By Kathy Denise Hicks
Although, the news has lessened regarding the Covid virus more recently. As you probably remember, we were constantly seeing the Covid numbers, the impacts to the hospitals, and the latest symptoms in front of us on the TV, blogs, and magazines. Regardless if you are a “vaxer” or “non-vaxer”, had Covid or haven’t had Covid, due to information overload, we all may be suffering from “Covid Fog”. Today I will give you five ways to help clear Covid fog.
My World Shifted When the Pandemic Hit
When the pandemic entered my world, March 2020, I experienced the virus second-hand. My mother and brother came down with a serious respiratory illness of which they lost their sense of taste. I was sent home when news of the virus reached my office and I was stuck at home. Like everyone else, my world became the 4 walls of my living room. I became glued to the news following the data and graphs. Although I did not contract Covid, my emotions were down, anxious and my thinking became very fuzzy. We made several visits to the ER with my autistic brother. He stopped eating for three weeks and we had to get fluids in him to keep him alive. All is well now, but that was a scary anxious time for our family.
Eventually, my daily routine became established with my work. The gym was closed, and the 7 exercise classes I had been teaching gone. I knew I had to do something. For about a month, I stopped moving, eating right, being positive, and able to think in a straight line. I assume now it was a form of Covid Fog.
Long Covid Symptoms
Of course there are different levels of Covid Fog. I know my mother suffered differently that my brother from Covid. She developed neuropathy in her hands and feet and some difficulty remembering things. After chatting with a neurologist, he confirmed that many others had similar symptoms. According to Andrew E. Budson, MD who writes for the Harvard Health Blog, “many people who have recovered from the acute, life-threatening effects of COVID-19, but still don’t feel that their thinking and memory are back to normal”…. symptoms “can be devastating, such as encephalitis, strokes, and lack of oxygen to the brain. But other effects may be more subtle, such as the persistent impairment in sustained attention noted by Chinese researchers.” You can read the full article here – Harvard Health Blog.
Five Ways to Help Clear Covid Fog
You are not alone if you feel these struggles with your memory and thinking function. These symptoms are wide spread with the general public and well documented. Let’s focus on a few things we can try and hopefully use these 5 ways to help clear covid fog.
Get Your Sleep
Everywhere you look in medical brochures and health magazines, getting good sleep is touted as a great remedy for many health conditions. Many have noted that after contracting Covid, they experience sleepless nights, which can exacerbate Covid Fog. I wrote about developing a sleep trigger a while ago. Try using some of the ideas in my article to help you get to sleep and stay asleep.
Check Your Diet
Eat Healthy Foods – Feed your body with a healthy diet including olive oil, fruits and vegetables, nuts and beans, and whole grains has been proven to help with memory function and creating a slower rate of cognitive decline. According to the National Library of Medicine, “The Mediterranean diet may represent a potential strategic therapeutic approach to address both short- and long-term conditions associated with COVID-19 infection and severity and improve mortality and the overall well-being of affected populations.” Give this way of eating a try and hopefully you will begin to clear covid fog.
Move Your Body
Perform Aerobic Exercise – A number of studies have shown that getting your heart rate up at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week, can help. According to a study in the UK, researchers said they found a statistically significant improvement in exercise capacity, levels of fatigue and overall wellbeing. Start out slowly and gage yourself with your energy level. Walking may be the best exercise to start with and then add on high intensity activities.
Be Around Others
Get Social – Although we have been isolated for the last two years, perhaps restoring our relationships will help with your Covid fog. Interacting with others demands higher function of the brain. Our brains must continually make decisions and judgements during conversations. In this article, Andrew Budson states, ” that for many patients, “initially, the biggest disruption is the ability to pay attention.” People may also report problems retaining information. However, some of those symptoms could be related to a lack of attention or a poor attention span.” Forcing yourself to be around others will engage the brain and eventually increase brain function which will help clear covid fog.
Engage in Mindful Activities
Pursue Mindful Activities – According to the Penn Medicine News, “You can reverse that cycle by using different language techniques or labeling emotions — a strategy called affect labeling — to help activate executive functioning and control, reducing the activation of negative emotions related to stress. One key strategy to boosting resilience is mindfulness, taking a moment to be aware of surroundings to reduce stress levels.” Implementing a time of meditation and journaling everyday can help you examine your thought and have a clear view of them. Listening to inspiring music and prayer can be another way of incorporating times of mindfulness into your day.
Wrap Up and Action Steps
These five ways to help clear Covid fog hopefully will bring more and more ideas to the surface of your mind. As we engage our brains more and more, the fog will lift and we will regain what we have lost over the last few years. As few actions steps is to write down 1 thing you can do tomorrow, to engage yourself more fully. Have lunch with a friend, go to a workout class, or read a book that challenges you. All in all, keep moving forward in every are of your life, one step at a time and clear the Covid fog for good.
About the Author
Kathy Denise Hicks is a Personal Trainer/Corrective Exercise Specialist, Author, Entrepreneur. She currently inspires clients to incorporate habits which alleviate joint and muscular pain, increase energy, and attain their ideal weight. Kathy’s mantra “No Pain, More Gain” is truly exemplified through her coaching technique and expertise. She has recently created a Foot Fitness Program and uses her Yamuna and Pilates Certifications to keep her clients in shape from head to toe.