Struggling to focus in isolation? Chained to your phone? We’re here to help.
Working at home rather than in your usual environment can make you feel less productive very quickly. It’s all too tempting to pop a wash on or bake a cake when usually during the hours of 9-5 you’d be somewhere where chores and kitchen experiments would have to wait. So we thought we’d put a post together on top tips for cultivating that focus during isolation, but we also want to caveat this with the very honest opinion that even if you implement all of the following diet and lifestyle changes, there will inevitably be days when you feel a bit down in the dumps - more often than not at the moment. Give into those days and treat yourself with a lot of compassion, it’s a confusing and scary time for all of us at the moment and we shouldn’t forget that.
Dietary Changes for Better Focus
Probably the most tangible changes we can all make are dietary ones because it’s easy to see how what we physically put into our bodies has a direct impact on how we feel. The best way to banish the brain fog and stay alert mentally is to eat a low inflammation diet and include some specific foods that directly support brain health:
Low Inflammation Diet1
- Grain free
- Low sugar
- Rich in organic vegetables and fruit
- Quality protein sources at every meal
- Lots of healthy fats, specifically Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids for brain function.
Oily fish is crucial as it contains the essential fatty acid Omega 3 which is necessary for brain health. So things like wild salmon, sardines and mackerel are great options to have on hand during lock down. If you’re plant based then chia, hemp and flax also contain some of these necessary omegas and are a great addition to a vegan diet.
Lifestyle Changes for Better Focus
One thing that’s changed immeasurably during lockdown is our daily routines. You might be isolating alone, in which case you’re spending very little time actually having human interactions, or you may now be isolating with people that you aren’t accustomed to spending so much time with! Whatever your situation, it’s hard.
Safeguard your Sleep
Make sure you’re getting good quality sleep, it’s all too easy to stay up and watch movies late into the night at the moment, because let’s be honest, you’re WFH now so starting your day slightly later is sort of a rite of passage. However, we’ve explored in a previous blog post how important sleep is for safeguarding against a viral infection such as Covid-19. Sleep modulates how our immune system works by changing the ways that our NK cells (Natural Killer cells, part of the immune system) seek out and destroy a virus.
- Get to bed an hour earlier.
- Disengage from all technology at least an hour before bed.
- Dim all the lights in your home, just use low level side lamps so as to not disrupt your body’s production of melatonin - the hormone that makes us feel sleepy.
- Get some daylight in your eyes first thing in the morning as this will help to regulate your circadian rhythm and give you deeper sleep at nighttime.
Daily Habits for Better Focus
If you’re waiting to do your hour of exercise or outdoor activity until you’ve finished your working day then you may be missing a trick! Exercising first thing in the morning has been linked to greater productivity, lower blood pressure and better sleep2.
Exercising in the morning in a fasted state (i.e. before you eat your breakfast) also helps to make you more insulin sensitive in the long term - a win for blood sugar regulation! It’s so important to keep your blood sugar levels steady and stable to be able to focus and be productive. Any of the Cru8 food range is perfect for this as it’s all very low sugar and keto friendly - so you can still treat yourself with a fudgy chocolate brownie!Shop Now
Nurturing your environment helps psychological balance. Have you set up a lovely workspace for yourself yet or are you camped out on the kitchen table amidst all the chaos? If you have the space, give yourself a designated area in which to feel productive and creative and jazz it up with some indoor house plants to improve the indoor air quality and bring in a sense of calm.
Your day needs discipline! Do the same things in the same order every day and, this is crucial, make the weekends different. You really need to be trying to differentiate time at the moment so that Monday to Friday you’re in focus mode and then at the weekend you can still relax, perhaps do some baking, have a cup of coffee in bed etc. Cultivate a great Monday - Friday morning routine and stick to it - it will really help you feel like you’ve got some structure back in your life.
We’d love to hear from you! What’s keeping you focused at home at the moment?