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A Simple Way to Ease “Mom Brain”

IMG_0511Stop me if this sounds familiar: you’re trying to make a grocery list, but your baby is teething/crying/refusing to let you put her down, your other kid is chatting incessantly about that thing that happened at preschool three weeks ago which he still thinks is hilarious, your phone keeps buzzing at you with new texts from your friends who are planning a get-together for the afternoon, and your house looks the same way your brain feels: like someone gave it a nice shake.

Oh, you too? I knew I would find some kindred spirits here.

So, let me take a stab at how you are feeling at that point in the day. Tired? Distracted? Unable to focus? Irritable? Flighty? It’s one of those times when you walk into the other room full of purpose and resolve, and then have no idea what you were resolved to do the moment you cross the threshold. (Pssst! You were checking your supply of flour: you’ll need enough for pizza night on Friday.)

Ah, yes. I’ve been there too. This condition has a name and it’s not, as I have been calling it all these years, “mom brain.” It’s actually called “brain fatigue” and it is what happens when your brain is . . . fatigued. From being constantly pulled and shifted and interrupted by the demands of modern life or . . . by being a mom.

This is a good thing. I mean, being able to identify the things that you are feeling is a good thing. And once you’ve identified it, you can maybe take steps literally to restore order and energy and sanity to that fatigued brain you’re carrying around. It’s as simple as taking a walk in the park.

This may seem obvious, and it’s been suspected based on circumstantial evidence for a long time, but, according to the New York Times, scientists have finally been able to verify the benefit that taking a leisurely walk in the park has on brain waves. The results of the study show that when walking through green spaces, the test subjects had brain activity that can be classified as “meditative.”

Sounds lovely, doesn’t it? So next time you find you’re unable to remember the names of your children, it might be a good time to take a walk in the park. Just let the kids run on ahead.

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