From short-term memory loss to clouded thoughts and trouble focusing, brain fog can be hard to pin down and even harder to talk about. It's a frustrating part of menopause, but it can be especially anxiety-inducing at work—especially when you're starting to see your coworkers in person for the first time in more than a year. Here, we've rounded up seven ways to manage brain fog on the job, from making time for a good night's sleep to taking concrete steps to alleviate common schedule stressors.
Get a Good Night's Sleep
A productive workday starts about twelve hours before most people even clock in. After all, a restful night’s sleep can help you stay focused, alert, and balanced. Simple changes in your nighttime routine, such as scheduling screen-free time 30 minutes before bed or barring caffeine after a certain hour, can go a long way. Tweaking your environment can have an effect, too: Turning down the thermostat, darkening your room with blackout curtains, or using a white-noise machine can help tune out any elements that might be keeping you awake. And if night sweats, stress, or other menopausal factors are still getting in the way of quality shuteye, consider a natural supplement, such as Kindra’s sleep-enhancing daily capsules. The once-daily formula blends the herbal power of stress-reducing Ashwagandha with circulation-regulating Pycnogenol for a relaxed night's sleep—and offers and just enough melatonin to help you doze off in the first place.
Take Time Away From Screens
The average American worker spends seven hours per day on the computer. Many of us pass time in the coffee line, on the couch, or in bed by mindlessly scrolling, too. But too much screentime can affect your mood, interfere with your sleep, and harm the parts of your brain that control short-term memory. Fortunately, there are ways to fight back the negative effects of electronic devices without cutting them out altogether. Put the phone away at least thirty minutes before bed to allow for a more restful night’s sleep. Wear blue-light-blocking glasses during big blocks of screentime to reduce eye strain and allow for easier visual focus. And try unplugging for meetings and events where you need to be engaged, taking your notes on paper rather than typing on your laptop. Studies have shown that simply writing things down can help you with memory function, and the time away from your screen can help you stay alert and energized.
Mind Your Meals
Studies have shown that a diet filled with whole grains, vegetables, and healthy fats can do wonders for brain health—and help stave off other common menopausal concerns, too. Nuts, for example, make an excellent snack for their healthy fats, which promote energy and brain function, while adding leafy greens to salads or smoothies can offer bonus Vitamin D and calcium.
The way you fuel your body extends beyond your food, too. For extra advantages, try adding Kindra’s energy-boosting daily supplement to your routine. The blend of Pycnogenol and green tea extract is specially formulated to help you feel alert, cool, and focused: In clinical studies, those taking the capsule noticed a 48% improvement in memory lapses and difficulty concentrating.
Some days, it may feel like you need to tackle ten different tasks at once. Especially as we’ve had to merge our home and office lives just to get by, this might even be how you’re accustomed to working—especially as so our phones and other devices allow us to work anywhere. But multitasking, when taken too far, can exacerbate anxiety, brain fog, and fatigue, making it hard to accomplish anything at all. To break the cycle, try focusing on one item at a time. Even devoting your full attention to seemingly unproductive tasks, like picking up coffee or eating lunch without checking email on your phone, can help clear mental clutter.
Move Your Body
Exercise doesn’t just keep your body in shape—it can give your mind a boost, too. The adrenaline released into your blood when you engage in aerobic exercise has been shown to improve memory function. It offers better sleep, reduced anxiety, and a more positive general mood, too. Physical activity also stimulates the chemicals that affect brain health, promoting the growth of new blood vessels while preserving your existing brain cells. And you don’t have to adopt a two-a-day gym habit to reap the benefits, either. Experts say that about thirty minutes of moderate exercise per day can produce impressive results. Consider scheduling standing weekly workouts with friends in your area or dialing into your next conference call while you walk around the block.
Studies have shown that as little as a 2% loss of body mass from dehydration can lead to slower reaction times and loss of attention span. Put your best foot forward by keeping track of your water intake during the day and limiting caffeine and alcohol. Invest in a reusable water bottle you love, whether it’s one that tells you when to guzzle more of the stuff or an insulated model that keeps your H2O ice cold. Drinking plenty of water also helps your body limit the production of cortisol, a stress hormone that Kindra’s energy-boosting supplement can also help keep at bay thanks to Ashwagandha, a superstar adaptogen.
Give Yourself a Break
From walking across the room to refill your water bottle to chatting with a coworker about their weekend, giving your mind a break from the task at hand can allow you to return to your work with a renewed energy and focus. And if it doesn’t do the trick? Cut yourself some slack and move on. Everyone deals with forgetful moments sometimes. Instead of letting them derail your day, focus on your daily or weekly accomplishments.
If you want to take more action but don’t know where to start, take a hormone assessment to see what supplements might be right for you and join Kindra’s online group to talk about your concerns with other women who get it. After all, while menopause may not be top-of-mind in most workplaces, that doesn’t mean you’re alone.
Managing menopause while you work? We created an encompassing guide to help.