Brain Food Shortage

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If you’ve been reading my posts regularly since, well, January really, you’ll have seen a trend of tiredness and lack of focus. Both have been chronic issues most of my life, but this year I am really feeling them.

With my overloaded schedule in the past few months especially, I am noticing the effects on my mental acuity. I’m not getting nearly any reading done because the focus simply isn’t there; and I am so slow when I do sit down with a book that I’m slightly embarrassed. Not only that, I am barely getting any words down when I do sit and to write. Finally, my coursework assignments feel like they take me much longer than they should—admittedly, this is likely 80% a perfectionist issue compounded by a 20% exhaustion issue. My recall is awful, day to day. For someone who is used to remembering minute details in any given moment, I’m especially frustrated by this.

Anyway, this isn’t supposed to be a whining post—consider the above some scene setting.

Lately, I’ve developed an addiction to click-bait and gossip articles. A year ago, I would have stated outright that I don’t have the patience to read such garbage. Now, I tell myself I’m “looking into the human condition.” Uh huh. The more fatigued I grow, the more I don’t want to do anything, particularly anything mentally difficult.

I think this has turned into a legitimate, habitual mental laziness problem. Sure, I’m tired, but I’ve always been tired. A few months ago I was reading academic articles for an assignment and was struck by how much I missed doing so regularly. I felt mentally nimble, engaged, and present. Unfortunately, that feeling didn’t last. And it’s absolutely my own fault: I returned to reading the garbage.

It doesn’t help that right now much of my non-fiction time is devoted to (usually) mind-numbing textbooks. It also doesn’t help that I have no one to talk to about the brainier pieces I read; this is a big issue since I used to read those types of things in preparation for a discussion. Reading them and having just my perspective and thoughts is nowhere near as much fun. That’s a lame excuse though, and I might be slighting people in my life who would be interested in discussing them with me if only I would ask.

I’ve got some me time coming in December that will last nearly till the end of January. I need to get my reading life in shape! I need to dump the bad brain food and start nurturing the neurons again. I have to snap my brain out of this rut because I know it will translate into more creative output down the road.

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