What was I thinking of doing next? What was I going to say? Do you increasingly ask yourself such questions? You are
just one of the many people suffering from the pandemic inspired ‘brain fog’. The good news is, there are simple ways to get back to your sharp self!

Suffering from frequent memory lapses? Call it Covid inspired brain fog

In this second round of Lockdown, human interactions are at a premium. You are caught under an avalanche of
online meetings, discussions, gatherings and classes. You have slid from ‘auto-pilot mode’ to ‘pause-mode’ with a rude suddenness. And you find yourself prone to intermittent forgetfulness and falling levels of attention. Despite downing those immunity boosters, practising mindfulness, and making time for yoga on the mat, you find yourself fumbling for words, and you mostly keep silent on virtual meets. Your eyebrows meet in the middle as you try to recall whether you did actually pop in the multivitamins for the day, or where you’ve kept your to-do list. Relax! You are a victim of
pandemic-induced brain fog.


MENTAL WIRING GONE AWRY


In these rather unusual circumstances, a fuzzy memory is the result of being preoccupied, anxious, stressed out or emotionally distraught, or of overworking your brain. Mental clarity is a big challenge while working from home, from
within family circles and confines. The natural rhythm of our lives stands broken, leading to our thought processes being swamped. Brain fog is commonplace now, with sudden dips in memory, inability to think clearly, and impaired attention. Sometimes I have a tough time trying to recall what I had for dinner the night before,” confesses
Poonam Singh, entrepreneur. “It was 200 per cent easier working out of office, as I was physically present there. Working from home, multi-tasking during a crammed day, is certainly beginning to take its toll on my mental activity. It is a worrisome situation.”

Poonam is not alone. The quarantines and successive periods of isolation have affected us all. “There is a complete disassociation from our routines. Remember, as humans we are creatures of habit,” explains practising counsellor and psychotherapist, Archana Jambusaria. “In the present situation, our mental wiring has gone awry, with very limited faceto-face interaction with others. A part of us is living mentally with the memories of yesteryears, as we derive comfort from these moments.”

CONNECT AND RECONNECT

Our reflexes and reactions have no doubt been dulled. But the more we interact with others, our memory and our ability to pay attention rebounds — and quickly. Says Poonam Vij, psychiatrist, “Skip texting on your phone, simply call up and converse with people. Have an in-depth conversation with someone every day. It helps your mind to stay alive and alert, and grasp. Try rearranging spaces, even a small corner of the house. It gives you a feeling of control that translates into better focus on your thoughts.” “We have no control over the duration of the pandemic. Hence it is important to create a partition between the past, present and future,” explains Archana. “Begin by recalling the best moments of the day, at night, with children.” Do what it takes, to sharpen your thinking — it could be anything from detangling your hair to solving crosswords and unscrambling words or brushing your teeth with the hand you
don’t normally use, adding a bit of challenge to your mundane daily chores

Here are ways to clear up the brain fog. Indulge in indepth conversations, spend time with family, engage yourself in activties that mentall challenge you

TIPS TO DE-FOG THE BRAIN


● Skip texting on your phone, simply call up and converse with people. Have an in-depth conversation with someone
every day. It helps your mind to stay alive and alert.

● To sharpen your thinking — be mentally occupied. It could be anything from detangling your hair to solving crosswords… adding a bit of challenge to your mundane daily chores.


● Our reflexes and reactions have no doubt been dulled. The more we interact with others, our memory and our
ability to pay attention rebounds — and quickly

Shilpi Madan for Hyderabad Chronicle