Is your brain still in holiday mode? Making the adjustment from beaches, sun and carefree relaxation to business-as-usual can be challenging. Whether it’s back to work blues or a case of brain fog, brain fatigue can be troublesome.

So what is Brain Fatigue?

Brain fatigue can be described as a condition of mental fogginess, burnout, or feeling tired. Many put this down to mild depression or simply getting old when really it is a symptom of the brain reaching a point of dysfunction for varying reasons. Stress, over-stimulation, lack of sleep, poor diet and lack of exercise all contribute to brain “glitches” but when not managed well, or when it goes on for too long, brain fatigue can cause more serious wear and tear on the brain, resulting in cognitive decline.

What can you do to support optimal brain function?

1 | Modify your mindset

Say something positive about yourself/your partner/your kids. Starting the day feeling positive instead of groaning and hitting snooze when the alarm goes off can make a huge difference to how you approach the day.

2 | Smile!

Smile at your family, smile at strangers, smile at your co-workers. You will feel great and you will lighten someone else’s day as well.

3 |Stay hydrated

Make sure that you and your family all carry and use water bottles. The brain can’t function properly without adequate water.

4 | Spend time outdoors

Even if you are confined to an office for most of the day, eat your lunch outside in the sun and fresh air. This way you will maintain healthy vitamin D levels and if you go for a walk, you will get some exercise in as well.

5 | Breathe deeply

– from your diaphragm. Breathing in fresh outdoor air increases oxygenation of the blood, helping to relax the nervous system and re-energize the brain, thus improving focus and creativity.

6 | Meditate

Meditation has well documented positive effects on the brain. Many people report increased concentration and tranquillity as a result of regular, short meditations.

7 | Eat Well

Include plenty vegetables and low G.I. fruit in your diet. Keep frozen berries and Greek yoghurt on hand for delicious, nutrient-rich smoothies.

8 | Monitor your sugar intake

Sugar is addictive. Excess sugar can form free radicals in the brain and compromise nerve cells’ ability to communicate, thus impairing memory and concentration. Opt for low G.I. whole foods as your carbohydrate source.

9 | Plan ahead

Shop and prepare food over the weekend so that, instead of grabbing takeaways when you’re late home from work, or just plain tired, you can pull a nutritious meal from the freezer. When you’re in the mood to cook, prepare double. If you don’t want to have the same again tomorrow, you can pop it in the freezer for another day. Crockpots are a cook’s best friend. Your meal will cook itself and be ready for you when you get home from work.

10 | Omega 3’s

There are a number of supplements available that support healthy brain function and mood stability. Omega-3 fatty acids stabilize mood as they have been shown to increase the levels of serotonin in the brain and also help in cognitive development. Research suggests omega 3’s help to decrease the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and developmental coordination disorder (DCD) in children.

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