6 Ways to Sharpen Your “Mom Brain”


“Mom Brain”

Moms are notorious for getting caught up in the daily grind of taking care of everyone and everything else, and we forget to take care of ourselves. We stop paying attention to what we eat when we exercise or how we stimulate our brains. This impacts our daily health and “mom brain” and forgetfulness become a real thing.

Just like our bodies need exercise to stay fit and youthful, our brains also need a good daily workout to make sure our brain cells stay healthy and vibrant well into our golden years. Being proactive about your health and taking things into your own hands will help you keep your head on straight for you and your family.

Keeping mentally fit will help you stay attentive, better manage your relationships, and more effectively deal with stress. It also gives you self confidence and helps you feel better as a person and take pride in your parenting. {This is not medical advice, so be sure to consult your medical care professional.}

Read on for 6 simple ideas on how to keep your mind stimulated:

1. Search for Knowledge

Numerous studies have shown the correlation between the amount of knowledge you surround yourself with and your brain health.

Today, there is no excuse to not find the information you need. Information is abundantly available at the touch of a button. But, be careful. It’s easy to get overstimulated and overwhelmed with too much information.

Consider mentally stimulating games like jigsaw puzzles, Soduku, crossword puzzles, and word searches. All these games can be found online. But try going offline and to old school crossword puzzles to break away from technology and give the overstimulated part of your brain a break.

When you learn or experience something new, you build new synapses and connections in your brain. The more connections you have, the stronger and more healthy your “mom brain” becomes.

2. Eat Whole Foods

If you want to have a sharp brain, you need to fuel your body with nutrients from whole foods. Nutrient-dense whole foods feed your brain cells. Chemicals in processed and convenience foods can poison your brain cells.

Eat as many fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains as you can. In addition to nutrients, whole foods supply anti-oxidants to your brain. Anti-oxidants essentially keep your brain from rusting.

Snack on some walnuts, they are especially helpful in keeping your brain healthy. Have you ever noticed shelled walnuts look like a brain? There’s a reason for that.

Incorporate more healthy fats into your diet to support your brain. Healthy fats are found in avocados, nuts, seeds, olives, olive oil, coconuts, and coconut oil.

3. Exercise, Preferably Outdoors

It’s no secret regular exercise releases ‘feel-good hormones’ into your bloodstream, boosts your mood, and increases your memory and concentration.

Mixing up your workouts helps form new patterns in your brain. This means more neural pathways and less foggy “mom brain.”

To get the best bang for your buck, take your workout outside or try a new Central Ohio Metropark. That’s easier said than done in central Ohio with its extreme temperature changes, but the health benefits are worth it. When you’re outside, you’re breathing fresh air, connecting with nature, and getting some vitamin D. You’re building new neural pathways by having new and different experiences outside in nature.

Physical activity (indoors or out) boosts energy, alleviates stress and eliminates brain fog. So just get moving!

4. Manage Stress

Everyone deals with stress and anxiety on a daily basis. When you’re stressed, your body releases cortisol which can wreak havoc on your body (including weight gain). Too much cortisol is toxic to your brain and body.

It’s imperative to your overall health (not just your brain health) to get your stress under control. You can do this by meditating, practicing mindfulness, yoga, or prayer.

As a busy mom, you may think it’s impossible to find time for stress reduction. That should be your first clue you need it the most.

And don’t underestimate the power of therapy. It can be the perfect way for you to express yourself and unload your stress in a safe, non-judgemental environment.

5. Use Essential Oils

Essential oils are scientifically proven to boost your mood and support your brain health. When you smell an essential oil, it stimulates the limbic system of your brain. The limbic system plays an important role in your emotions. We all know emotional health plays a huge role in our brain health.

Essential oils support cellular health and some are able to penetrate the blood-brain barrier. They also support detoxification, which helps get all the junk out of your brain and body.

Essential oils that are especially helpful at supporting your brain and emotional health are citrus oils (like lemon, orange, or lime to name a few), rosemary, and peppermint.

Next time you’re in a brain fog induced stupor, put a drop of peppermint and a drop of orange essential oils in the palm of your hand. Rub your hands together, cup your hands over your nose and take a few deep breaths. You will instantly feel the fog start to lift.

6. Form Healthy Habits

Healthy habits that support brain health are journaling, reading, exploring, challenging yourself, and engaging in hobbies.

Writing things down helps get information, ideas, and stressful situations out of your brain and on to paper. Writing down your goals and aspirations gives you a visual reminder to help you achieve them. Writing about negative or stressful events helps you process and work through them.

Make it a point to try something new every month, like a new hobby or new exercise routine. Remember trying new things creates new neural pathways which makes you a smarter, happier mom.

Reading stimulates your brain and imagination. We all know reading makes us smarter. We just need to be smart enough to use our time wisely so we actually pick up a book.

In conclusion, to sharpen your foggy “mom brain”, you need to break out of old patterns and stimulate your brain in new ways.  When you’re a busy mom, you and your family thrive on routines and predictable patterns. Finding time for yourself and your self-care isn’t going to be easy. But nothing about being a mom is easy. It’s up to you to decide your path. You need to choose your hard.