Tawnya Ritco Registered holistic nutritionist Tawnya Ritco is a registered holistic nutritionist and product specialist in the natural health food industry. Q:I’m having trouble concentrating. What can i do to regain some mental clarity and calm? Many of us are familiar with the saying “You have the attention of a goldfish.” If your attention span feels like it’s floundering, though, there are plenty of options to help you regain your focus. In this era of information overload, the key to mental clarity and focus includes managing stress and controlling anxiety (which can also reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia). Your toolkit for stress management and overall brain health should include the following. Physical Exercise Robust aerobic exercise enhances synaptic plasticity and related body processes such as neurogenesis, metabolism, and cardiovascular function. When you work out, you exercise your body and your brain. Sleep We need sleep to regenerate. Aim for seven and a half to nine hours each night whenever possible to fully recharge. Mental Workouts Learning a new skill can alter the physical makeup of your brain. Keeping cognitively fit also improves your ability to solve problems, cope with stress, and handle change. Rest and Meditation In addition to a good night’s sleep, the brain requires regular down time to remain sharp. Taking short timeouts throughout your day may help clear a foggy mind. Nutrition A moderate intake of healthy fats, such as omega-3s, can encourage optimal brain health. Hydration is also critical for cognitive performance and mood. Supplementation Certain deficiencies can result in poor cognitive health, but they can often be addressed with supplementation, such as with B vitamins. Other supplements, such as lion’s mane mushroom, have been associated with optimal brain and nerve function. Combining some or all of these practices may help you gain focus and productivity. Most importantly, they could have a positive impact on your overall brain health for the long term. *A note on vegan and vegetarian options: At Purica, we’re committed to empowering you with the best in whole foods, supplements and positive lifestyle solutions. We support all athletes and active living people whatever your dietary preferences, although we will always do our part to raise awareness about the benefits of vegetarian or vegan options.