-to-day tasks. There’s no reason to go through life feeling unfocused, though. These tips are easy to implement, and they can make a big difference to your mental clarity, so see if any of them work for you.
1. Get your blood pumping.
Have you been slacking on your workouts lately? A sedentary lifestyle can be a major contributor to brain fog. Fortunately, this problem is easy to fix. As little as 30 minutes of activity every day can help you feel like yourself again. If you’re not much of a gym-goer, try taking a brisk walk, playing tennis with a friend, or enjoying the fresh air on your bicycle.
2. Feed your brain.
Feeling slow? Your diet might be to blame. Your brain needs a steady supply of energy to function well, so try to work more complex carbs (like brown rice, oatmeal, and whole-wheat pasta) into your diet. Avoid eating lots of processed grains and sugar, which can negatively affect your blood sugar and energy levels.
3. Get enough sleep.
It’s a given that you won’t be able to focus when you’re running on four hours of sleep. Most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep a night, and coffee just can’t make up for sleep deprivation. If you aren’t sleeping enough, try making it a priority for the next week – you might be surprised at how much better you feel.
Nothing can wreck your concentration like constant stress or worry. It’s not always possible to avoid stress, but if you want to stay focused, do whatever you can to manage your worry levels. Take a few minutes every day to meditate, read, talk to a friend, or do something else that relaxes you.
5. Get organized.
Unsurprisingly, it’s hard to focus when you feel scatterbrained. If you’re disorganized, take a day or a weekend to restore order to your life – whether that means physically or mentally. When you’re not frantically trying to remember where you put your keys or what your boss asked you to do yesterday, you’ll have a lot more mental bandwidth to focus on the important stuff.
6. Be careful with caffeine.
It’s okay to drink coffee or tea, but exercise some moderation. If you overdo it, you could end up feeling jittery and wired for a few hours, only to crash later on. Stick to one or two cups a day to keep your energy levels steady.
7. Drink plenty of water.
Dehydration makes you feel worse physically, but did you know it can affect your mind, too? It’s common to feel foggy when you’re not drinking enough water, so make sure you’re getting your eight glasses a day.
8. Optimize your environment.
It’s hard to concentrate when your work area is messy or you keep getting interrupted by coworkers (or kids). You know yourself best, so think about what kind of environment you need to think clearly. Identify any external factors that are making it hard for you to focus, and think about how you can eliminate or work around them.
9. Take breaks.
Are you a high achiever? Make sure you’re not pushing yourself too hard. If you don’t give yourself time to rest and recharge, you could end up burning out. Even short breaks can be very helpful for restoring your mental clarity. Try standing up and stretching for five minutes after every hour of work.