The 5 most common brain fog symptoms
Brain fog affects everyone differently—but there are some common signs and symptoms to look out for.
Brain fog is an umbrella term used to describe a number of different symptoms—the most common brain fog symptoms are confusion, fatigue, and a persistent feeling of mental haziness. Covid brain fog symptoms are exactly the same.
Brain fog can be tricky to manage, but once you identify and know how to tackle the symptoms, you can take the right steps to clear the fog for good.
What are the 5 brain fog symptoms?
Confusion is one of the most common symptoms of brain fog. When you're in the throes of a particularly foggy day, you can find it difficult to think clearly and make decisions.
Bouts of haziness throughout the day means you can struggle to understand what others are saying, which can lead to feelings of depersonalisation and dissociation from the world around you. Brain fog can also cause short-term memory loss, where you forget things that happened just moments ago.
2. Memory problems
The haziness associated with brain fog can cause havoc with your memory. Those struggling with brain fog report short-term memory issues including:
Forgetting what you're are doing
Forgetting where you are or where you're going
Forgetting your name, phone number, address, or birthday
This can make life particularly difficult, especially when jugging dependents, education, jobs, and anything else life throws at you. The last thing you need is forgetting what you left the house for, or missing an important call.
3. Difficulty concentrating
This is one of the most common symptoms of brain fog—nobody is a stranger to a bout of daydreaming (which is actually a good thing), and we all have those long afternoons when you find it impossible to get any work done. Brain fog causes this feeling to persist beyond a few hours here and there.
Those struggling with brain fog describe difficulty focusing on tasks, concentrating for extended periods, and keeping their mind from wandering. This can make it seem those suffering are disinterested, bored, or simply overtired.
Feeling fatigued is another common side effect of brain fog—when your foggy brain is struggling to keep up with the stress of everyday life, no wonder it causes you to feel a little sleepy. Brain fog can also cause poor sleep, which only adds to the problem.
While brain fog can cause fatigue, the two terms are not interchangeable. Fatigue is a general feeling of tiredness that is often accompanied by brain fog. However, brain fog can also occur without fatigue, or in addition to other symptoms such as feeling worried or down.
5. Aches and pains
It's not uncommon for people with brain fog to feel their body is working against them. As your brain is working overtime, finding a path through the fogginess, battling fatigue, forgetfulness, and confusion, after a while your body starts to feel the strain too.
Your joints may ache and hurt in a way that's impossible to pinpoint, your muscles may feel weak or fatigued, and even your organs can feel sore. This can exacerbate other symptoms such as fatigue and confusion, which can create a vicious cycle.
How can you treat these symptoms?
Brain fog can be treated in a number of ways, depending on which symptoms you're suffering with. There isn't a magic pill or quick fix to treat brain fog, but there are ways you can mitigate the effects of these symptoms.
Eat your vitamins
Eating a diet rich in minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants helps improve your overall health, supporting with everything from your sleep, energy levels, and mood. That's why getting an extra bout of vitamins, from food or supplements, is super important for tackling symptoms of brain fog. Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day too.
Get plenty of sleep
If you're struggling with sleeplessness, there are things you can try: rediscover the joy of daytime napping, spray your pillow with essential oils, curb screen time before bed, and avoid big meals and alcohol too late in the day. Even if you're not experiencing fatigue with your brain fog, getting plenty of rest can help tackle other side effects.
Get a little exercise
Exercise has many benefits for body and brain health, the most important of which is helping you think clearer. Even a moderate amount of regular exercise is beneficial for banishing symptoms of brain fog and encouraging mental clarity. If you're not used to exercising regularly, start slow and build up—and if you are, try branching out into a new sport or activity.
Be kind to yourself
Most importantly, when you're in the throes of brain fog, the most important thing is to be kind to yourself. There's nothing worse than beating yourself up, or giving in to unhelpful thoughts, patterns, or behaviours. If you're struggling, be sure to take time for yourself, learn to relax and unwind, and do things you enjoy to feel calmer.
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How do you know if brain fog is serious?
Brain fog affects everyone differently—you could have one symptom, or all of them at once. Regardless, it’s important to see your doctor if you're struggling to manage your brain fog symptoms, or they’ve been going on for an extended period of time.