Tuesday, 6 July 2021

Clearing the Cotton Wool (in a vain hope to boost my creativity)

Lately I’ve been struggling to get my brain in gear and enable me to be productive. I can’t seem to stick to task, or achieve the momentum of creative flow, even decide on a course of action or remember anything. Many of you will know the feeling - the feeling that your brain is clogged up with cotton wool.

This is me presently – struggling with cotton wool brain and it is SOOOOOOO frustrating. The issue is made worse as my POTS (Postal Tachycardia Syndrome) making me tired, light headed, giving tummy issues and BRAIN FOG (which is another way of describing Cotton Wool Brain.) Add to this my dyslexia, causing me difficulties with my short term memory and concentration it all adds up to one thing, a bad case of cotton wool brain and reduced creativity.

This results in my confidence taking a hit which causes my mood to plunge which means I get anxious about not being creative enough. This then makes me doubt my ability to write and to navigate around the substantial extra hurdles my health issues and neuro diversity place on the path to publication. All of this of course makes my cotton wool brain to get worse.

So How to Clear the Cotton Wool from my Brain?

  • Exercise is one of the best ways to relive POTS related symptoms including brain fog. However POTS also makes me medically exercise intolerant as my heart is already strained by just keeping me upright. Add to this my dodgy hips making most exercise impossible, and hyper flexibility which mean I can and have broken bones and dislocated joints my standing still - let alone moving or exercising. This makes exercise a challenge. Despite all the challenges my health issue present on my ability to exercise, I do walk everyday - as long as it’s on flat ground and good terrain. Of course some days it my hips are bad I can’t walk at all.

  • Lists and Post-its. I have to-do lists and post-its everywhere. this is to try and focus my brain on the most important tasks and to combat my bad short term memory - to try and reduce the possibility of me forgetting anything.

  • Eating better. Eating better, can help ease my POTS symptoms including the cotton wool brain. This of course takes time to plan and prepare, but the benefits are worth it. Just look at Deliciously Ella, who had really debilitating POTS which she managed through diet.

  • Better Sleep. This is obvious, but when I have a bad case of cotton wool brain, it usually comes with a bad bout of POTS and hyper flexibility - which means more pain. Joints, Hips, and a bad tummy which makes sleeping difficult. Also due to my hyper flexibility I can’t take any sleeping aids, as these relax the muscles, and if I do, I can’t walk in the morning. So this is difficult, and any tip gratefully received.

  • Getting Out. Sometimes the best was to clear the cotton wool is to force its out. If I change the environment, by going anywhere that isn’t home, there are fewer distractions. This means if I take a note pad and pen, and put that pen to the paper, I actually write. It may be BAD writing, but l think of it like panning for gold; you have to work through a lot of dirt to get the nougat. This forces the rain to cast aside the cotton wool enough to stick to task. Even if the output isn’t the best quality, it is a start and the next time I try and write it is easier.

All in all cotton wool brain is frustrating. Sometimes it is a massive challenge to clear it all. But then I’m a dyslexic trying to make a career in writing, so challenge is something I rise too – although slightly slowly and wobbly , I do rise.

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