Why does my brain feel foggy
Brain fog can be a symptom of a nutrient deficiency, sleep disorder, bacterial overgrowth from overconsumption of sugar, depression, or even a thyroid condition. Other common brain fog causes include eating too much and too often, inactivity, not getting enough sleep, chronic stress, and a poor diet.
“In medical terms, you can boil down ‘brain fog’ into a few things,” says Dr. Khandelwal. “When somebody’s feeling more anxious, and more distracted as a result, then they may feel like they have more of a lack of energy than they do on normal days. That’s what some people describe as brain fog.”
On a chemical level, brain fog happens when the stress hormone, cortisol, impairs the prefrontal cortex—the region of the brain that controls most of our cognitive functions like decision-making and concentration. (Basically, your body’s flight-or-flight response doesn’t want you to analyze a stressful situation when you’re in danger—it just wants you to run.) Both acute and long-lasting instances of stress keep the prefrontal cortex from doing its job properly—and your brain might feel unclear as a result.
Long story, short: Anxiety takes a lot of mental juice, and in the time of COVID-19, our brains are running on fumes. Constant worry about the virus has become an uninvited guest into our quarantine—and it’s really only being amplified by the fact that we can’t connect with others outside of video chat, we’re grappling with the fear being laid off or making ends meet after being laid off, and our routines at large have been upended. It’s no wonder that people are feeling anxious and thus potentially foggy and sluggish as a result.
Your biggest responsibility for the months ahead (besides properly social distancing) is to care for your brain. Sorry to be cheesy, but right now, you kinda have to step out into the sunshine and be your own lighthouse shining through all your own mental fog.