Do you ever find yourself distracted, forgetful or mentally flighty in the middle of your day?
This type of brain fatigue or “fog” is common in our lives of technology, information clutter, schedule overwhelm, and fast paced workplaces. Our lives at work and at home have become filled with “noise” that results in our brains becoming overloaded and tired.
But, if we can’t quit our jobs or opt out of the high traffic carpool or give up our smart phones then what can we do to clear our heads?
Getting outside is my go to remedy for brain fog. In fact, I set a reminder on my phone to take fresh air breaks throughout the day. This is extra important to me as I spend a lot of my day in front of the computer (researching and writing content such as this) in a room with NO windows or natural light.
There are 3 ways I recharge my brain with the outdoors:
Breathing in fresh air
It can be as simple as cracking a window or stepping outside for a few deep breathes. Especially if you find yourself feeling stressed or anxious, this allows you to get more oxygen into your body and more carbon dioxide out.
Try slowly breathing in through your nose, hold the breath for a few seconds, and then slowly breathe out through your mouth. If you are short on time, you can see benefits by doing this for just one minute.
Soaking in some sunshine
Head outside and soak in some sun. Even on a cloudy day, the natural light that does come through is better for you than artificial indoor lights.
Try to go without sunglasses because when your eyes sense light they signal your brain that it’s daytime and you need to be awake and alert. This resets your circadian rhythm (sleep and wake cycles) that often get out of balance, which can clear the daytime brain fog.
Going for a walk
If you can breathe in fresh air and get some sunshine while taking a walk – you get bonus points! When you get your blood pumping, circulation improves to your brain. This is especially helpful when you feel sleepy, but can’t take a nap.
The movement will wake up your brain and allow it to process ideas better. I find I have my most creative thoughts while out on a walk. In fact, if I make a midday walk a priority, my productivity for the rest of the day improves exponentially.
Don’t just take my word for it . . .
A study conducted in Scotland found that time spent outside allows us to be more meditative and calm. While in natural spaces our brains can recharge. Previous studies showed that a walk through a park improved scores on cognitive tests of children with attention deficits.
How many adults do you hear joke about having ADD when they are trying to complete an important project or stay focused on a repetitive task? It’s likely not a true attention disorder but brain fog. . . and research points to a walk outside as the solution.
Brain fatigue – just like body fatigue – can really slow us down and keep us from reaching our goals. Looking for more information on living your optimal life? Be sure to join us on Facebook where we share our best tips & tricks for optimal wellness in both mind & body.