Menopausal brain fog is thought to affect around 66% of women going through the menopause. From forgetting who it was that you’ve just spoken to in the supermarket, to being unable to remember where you put your handbag or parked your car, menopausal brain fog can leave you wondering if you’re actually going mad.
It can affect your ability to focus on things you used to be able to focus on, like reading books and magazines. It can leave you worrying that you’ve got some serious brain issue and leave you feeling unable to focus sufficiently at work.
What causes menopausal brain fog?
The decline in available progesterone is thought to be a big contributing factor in menopausal brain fog, although often women are also juggling a range of situations and people around this time in their lives.
Add in caring for children, teenagers, elderly parents, changes to work, relationships and the possibility of having empty nest syndrome, there’s no wonder you struggle to think straight!
Eat a healthy, balanced diet with lots of fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds
Aim for your diet to be as nourishing as possible. Build your diet around good quality sources of protein, fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and wholegrains. Eggs, oily fish, nuts and seeds are good sources of omega 3 and 6 which can be helpful for brain function.
Avoid processed, refined, sugary foods.
Foods high in phytoestrogens may be helpful in reducing brain fog as they help raise oestrogen levels – foods that are naturally high in phytoestrogens include soya.
If you have an underactive thyroid you may want to do some more research before having a lot of soy in your diet.
Lignan rich foods like flaxseed and sesame seed also help menopause brain fog.
Having regular meals can help keep hanger at bay and should help curb any cravings for fatty and sugary foods that you may have. This should also help keep your mood and blood sugar levels stable and help ease anxiety.
Having plenty of drinks throughout the day can help give you a clear head. Ideally drink mineral water or filtered tap water.
If you don’t like plain water add a slice of lemon or cucumber to give it a refreshing flavour. Or drink herbal teas, eat soups or watery fruit and vegetables like melon and cucumber.
Limit drinks of coffee and tea as these can have a dehydrating effect on the body.
Take regular exercise
Exercising regularly gives you some space from your daily life, as well as ensuring increased flow of nutrients, oxygen, and endorphins around your body. It can also help keep you calm, clear your mind and help you build strength in your body.
Often when we step away from our daily life, we get clarity or an answer to a problem comes when we’re not actively seeking an answer.
Diffuse rosemary oil or have an aromatherapy massage
Rosemary essential oil has recently been found to help improve cognitive function and is well known for being a great essential oil for helping you concentrate, for clearing the mind and helping you remember things.
If you have a diffuser add a couple of drops of rosemary oil to the water and diffuse for up to 30 mins a couple of times a day.
Alternatively have an Aromatherapy massage using rosemary essential oil. Always blend essential oils with a carrier oil like sweet almond or olive oil before use.
Do not use rosemary oil in pregnancy and avoid if you have high blood pressure.
Create systems and lists
Create systems – Find somewhere to keep your keys, bag, phone, glasses etc. Always put them in the same place so you don’t have to remember where you’ve put them.
Park your car next to a landmark like a specific shop or sign. Or choose a specific level of a multi-story car park and always park there!
Create lists. Buy a notebook to keep in your bag to make note of anything you need to remember. Or use your phones notes app.
If necessary create systems at work to help you remember things. Make a tick list chart for daily /weekly tasks to keep you on track.
Manage stress levels
If you’re very stressed your body will go back into fight/flight/freeze mode.
Good ways of managing stress include mindfulness, meditation, apps like headspace or calm, or having regular reflexology, reiki treatments or massages at least once a month
Get plenty of sleep
Dips in progesterone levels can leave you feeling sleep deprived which can in turn lead you to feeling foggy-headed. Try to go to bed at the same time every night and get up at a similar time every day. This can help your body settle into a good sleep pattern. The progesterone element of HRT may help you to sleep better.
Related Article: For tips on how to get a good night’s sleep Click Here
Keep your brain active
Things like crosswords, word searches, suduko, brain training quizes, learning a new language or playing a musical instrument are great ways of helping your brain stay focused and help stave off brain fog. Or take time for your hobbies and interests.
Put your phone on silent when possible to do so
Whenever possible put your phone on silent or do not disturb or turn the notifications off on social media apps. So you’re not constantly being bombarded by notifications on your phone. If you have children that may need you or other caring responsibilities you may not be able to do this but if you can, do! It can help enormously as you should then find you’re more able to focus on the task in hand.
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I am a Reflexologist, Reiki Master Practitioner and Writer from Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire. I love writing about Health and Wellbeing, Mind Body Spirit and Reflexology. When I’m not at work, you can find me in the kitchen cooking up a storm!
If you’d like to book a treatment please go to https://www.sarahcooper.co.uk/book