How many of us have experienced brain fatigue? What do you do when you realize you’re experiencing a brain overload? In our last post, we briefly discussed some symptoms a mental exhaustion can cause. Now that we’re aware our snappy attitude and lack of ambition can be due to brain fatigue, how do we overcome that?
Table of Contents
- What is brain fatigue?
- Why is awareness of mental exhaustion important?
- How do I make time to overcome a brain overload?
- How to overcome brain fatigue
What is brain fatigue?
Brain fatigue is when we become exhausted due to due prolonged cognitive activities. Simply put, we become tired and may even lose productivity. This can manifest in different ways, but the overall results are the same.
Why is awareness of mental exhaustion important?
In life, we need breaks. Whether it’s from our job, or exercising, or even your spouse! We need time for our bodies to repair. Unfortunately, we can’t visibly see our mental health, and as a result, we can ignore what our bodies are craving. If we ignore the cries from our brains, we can harm ourselves more. It might sound counter-intuitive to stop a project to rejuvenate, but the truth is, it’s very important that we allow our brains to take a needed break when it’s asking for it. Allowing ourselves to regenerate will allow for more productivity in the end.
How do I make time to overcome a brain overload?
The largest problem most of us will encounter is time. Where is the time? How do we find the time? How do we make the time? The great thing about the tips listed below, they take almost little-to-no time. We can easily incorporate them into our already busy schedules. You’ll be thrilled to learn how simple it is to squeeze some me-time into your day. Your brain will thank you!
How to overcome brain fatigue
1.) Think of 3 things to be grateful for
It’s easy to get wrapped up in daily to-do lists and not focus on our surroundings. Focusing on the negative can cause a resentment if things are one-sided, but with some time, it’s easy to fix. Try setting three reminders throughout your day to think of something grateful. Don’t be too hard on yourself if it takes a while to come up with something. I believed I had to think of new things every day. It became more stressful than good. It’s ok to remind yourself to be grateful for the same things, you’ll find your brain fog lifting in no time!
2.) Window shopping
Shopping releases dopamine in our brains and it gives us a sense of relief. Of course, we don’t live in a time where we have unlimited bank accounts (probably why we’re stressed) but looking at things that give us pleasure can have the same effect. While you’re shopping for groceries or new clothes for the school season, allow yourself some extra time to wander past things that make you happy! Take a look at your Amazon cart, but don’t look at the price. Just the pretty things that you want so much!
3.) Focus on your breathing
Have you ever realized you were holding your breath while you were tense? When you get nervous or you’re stressed, does your breathing change? We breathe all the time and yet it is something that we can take for granted. You don’t have to change your schedule for this tip either. When you notice you’re stressed, take a moment to focus on your breathing; there are a variety of exercises to help you relax. My favorite by far is 4-7-8, breath in for 4 seconds, hold for 7 and release for 8 seconds. You’ll feel relaxed in no time!
4.) Take a little longer in the bathroom
Full disclosure, I used to hate when people would lock themselves in the bathroom. However, I’ve recently discovered why people do it. There already comes a sense of privacy and boundaries when someone is in the bathroom. Except for little people who might not understand just yet, there’s a level of respect that the bathroom demands and I suggest we take advantage. Don’t leave the second you finish wiping, enjoy a few more minutes! In fact, you could focus on your breathing (maybe a light a candle first), two birds with one stone.
Exercising is a great way to relieve some stress and tap into our bodies, but it’s something that is easily overlooked. If rearranging your schedule is out of the question, choose to take the healthiest routes for your everyday activities. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk to the train or the store, or run around with the kids! Lift a basket of laundry as weights; as long as you get your body moving, your brain will follow.
6.) Schedule your wants and needs
If you’re anything like me, you are routine, routine, routine. I even pencil in an hour every week to make my schedules. While my days are jam-packed, some things are more important and should be scheduled accordingly. Make your wants a priority and give your brain a break from what it decides is a priority.
7.) Take a real lunch break
How many of us skip lunch all together? We have a lunch break for a reason and we should take advantage. Our brains need breaks and food, a lunch break accomplishes both. Savor your food and let your brain wonder. Apply any of the recent tips: something grateful, breathing, look on Amazon or anything that will provide you with a little peace.
8.) Take Advantage of Commuting
Sometimes, commuting can feel wasteful, especially when you’re stuck in traffic. It’s easy to get stuck in a never-ending loop of what-if’s and could-be’s, instead of the what-is. If you take public transportation, this is a great opportunity to window shop, journal or even take a nap. If you’re the one driving, your options are a little more limited; however, you can still listen to podcasts, audiobooks or focus on your breathing for a brief meditation session.
9.) Listen to Podcasts/Audio Books
Humans are not as good as we think we are at multitasking. We simply cannot perform two new tasks successfully at the same time, so use this tip wisely. Take the opportunity when you’re commuting, cleaning, or doing other mindless tasks to listen to that book you’ve been dying to read. Or listen to your favorite playlist, get out of your head and into your zone. Your brain fog will leave before you know it!
10.) Face and hair masks in between laundry
This tip is a personal favorite of mine. Of course, we all like to look pretty and it’s hard to squeeze time in for a mani/pedi and facial. A great tip is to do it increments along with your daily flow. Once you put a load in the washing machine, wash your face and exfoliate. At the next break, apply the mask, then peel, wash and dry. At the end of the day, your laundry will be done and your face will glow!
There we have it! 10 unique ways to squeeze in some me-time during your day. Are there any tips we missed? What are your favorites? Drop a comment below and stay tuned for our next post!