Can you remember what your brain was like before kids? I can’t, because I have been living with mom brain for so long! But there are ways to overcome mom brain and some of it’s affects it has on you. And believe it or not, the ways to overcome mom brain are both easy and natural.
Brain fog can be truly menacing. From not being able to come up with the right words, to not being able to organized your day. Overcoming mom brain is a challenge most moms face.
What happens to a woman’s brain when she becomes a mother?
According to sciencemag.com, when a woman gets pregnant, the woman’s brain loses grey matter in the hippocampus. But enough science speak, what does that mean for you?
Well, essentially, moms lose some of their ability to remember and also some of their ability to socialize with others.
But I believe mom brain comes from just being a mom. You are now responsible for knowing not only everything about yourself, but everything about your child. And when you have additional children, that ability to remember everything about everyone becomes more and more demanding on your brain.
Not to mention we are all completely sleep deprived for about the first 0-5 years of our children’s lives. I know there have been studies on how the brain functions (or should I say doesn’t function) when it hasn’t gotten enough sleep.
So How long does mom brain last?
Doctors can literally look at your brain with an MRI machine and know if you have had a pregnancy or not. That means your brain really never goes back to normal. But why does that mean that you have to suffer from mommy brain fog for the rest of your life?
It doesn’t. I have been a mom for a long time…13 years…and while brain fog definitely gets the best of me on some days, other days, it is perfectly easy to overcome.
Ways To Overcome Mom Brain
- Exercise Is A Great Way To Overcome Mom Brain
Exercising increases blood flow to your entire body. When you do that, you increase the amount of oxygen flowing to all parts of your body. Including your brain. Sometimes, we just need to get the oxygen flowing again to wake up our sleepy mom brains.
- Drinking Caffeine Can Clear Brain Fog
Caffeine can be a super simple way to overcome mom brain. I don’t drink a lot of it, but some days, it is just necessary. When I do choose to drink caffeine, I drink something like Matcha Tea that gives me a more gentle nudge than drinking a cup of coffee.
- Eating Healthy Food Gives Your Brain Great Nutrients
Healthy food is a lot of times referred to as ‘brain food’. When you eat things like almonds, salmon and other foods with healthy fats, they help your brain think better and retain it’s thinking ability.
Other things to add to your diet are spices like Turmeric and Cinnamon which are natural anti-inflammatories and help keep your brain fog away.
- Having Structure Can Be A Load Off Your Mind
Structure is going to be a true lifesaver when you are looking for ways to overcome mom brain. When you are having problems thinking, it works well to not have to think too hard to find things.
Organization in your home can help.
Having a routine so you know exactly what to do each morning is another good idea.
I like to set an alarm on my phone each day for the appointments we cannot be late for. My phone literally holds me accountable.
You need to find what works for you, whether it is a great planner, an online calendar or a to do list. Set up a structure that makes you successful no matter how your brain is functioning that day.
- Relaxing Is Great For Clearing Brain Cobwebs
Relaxation can help you clear your mind of all the day’s clutter. From remembering (or forgetting) things, to the stress of having your child say mommy five thousand times in one day.
Learning how to relax your body and mind without medication or alcohol becomes a device you can use wherever you are and is a simple way to overcome mom brain.
When you are laying down to sleep but your brain won’t stop running, when you’re driving the car with a screaming toddler, or when you have so much to do, you don’t even know where to start.
Relaxation techniques will help you recenter yourself and focus your mind.
- Sleep Is The Ultimate Mom Brain Fixer
Since we just talked about relaxing, I think now is a great time to talk about sleep. Sleep is one of the number one ways to fight off mom brain. And I am not talking about catching an hour here and 2 hours there.
I am talking about laying down to sleep and sleeping for 8 hours and going in and out of your natural circadian rhythm.
Trust me, I know this is a laughable point! We have kids for God’s sake! How are we supposed to get 8 solid hours?
I found some ways to sleep better that work for me that you can try. But I guess the moral is, just do the best you can to sleep in the beginning and know that as your kids get older, the sleep thing will start to happen better for you.
- Playing Brain Games Keeps Your Mind Sharp
Brain games like Sudoku, Crossword puzzles, and any other game that makes you think is good for your brain. Studies have actually shown that if you continue to work out your brain the way you work out your body, you will have less chance of dementia in old age.
In other words, working out your brain makes it stronger just like working out any other muscle in your body.
- Connecting With People Helps Your Brain Branch Out
Sometimes this can be really hard for moms. A lot of times it is just easier to stay in. But keeping up connections with other people forces you to have conversations which forces your brain to work.
If you are just sitting on the couch speaking ‘goo goo gah gah’ all day, then you are probably not using your brain to the best of its ability.
So get out there and meet some people!
- Laughing Is The Mom Brain’s Best Medicine
Have you ever heard that laughter is the best medicine? Well, laughter helps take away some of the seriousness that motherhood brings. In the midst of changing poopy diapers, sleep deprivation, and feeling like you need a shower, try getting some laughs in.
Things like funny TV shows or stand up comedy can be good. But sometimes you just need that funny friend to come over and talk to you for a little while. Anyway you choose, find some time to fit some laughter into your life.
In the end, you just need to find ways to overcome mom brain, and the best ways for you may not be the best ways for someone else!
So try a few different things out and if one doesn’t work, don’t give up, try something else.
I would love to hear if you have tried any of the tips I gave or if you have any tips yourself! Please leave comments below!
Thanks for reading!