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Rolling The Fog Away

| 4 Minute Read |

One of my favourite things to do is have a coffee outside first thing in the morning. The Scottish weather has not allowed for that in many weeks, until one recent Saturday morning I was able to do a bit of mindfulness and enjoy a large cup of coffee out in the back garden. As I sat enjoying the peace, I noticed a really rapidly moving fog bank on the hill behind my house. Truthfully it was quite a creepy-ass looking thing – like some kind of smoke beast (any Lost fans?). Then it struck me – that’s what happens to my brain when I’m not taking care of myself. That’s when the fog can start building up.

It got me thinking about how brain fog can have the characteristics of REAL fog.   Think about any time you’ve been caught out in foggy weather, it come sometimes creep up on you gradually.    There have been days when  I’ve been out hill walking and simply haven’t noticed that mist is building up into a fog. The next thing you know, it’s a “pea-souper” with limited visibility.   I once actually had to ask other walkers if I was at the top of the hill yet!   Very disorienting. You can only see what is right in front of you. And you slow right down as you try to navigate that.  Sometimes  fear can make it tempting to stay in place until the fog clears. Waiting until it clears is not always an option – for sure staying out on a hill into darkness isn’t a safe option.

Let’s come off the hill and go back to the brain. As we navigate life in a global pandemic on a day-to-day basis – it’s easy to overlook the ever-thickening “mist” that creeps in with tiredness. I’ve certainly become so used to the new and strange routine that I’m not sure I register it any more. I was aware of my energy levels, which I have been battling for a while now (Keeping Your Batteries Charged). A few weeks back I found myself with just the energy for my workday and cooking dinner, for 5 days straight I was in bed by 7pm!! Even if I had 10 hours of sleep, I still woke up exhausted. There was no chance my weekly workouts were happening and the thought of having to plough through weekend housework made me want to weep.

And yet, I pushed on – desperate for “normal”—big mistake.    The following week I was knocked out with a migraine – a particularly brutal one.  Every time I thought it had cleared a rebound migraine hit me l like a boxer giving another punch when their opponent staggers up from the mat. Eventually I had one reasonable day – rejoiced that it was over –  then BOOM another migraine sucker punch. What the ‘actual hell’ was going on here?

If we go back to the fog (oh how I like to kick the arse out of a metaphor), when the fog is thick enough, you can hardly see your hand in front of your face.  You literally are unable to see what is right in front of you.   So what were the signposts my “fog” had caused me to miss? I decided to turn investigator and take a day off work to focus on what needed to shift (as well as catch up on all the neglected chores at home!).

I’ve been lucky enough over the years to work closely with professionals who really know their stuff when it comes to wellbeing. So, as a start, I went back to the basics I’d been shown over the years.

Increasing water consumption (with a pinch of salt in it) was a simple step one. The pinch of salt is to counterbalance any frequency of loo visits which may follow – TMI for some, though top of mind for others I’m sure! Taking processed food out of my diet and eating WAY more vegetables, fruit and protein. Bye-bye beige food! I even went onto YouTube and taught myself how to recalibrate the CPAP machine I’ve been using every night for 15 years for sleep apnoea (there’s zero chance of a sleep clinic appointment anytime soon).

The good news – it has helped. Significantly. I mean I’m not running any marathons, but getting up in the morning has been easier. I’m staying awake beyond 7pm, and I think I’m slightly more pleasant to be around! And whilst I don’t want to tempt fate… (so let’s whisper it) no migraine for two weeks. ??

That morning, when I was sitting with my coffee watching the creepy-ass fog bank moving away, what I particularly loved was the watery autumn sunshine beginning to appear. I like to think that when brain fog clears what then peaks through like the sunshine are the things we forget are so helpful to us. Healthy eating. A good night’s sleep. Dancing to a great tune in the kitchen. Connecting with friends (yes even virtually that’s so good for you). And having a really, really good laugh.

What are you forgetting to do for yourself? The smallest of changes can help the fog clear and let the sunshine appear.

Rolling the fog away

I don’t normally credit photos, but wanted to put a wee note beside this one.

One of my favourite fog clearing photographs was taken by my very dear late friend Chrissie on one of our many early morning walks in Bushy Park.

We lost Chrissie earlier this year (Loss and Legacy) and I miss her every day. ❤️



1 reply
  1. Sheila Champion- Smeeth says:

    Another wonderful blog thank you Jean ❤️ ? Absolutely love this picture of the light at the end of the tunnel. As we know we have to go through the whole tunnel in the stress cycle to get to the light. Awareness of the fog is key and I love how you find the healthy ways through – I am doing the same right now as you know ? x


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