SumTotal Blog

Brain Food Rx

It’s 3:00 p.m. – my stomach is rumbling, my mind is exhausted, and I want nothing more than to leave work, go home, and have a snack. However, that’s just not going to happen today – I have a 3:30 meeting with the boss and at least two deadlines that have to be met by the end of the day. Time for some brain food!

Here are some great solutions that will get your brain back on track to get you out of the lull – and a few that will also satisfy that rumbling stomach:

Brain Block: “I can’t remember what I was supposed to do.”


Solution: Write things down – whether you use a traditional notepad, post-its, or a digital reminder such as an email, text, or organizer, let the tools remember the details for your so you can focus on the task at hand.

Snack Rx: Blueberries contain compounds known as flavonoids that help improve memory, learning, and general cognitive function. Eat them by the handful. Just remember,  that blueberry muffin doesn’t count.

Brain Block: “Oooh, shiny!”

Quick Fix: If you are having trouble focusing, remove distractions. Temporarily turn off the web and hide your phone in a drawer.  Clearing your desk space will also remove distractions. (Don’t sort through the clutter, just set it aside – that sorting is just keeping you from the task at hand!)

Snack Rx: Peppermint candy or tea stimulates the brain to promote concentration. It has been used by schools to help students perform better on tests and to aid those who suffer from ADD.

Brain Block: “I can’t stop worrying about ____.”

Solution: Take your to-do list and pick one thing to work on (ideally, the one that you can’t get off your mind) and start working on it in small pieces. Reward yourself by taking a small break every 20 minutes and continue until you are done, then move onto the next item on your list.

Snack Rx: Yogurt contains the amino acid lysine, which can help to calm the nerves and lower anxiety.

Brain Block: “I don’t have the energy to think about that right now.”

Solution: Take a quick walk around the building. Stepping away from your work space and getting some fresh air will help bring some energy back and get blood flowing. You’ll return refreshed and ready to take on the afternoon.

Snack Rx: Nuts like almonds and cashews contain magnesium, which is essential for oxygen and blood flow. Getting that blood flowing will help invigorate your mind.

Now that you’re refreshed, go out and tackle the rest of your day!

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