Managing Brain Fog continued

Compensatory Aids and Strategies

Compensatory aids and strategies are environmental or behavioural modifications which can be used to help you to perform your usual activities of daily living in an alternative manner

Managing Sleep

  • Getting good quality sleep can help your brain to repair and recover.
  • Ensure good sleep hygiene – 8-9 hours per night; regular bedtime routine; limit daytime naps; limit screen time before bed; limit caffeine/alcohol before bed etc.
  • Empty the mind before sleeping using meditation/yoga (helps improve cognition)
  • Speak to your GP re sleep tests/studies if you suspect Sleep Apnoea.
  • Attend sleep hygiene programme via SRFT/Salford Health Improvement Service.

Managing Diet and Healthy Eating/Weight

  • Poor diet is linked with immune system and cognitive decline.
  • A healthy balanced diet will support both cognitive and immune function.
  • B Vitamins (B3, B6, B9 and B12), Omega 3 Fatty Acids & Coenzyme Q10 all play a role
    in supporting and preserving brain health.
  •  Healthy diet = healthy brain. Try to eat a well-balanced, healthy diet to give your body
    the nourishment it needs to return to good health.
  • Try to keep your BMI within a healthy range – between 18 and 25.
  • Eat a range of good fats and dietary cholesterol to promote good brain health. 50% of
    your diet should include healthy fats such as nuts, avocadoes, coconut oil, olive oil, wild salmon, eggs, grass fed meat and omega 3 rich foods.
  • Your diet should include:
    • High intake and variety of plant-based foods such as plant and animal proteins, vegetables, fruits, wholegrains, beans, nuts, seeds and legumes
    • Moderate intake of seafood, lean meats and dairy
    • Low intake of processed or refined foods – high sugar, salt, animal/trans fats, overly processed bread or pasta, junk foods and fast foods
  • Limit MSG aspartame, peanuts and dairy as these are possible culprits of brain fog.
  • Limit vegetable oil, canola oil and sunflower oil as these are high in inflammatory Omega 6 fatty acids and can contribute to brain inflammation.
  • Keep a food journal and limit any trigger foods from your diet.
  • Try to pinpoint any foods that could be leading to inflammation – common dietary culprits are refined sugars, vegetable oils, processed meats and alcohol. Genetic analysis, blood tests and an elimination diet can indicate if you are susceptible,
    intolerant or allergic to common allergens such as proteins in dairy products, eggs and gluten.
  • Avoid tobacco and alcohol. Staying away from tobacco products and alcohol can help
    minimize inflammation in your brain.
  • Take a regular probiotic supplement to support your immune health.
  • Eat plenty of anti-fungal spices like cinnamon, cayenne or garlic, as well as foods high in fibre.

Exercising the Body

  • Physical activity is not only beneficial to your heart and lungs, but also a great way to boost your brain function.
  • Ensure regular movement and exercise of the body as this increases blood flow to the brain.
  • Physical exercise can help to clear the mind of clutter and reduce cloudy thinking and negative thoughts.
  • Aim for up to 30 minutes of mild to moderate gentle exercise per day such as walking, swimming, yoga, tai chi. Avoid heavy exercise as this may be too taxing and cause post-exertional malaise.

Managing your Breathing

  • See your GP/Consultant to optimise treatments for any respiratory conditions.
  • Use/adopt breathing techniques to ensure you are breathing more efficiently and rhythmically. Physiotherapy can provide support with breathing exercises such as nasal or diaphragmatic breathing.

Managing your Mental Health

  • Do 1 thing you enjoy every day!
  • Prioritise self-care.
  • Remember to connect with your beliefs.
  • Offload – counselling, journaling, ranting…
  • See your GP who can arrange for referral onto Psychology Services.
  • Consider e-therapy.

Increasing Social Contact

  • Reach out to family and friends.
  • Attend social/support groups.
  • Join online communities.
  • Social prescribing via Wellbeing Matters.

Rewards/Self-Care

  • Self monitor – recognise your strengths and progress.
  • Give yourself incentives or rewards.