It is so unclear in a fibromyalgiac’s life whether the darn fog is the cause of other symptoms such as pain and fatigue or whether it is a symptom in itself. There is however, one thing that is clear – we need to address it and reduce it in order to be able to function.
Most of us have a family (some even extended) who need our care. They need us to know the answers to their what – where – how – why – when! and that is not possible when we are clouded by fibro fog.
I am being overly optimistic here. I know there is going to be some amount of fog some times but here are some pointers that I practise and advocate.
- Put things back where they Belong
Basically ensure that everything has a place and that after it is used it is returned to the same place. I know I forget where I have kept something that I have recently changed the place of. My mind keeps going back to the previous location!
There is a lot to be said for forming an action into a ‘habit’. A habit is something that has sunk into our memory and mind and enables us to retrieve the information more easily. Although there is some discussion that a habit takes 21 days to form (Dr. Maltz), the actual fact is that it can take anything from 21 days to 8 months, depending on the habit and the frequency it is repeated.
Anyway, the point here is that it becomes easier to recall something that we are familiar with.
- Write it down
You might laugh at this ‘habit’ I have cultivated but I write down where my things are. Using an address book, I alphabetically write down where I have kept things which I do not use regularly, especially if the things have been stored in boxes in the storage room or in the overhead cabinets. It makes it so much easier than bringing all the boxes down to check each one for whatever it is I need.
On the note of writing, I highly recommend that you use a notebook or filed paper so write down anything you need to remember. Writing on paper will add yet another item that you will be forced to recall the location of. I mean it, lose paper or post its is not the way to go. Don’t get me wrong, I love using post-its but only for temporary, short -term messages.
- Use a planner
This is an extension of ‘write it down’ but used for appointments and things that I need to remember such as birthdays, anniversaries, invitations to attend a party.
Many people (including me) need a planner for a few different reasons.
- Most importantly so we do not forget the occasion or someone’s special day.
- Secondly, it is good to have a plan. For example planning you menu and writing into a planner will make it easier to draw up a grocery list and having a grocery place in a proper place will make it harder to lose.
- When we have a plan and we have everything written down, it clears the mind of having to remember these matters, allowing the mind to focus on other things.
- Of course, for fibro-fighters, trying to remember too many things only leads to stress and stress is set of an all new, series of unwanted symptoms.
- Do Things Conscientiously
If you practise the above steps, then you are clearing your mind of many small details and things that you would otherwise be afraid of forgetting. This clear(er) mind will allow you to act conscientiously.
Let me give you a simple example.
When I get out of the car, should I not have a list, I would probably be mentally scanning my pantry to figure out what I need. In doing so, I might not check the parking lot I parked in. I might also leave the parking ticket in my car instead of putting it into my tote. Can you see where I am heading with tasks I have done absent-mindedly? The result is bound to be missed out groceries, a car that took 20 minutes to locate and a parking ticket that took another 15 minutes to locate and pay.
One of the main reasons that our actions take an absent minded perspective is because we tend to multi-task. Forget that cliche phrase that women can multi-task. Learn to do things one at a time so each action is registered for recall. Make that a habit. Recalling an action which has been conscientiously done is an easier process.
- and last but not least, is our diet!
There is no doubt that a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables. This should be combined with whole grains and lean meat. Low fat dairy products and drinking sufficient water complete the requirements.
Do stay away from processed food, caffeine and sugars!
Want to share any tips? I would be happy to hear from you.
I really hope that these tips which have worked for me, will also help you to reduce your fibro-fog. I don’t promise a miracle of parting the cloud completely, but some relief is definitely to be gotten from folowing these tips.