I’m standing there. The name right on the tip of my tongue. And I’m having this conversation with myself. A little pep talk. Come on you can do it. Remember her name. She’s so and so’s sister. The last name is blank. And I do this round about to come to this lady’s name hours later when it doesn’t matter anymore.
I have my to do list for the day and I simply cannot focus to complete the tasks I’ve laid out to get done. Can I get a half check mark or cross out? For effort?
I come home at the end of the day. My body isn’t tired. But my brain feels mush. It feels difficult to perform simple tasks. My motivation is gone. And on top of it, I’m crabby AF.
This is brain fog.
Although brain fog isn’t a clinical term, ask any woman over 40 if she’s a sufferer and 60% of women will say yes. I can’t remember names either. I can’t focus on tasks. My brain feels tired and my moods are off.
As we get older, somewhere between the ages of 45-55 our estrogren levels drop and this affects the hippocampus. I love that name. This part of the brain is responsible for memory and is affected by the dropping levels of hormones.
While this is happening to your body, I’m so over the answer… this is what happens when you get older. And thinking that I need to resign myself to the shit storm of issues that is middle age.
We have to stop thinking that as we get older we must just accept what’s coming down the pipes for us. I don’t mean that you cover your eyes and put your fingers in your ears in order to pretend you don’t see and hear what is inevitable. I mean that you need to inform yourself about yourself and take preventative measures now to make sure that you’re going to feel your very best as you make your way through the 40 and beyond years.
So let’s talk about what you can do to reduce the symptoms of brain fog.
- Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. You are most likely chronically hydrated. Most of us are. Your moods, your brain function, your memory? All affected by the amount of water that you drink. Water. Not coffee. Not tea. Not juice. Not wine. Water. Set a goal to drink half of your body weight (in pounds) in ounces of water every day. Are you going to pee a lot? Yep. At first. You are basically a plant with more complicated emotions and you know what happens when you forget to water that plant and then try to catch up?
- Sleep. It all comes down to sleep. And restorative, deep sleep cycles turn on the recently discovered glymphatic system. A waste removal system in your brain. This is like a shampoo for your brain every night. Ridding the brain of cellular garbage that attaches to the brain and can be a precursor for neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimers, dementia and Parkinson’s. Sleep IS your magic pill for over 40 and it can be fleeting. So. Refer to my sleep hygiene post here to get the most out of your zzzz’s.
- Exercise. Movement. Your brain is an organ and it needs some circulation of blood. Moving the body isn’t just good for the aesthetics of your bod. It also feeds the brain. Especially strength training which can increase the size of the hippocampus (there’s that groovy word again) and is the seat of your memory and recall. Solving the what’s her name problem.
This is what I love about being the age that I am. I’ve abandoned the belief that I workout for the abs and the thigh gap. No my friend. I workout so that I can remember your name!