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Fighting the Mental Fog

Fighting the Mental Fog

By Shanna Dickens

Toxic stress, chronic illness and trauma can cause many symptoms, but one that I hear most

often from my clients is mental fog. Mental fog can be our body’s way of communicating that we have a need that isn’t being met. It can feel terrifying for your brain to suddenly feel like it doesn’t work when the expectations around you continue like nothing is happening and can be experienced in multiple ways:

  • being unable to focus
  • forgetfulness
  • chronic fatigue
  • mental flatlining (feeling dull, unmotivated and even depressed)

Mental fog isn’t going to suddenly go away without some intentional effort on our part. So here are some ways to prevent and address it:

  • Get your recommended 7-8 hours of sleep. Since sleep cycles last 90 minutes, add an extra half an hour to see if this helps you feel more rested when you wake up. 
  • Make sure you are hydrated. Aim to drink at least eight 8oz glasses of water per day or half a gallon.
  • Add some movement to your day, even if it’s just a short walk, stretching or some yoga. Aerobic activity increases the blood flow to the part of the brain that helps with thinking and memory and can also help reduce any feelings of depression you might be feeling.
  • Reduce your stress. If you have too much on your plate, take something off. Take care of yourself and say ‘no’ or ‘not now’ without guilt. 
  • Engage in something creative! Stimulating your brain in a different way can cut through the fog. Try painting, knitting, learning a new language or baking something new! 
  • Reduce stimulation, especially before bed. Research shows your quality and quantity of sleep can be disrupted by blue light emitted from our TVS and phones. Try turning your phone and TV off an hour before bed and read or meditate instead to relax your brain. If your brain continues being overstimulated without adequate rest, it will be harder to focus. 


But most of all, be kind to yourself. Give yourself some grace. Remind yourself that not everything has to be done right this minute even if it feels like it does. We all get tired sometimes and when we stop listening to our bodies, they tend to act out. So hopefully, this is your weekly reminder to give your body what it needs. You are the only one that can.


2 thoughts on “Fighting the Mental Fog”

  1. Great blog you have here.. It’s hard to find good quality writing like yours
    these days. I really appreciate individuals like you!
    Take care!!

  2. This is a good tip especially to those fresh to the blogosphere.
    Simple but very precise information… Thanks for sharing this one.
    A must read article!

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