health

So turns out 'pandemic brain' is a thing. These are the 5 things to help, according to an expert.

Melrose Health
Thanks to our brand partner, Melrose Health

Hands up if you've been feeling a little foggy in the brain lately. 

Maybe you’re having difficulty concentrating, procrastinating on tasks more than usual and even struggling to find motivation.

I know I’m finding these things a little harder than I used to (uhh, when’s the deadline for that project again?) and it turns out that I’m not alone. 

‘Pandemic brain’ is actually a thing and we're not all just collectively getting lazier and more distracted. 

So, to find out the 411, we sat down with Holistic Nutritionist, Liv Kaplan.

She defines ‘pandemic brain’ as “a collection of symptoms including feelings of disorganisation and confusion, forgetfulness, inability to focus, memory problems and a lack of mental clarity or sharpness.”

So how do we get on top of this ‘other’ pandemic? Here’s what Liv has to say. 

1. Find a routine.

I know that after so much stillness and isolation, a routine can sound a little mundane and boring.

BUT I promise you, it’s one of the most important steps in getting your mental health back on track. 

“The monotonous nature of staying inside for endless days and weeks, and the lack of socialising, travel and being outdoors is certainly not conducive to human health. We are social beings who need excitement and community — so the widespread effects of the pandemic on our mental health is not surprising,” Liv told Mamamia

If you need a hand on getting a new routine down pat, here's where Liv recommends you start.

“In the morning, take five minutes to be still without distractions. Then move your body in any way and enjoy a healthy nourishing breakfast with a good source of protein, fat and fibre to keep those energy levels stable throughout the day.”

Image: Getty. 

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2. Try using MCT oils to help sustain energy.

Everyone seems to be talking about MCT Oils, but what exactly are they?

Well, MCT Oils are unique super fats that convert directly to energy, encouraging your body to burn fat for fuel, rather than glucose. They’re kind of like a physical and mental performance booster, and offer caffeine-free, sustained energy.

They are also the natural alternative to boosting energy levels, while avoiding the sugar rollercoaster. As a pure fatty acid, they provide an alternative energy source to glucose for sustained performance. 

“Due to the unique size of the MCT molecule, they are rapidly absorbed and transported to the liver, where they can be converted to ketones to be used for energy by the brain.

“This is what allows them the potential to increase energy, boost ketone production and increase brain power, helping to mitigate the effects of pandemic brain," she tells Mamamia.

Very cool.

Not sure where to start? Liv recommends checking out Melrose Health's extensive range. They're 100% vegan, all-natural, and ethically and sustainably sourced from coconuts grown in the Philippines.

They also have been able to develop products catering to a variety of needs. To assist with signs of pandemic brain, there's MCT Brain Power, and to assist with physical stamina there's MCT Energy & Exercise.

Image: Melrose Health.

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Liv's favourite way to incorporate her MCT oil into her routine is mixing it into a black coffee with ghee.

“Blend a teaspoon of Melrose MCT Oil and a teaspoon of ghee. It becomes creamy in the blender, and helps keep me energised and focused all throughout the day.”

YUM.

Just remember that when you start incorporating them into your routine, you’ll need to build up gradually. That's because taking too much all at once — when not accustomed to the product — can impact digestion. Start with 1 teaspoon and then slowly progress to a maximum of 1 tablespoon.

3. Practise mindfulness.

For years, I was one of those 'I just can’t meditate, my mind won’t turn off blah blah blah' people... until I finally made a proper commitment and it completely changed my life.

And look, you’re probably sick of people telling you that mindfulness and meditation is crucial in any sort of healing or mental health journey. But, guess what? Liv assures us that there’s a reason everyone is banging on about it. 

For those of you who are feeling a little like the old me and are little unsure, Liv suggests starting small. 

“To get started with mindfulness I recommend you take 5 minutes in the morning, make a cup of tea or coffee or even just water, and sit and drink it with no distractions — no work, no phone, no people, no multitasking.

“Bonus points if you can do it outside listening to the sounds of nature. You’d be amazed at how calm and clear you feel just from doing this.”

4. Get moving.

I’m going to keep this one short. 

You already know that exercise and movement is paramount for mental health and brain health.

But there is no right or wrong here. Liv says the best kind of exercise is the type you enjoy and can easily stick to. 

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“Some form of movement every single day is beneficial, especially if your job is sedentary, even just a 30 minute walk is better than nothing,” she tells Mamamia

Get those steps up ladies, we know you can do it!

Image: Getty. 

5. Improve your nutrition intake and hydration.

The brain is a very important organ and chews up a lot of energy, so it’s important you are well-nourished to ensure it is optimised. 

Our physical and mental performance is greatly compromised when we’re dehydrated so I’d suggest starting your day with a large glass of water and continue to sip on it throughout the day. 

As for your daily meals, Liv suggests “you want a source of protein, fat and fibre in your meals and plenty of vegetables, as this allows a slow and sustained release of energy to the brain”.

If you just can't seem to shake 'pandemic brain', Melrose Health has an extensive range of MCT Oils that might help. To get your hands on them, check them out of their  website

Use only as directed and consult your healthcare professional if symptoms persist.

Feature Image: Getty.

Melrose Health
Melrose MCT Oils are unique super fats that convert directly to energy, encouraging your body to burn fat for fuel, rather than glucose. Effective for both physical and mental performance, they offer caffeine free, sustained energy that is 100% natural and vegan. Add a small dash to your morning coffee or smoothie to feel the big difference it can make.