When there is a lot going on in life, there is not always enough time left for recovery.

Fatigue is then a normal reaction.

If the fatigue is not relieved by resting and the head feels stuffy, you may suffer from a so-called brain fog.

- It is a bit vague term, but such a phenomenon is known, says Antti Aro, Terveystalo's leading occupational health psychologist.

In practice, brain fog refers to a situation where the brain is overloaded and human activity control begins to block.

The idea does not flow and everyday things do not want to succeed.

Even your brain can't handle everything

Brain fog can manifest as fatigue, distraction, and lack of concentration.

The symptoms are usually mild and go away by fluttering.

- The most common situation is that there are too many stimuli and the brain protects itself.

They stop receiving anything, go as if on a tilt, Aro says.

Overwhelmed by tasks that require brain effort like solving grids, there will be nothing.


 Sleep, nutritious food and exercise are the sacred trinity.

My overall spiritual energy grew quite insanely once I had understood the meanings of all three.

- Aino Papinniemi

"I thought brain fog is a normal thing"

Aino Papinniemi, 27, already felt as a teenager that her head was often strangely foggy.

He had a hard time concentrating and tolerating stress.

- However, I thought it was a normal thing, Aino says.

The cause of the symptoms was hidden in Aino's lifestyle.

Sleeping and eating were poor and Aino suffered from recurrent infections such as severe atopic dermatitis.

- I was fierce and reactive.

Not my best but fuzzy.

Things were hard to grasp, Aino describes.

Feeling cloudy also affected relationships.

- I pretty much retreated to my own circumstances.

I started using my symptoms as a reason I didn’t go anywhere.

Holy Trinity

The brawl lasted for years.

In her twenties, Aino began to wake up to her state of being and began a lifestyle change.

He began to move and trimmed bad carbs like sugar and wheat from his diet.

It was replaced by, among other things, good fats that pampered the brain.

- Sleep, nutritious food and exercise are the sacred trinity.

My overall spiritual energy grew quite insanely once I had understood the meanings of all three.

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Only later did Aino hear the word brain fog for the first time.

- It is not a scientific term, but clear and vernacular.

If someone had told me at a young age that the phenomenon is real and that it can be influenced by itself, many years of gossip would have gone away.

Outdoor activities and exercise are excellent ways to improve brain health and endurance. Photo: Aleksi Ahokas, Aatelma Oy

When to see a doctor?

If symptoms such as brain fog worsen and rest does not help, you should see a doctor.

Sometimes a brain fog can be caused by a disease.

Unnecessarily many push forward to exhaustion because they don’t notice an increase in load.

- Fatigue often develops little by little and you get used to it and you no longer remember what it was like to be fresh, Antti Aro says.

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  • Are these symptoms familiar?

    Stress also causes a surprisingly long list of physical symptoms

Daily recovery is the best way to prevent brain fog.

Then the brain gets rest and the waste products are removed.

As if the batteries had been replaced

Aino's open fog gradually dissipated.

The difference to the former was huge.

- I gained more pressure tolerance, creativity and a wealth of ideas.

As if someone had exchanged bad batteries for better ones.

Brain and mind health and performance are topics that Aino, who works as a coach and entrepreneur, wants to talk to others as well.

The well-being of the mind is inseparable from the well-being of the body.

- There is a reason for brain fog, at least in a holistically healthy lifestyle, at least the situation does not get worse.

The time and effort you have to put into new lifestyles is a small price to pay for what you get back with them.

Brain well-being also affects whether you can do things that are important to you and whether you are happy.

6 ways to refresh your mind

  • Sleep enough.

  • Take naps if possible.

  • Take micro breaks at work.

    This can have a surprisingly large effect on alertness.

  • Eat regularly and healthily.

  • Move.

  • Spend time daily without a smartphone and other terminals.

  • The article was originally published in Ilta-Sanomat on May 28, 2019