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Power up your brain battery – How to beat mental fatigue 

 

Angie Cameron, direction managing director shares her thoughts and tips on mental fatigue. 

Are you feeling mental fatigue yet? Are you feeling tired earlier in the day and sometimes don’t have enough energy to finish your work or concentrate? This is all mental fatigue and it’s all very common just now.

Even if you’re not new to working from home, you will probably still be experiencing some mental fatigue. I’ve worked from home for a few days each week for years and they’re times when I get tired earlier and have less ability to concentrate. This can also affect memory, focus and how productive we are. 

The brain has only so much battery power and at the moment we are all pushing it to its limits. Most of us are being less social and active. We’re also working from home without the option to go to an office or a café, and often working with our kids. Some of us are using screens more, whether working on a screen or using more video calling. Video calls can be exhausting if we’re doing too many in one day.

Here are 5 power tips to keep your brain battery working as best as it can.  

Routine

This is one of the first things we tell our counselling clients just now. Routine gives us a sense of safety and security which is really important at the moment. Routine can also help us be more efficient and effective. It helps us get tasks done, procrastinate less and gives us structure. It also builds momentum, self-confidence and gives us time to achieve what we need to. Most importantly, we can schedule in relaxation time to help us recharge our battery.

Sleep

It’s imperative to focus on the quality and quantity of your sleep at the moment. Consider going to bed early, taking a daytime nap or getting into a healthy bedtime routine (avoid watching anything that uses up your brain power and decision making before bedtime). The news is hard to watch just now so don’t listen to it late at night and be mindful of how often you listen to it.

Distracting

As Freud said ‘we have defence mechanisms for a reason’. As mentioned above, watching too much news and late at night isn’t good for us. Don’t feel guilty about not watching the news. It can be traumatic and there’s nothing wrong in preserving yourself. While it’s tempting to get caught up in it, it’s important to have down time, be it reading a book, listening to a podcast or watching Netflix. I’ve really enjoyed listening to some comedy and doing some arts and crafts with my kids lately. It’s been amazing for switching off.  

Slowing down

I know many of you will be tempted to get lots done. But remember you’re being challenged in so many ways at the moment, especially mentally and emotionally. Don’t let emotions like guilt drive your behaviour. It’s a time to be wise with your energy and take each day, each morning, each afternoon, each evening and each hour as you feel is best for you. Listen to yourself and respect what you need rather than what you want. 

Connection

In times of difficulties and suffering, we can often feel alone, lonely and isolated.  I’ve often felt this and I know all too well how horrible it is. We need to remember this is normal and all part of being human. It’s easy to forget we are all grieving and experiencing loss and trauma. We’re all in this together. Research shows that when we remind ourselves that we’re connected to others, we feel less alone and we feel more compassion for ourselves and others. Remind yourself many times in your day that we are all going through tough times just now.

I hope this is helpful and my true heartfelt wishes are here for you and everyone. 

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Angie offers Mindful Meditation sessions for on Building Resilience and Compassion in Times of Difficulties. These sessions are offered are on a Dana basis which is the Buddhist term for donation. Please visit www.facebook.com/directionscotland/ for the latest information on session times.