How To Cope With Post-Holiday Brain Fog
It’s after the holidays and your brain’s feeling a bit foggy. You’ve just spent the past few weeks juggling holiday preparations, shopping for gifts, traveling, and trying to make time for family and friends. Now that it’s over, you might be feeling a bit burnt out and ready for a break. But as you start to relax and unwind, you may also be feeling a sense of stress and anxiety about the new year—the pressure to make resolutions, set goals, and get your life in order can be overwhelming. It’s no wonder that many people experience what’s commonly known as “holiday brain fog”.
If you find yourself feeling more forgetful than usual or struggling to focus on tasks you usually handle with ease, post-holiday brain fog may be the culprit. So how can you navigate this and manage your stress about the new year? In this blog post, we’ll explore some tips and strategies for easing into 2023 with a renewed memory.
1. Don’t stress out about it!
The start of a new year can bring about feelings of excitement and possibility, but it can also cause stress and anxiety. Whether it’s the pressure to make resolutions or the feeling of a fresh start, the new year can be a source of stress for many people.
Stress is one of the biggest contributors to memory loss. It can inhibit how you form and retrieve memories. When you are stressed, your ability to think clearly is impaired as your attention gets diverted toward the stressor. This means that you do not pay as much attention to other sources of information while you are stressed—including memories that could be encoded into our long-term memories. Your brain can also be overstimulated and has to devote more energy to processing what’s happening at the moment, so it has less capacity to store information for later retrieval. That’s because stress is a part of your “fight or flight” response. It’s meant to help you focus on surviving at the moment rather than remembering information from the past. When you can relax a little bit more often and find ways to alleviate your stress, like breathing exercises or meditation, you’ll find yourself remembering more things in general.
2. Make sure you get enough sleep.
Sleep is critical for brain health. When you sleep, your brain is busy repairing and regenerating cells, and this is especially important for maintaining brain health. Lack of sleep can lead to decreased cognitive function, including impaired memory and decision-making abilities. Even one night of poor sleep causes reduced reaction time, irritability, mood disturbances, lack of focus and motivation, and forgetfulness.
The amount of sleep needed for proper cognitive function is 7-9 hours every night for adults and 7-8 hours if you’re aged 65 and up. However, it is not just about the quantity of sleep you get. Quality sleep means that you get the deep restorative sleep that happens later in the night. With deep sleep, you feel restful and restored when you finally wake up.
If you want to get through the new year without experiencing brain fog, make a commitment to prioritize your sleep. Set a bedtime and stick to it, create a relaxing nighttime routine, and make sure your sleep environment is conducive to sleep (i.e., dark, quiet, and cool).
3. Stay hydrated.
As we scramble to get ready for all the things we need to do this new year, it’s easy to forget to drink enough water. But the truth is that dehydration can affect your mood and energy levels—and it can even lead to headaches! One of the easiest and most important ways to improve your health is to ensure you’re staying hydrated. When you’re dehydrated, your brain doesn’t function well. Your thinking becomes sluggish and you may start to feel fatigued. This is especially important when you’re trying to complete tasks that require concentration (like working on your holiday shopping list). Water helps eliminate toxins from your body, which helps keep your brain clear and focused on the task at hand. Aim to drink eight glasses of water per day.
4. Eat healthily.
While the holidays was a time to celebrate, it was also a time when we overindulged. Many of us got caught up in the whirlwind of food and festivities that we didn’t eat as healthily as usual.
It’s important to make sure you’re eating well this new year because after the holidays can be stressful for a lot of people—going back to work and daily routine, dealing with heavy traffic and a long to-do list, etc. If you’re feeling stressed, forgetful, and anxious, try eating healthy foods that are good for your brain, like green leafy vegetables such as spinach, and fish high in Omega-3 such as salmon. Snack on walnuts, almonds, and berries, and try not to reach for sugary treats and junk food. Make it your new year’s resolution to eat healthily not only to achieve a slimmer body, but also a healthier brain.
5. Take time out to relax.
Between planning, organizing, and hosting parties, it’s easy to forget about taking care of yourself. Whether you’re alone or with family, the best way to feel refreshed is to take a moment and breathe. You don’t have to make it complicated—you can go for a walk outside or read a book in bed. It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you’re enjoying yourself and letting your mind rest from all the stress that you went through during the holidays.
If you’re having trouble taking time out for yourself, try setting up some small rituals, like meditating each morning or going outside for 10 minutes each evening before bedtime. You’ll start feeling better about yourself and your health overall. Yoga, massage, and long baths are also good ways to relax during the holidays. Schedule time for yourself and make sure it’s something relaxing or fun so that you can recharge yourself after the holiday activities.
6. Avoid multitasking.
Your brain is in overdrive when you multitask. It is not wired to do two things simultaneously, and focusing on multiple things at once can cause stress and harm your memory. It’s important not to overload yourself with too many tasks at once because that can lead to stress and even mental fatigue. Research shows that multitasking can reduce productivity by up to 40%. It actually takes you longer to complete each task. When you’re doing two things at once, your brain has to switch back and forth between the two tasks—which means there’s a delay in completing each task because your brain is constantly shifting gears. So instead of trying to do ten things at once, focus on one thing at a time until everything gets done before moving on.
7. Set realistic goals.
It’s great to have aspirations and goals for the new year, but it’s important to set realistic expectations for yourself. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to make major changes all at once. Instead, focus on small, achievable goals that you can work towards over time.
And if there’s a task that takes multiple hours, break it down into manageable chunks so that you aren’t overwhelmed. If you’re not able to finish or achieve a goal by the time that you expect you would, don’t be too hard on yourself. Some of the anxiety you feel sometimes is from the unnecessary pressure you put on yourself.
8. Learn to accept help from others.
Ask for help—and then be willing to accept it when it’s offered. Accepting help from others doesn’t mean that you’re weak or incapable of doing things on your own. It means that you’re strong enough to know when it’s okay to ask for help and that you’re capable of recognizing the value in other people’s perspectives.
If someone offers to help you with something, say yes! It doesn’t matter if it’s something big or small—if they offer assistance, take them up on their offer. And if someone asks if there’s anything they can do for you, let them know what might make life easier during this busy time of the year (like taking out the trash or doing the dishes). Delegate tasks.
By accepting help from others, you’ll also be able to focus on yourself by taking care of your mental health and wellness needs—which are just as important as spending time with others! You’ll be surprised at how much more relaxed you feel when you let go of having to do everything yourself. It’ll be easier to achieve a goal or finish a task. As the saying goes, “No man is an island”.
9. Take a brain supplement.
It’s important to make sure that you’re getting enough nutrients so that your brain can function at its best. A good brain supplement will contain vitamins and minerals that are essential for maintaining proper cognitive function. Vivolor® Memory Support can help your brain perform at its best during this busy time of year. It’s made with natural ingredients that will help keep your mind sharp and effectively improves cognition, memory, attention, processing speed, and focus. It provides 5-20 times more supplementation than any other brand. Each ingredient was selected because of its powerful effects on inflammation, oxidation, blood sugar, and lipids.
Holiday brain fog is very real. This is accompanied by a busy schedule of engagements, the stress we experience brought about by numerous things, and a perpetual list of things to do which can leave you feeling scattered at times. We also tend to overindulge in unhealthy foods and alcohol, which leaves us tired, sluggish, and unable to concentrate. The holidays should be an enjoyable time that is filled with good food, family, and friends. By following these tips, you can help cope with post-holiday brain fog and start this new year feeling refreshed and ready to tackle whatever comes your way.