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HEALTH HINTS

Foiling Brain Fog

By: Jose Maria M. Villarama IIFoiling Brain Fog

The holidays are a time to breathe and relax. But when it’s time to get back to business, many of us seem to be in such a daze that we cannot focus on the tasks at hand.

Some call it ‘Christmas hangover’ and believe it’s a typical brain reaction after being in ‘relax mode’ for a long time. But the truth is, it can be the reality of the work that needs to be done after the holidays that is dawning on us. Such a realization can be taxing and can occlude the brain.

Some of the causes of the brain ‘fogging up’ can be:

  • Stress – Thinking too much about deadlines and obligations, especially financial ones, after a period of spending and merrymaking can cause a spike in blood pressure and take its toll on the immune system and, eventually, the brain.
  • Sleep Deprivation – Not getting enough sleep because of week-long partying can lead to poor concentration and compromised mental clarity.
  • Diet – Drinking too much booze and consuming too much sugar and salt can take their toll on the brain too. Certain food items, especially common allergens such as peanuts and dairy products, can also trigger brain fog.
  • Medication – Strong drugs, perhaps those used to treat heart, endocrine, and kidney disease, especially after bingeing on unhealthy holiday food, weaken the body and impair the brain.

But of course, there are ways to get back on track. Among them are:

  • Addressing the external issues – If bad diet is the cause of brain fog, then start eating healthy. If lack of sleep is the problem, identify the factors that cause it.
  • Playing games – Puzzles and video games, widely available as apps, can increase cognitive function.
  • Regaining focus – If yoga is not an option, meditating or even praying will help. The idea is to quiet the brain and increase concentration.

Things don’t have to remain gray. To borrow the lyrics from the theme of a movie remake of Rapunzel, once the fog has lifted…at last one can see the light.

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