Losing my mind, already?
The other day, on another blog, I did something I rarely do; I mis-used a word. It was a rather comical error, and thanks to the real-time wonder of blogging, I was able to change it as soon as I noticed, albeit after it went live.
Since I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve made this kind of error, I have to attribute it to the ‘memory fog’ or ‘mommy brain‘ of pregnancy.
Studies say these symptoms typically show up in the third trimester, but this isn’t the first incident I’ve experienced in the past few weeks.
I frequently lose my train of thought. The other day, I dialed the phone. By the time the other side picked up, I forgot who I called.
I’ve always been scatterbrained, however. Over the years, I’ve developed several ‘coping techniques’ to make my life easier. Whether you’re in your third trimester or your first, if you’re experiencing short-term memory loss, these tricks may help simplify your days.
- Get in the habit of putting your keys, purse and jacket in the same place by the door, so you don’t have to rush around looking for them every time you leave the house.
- Write everything down! I make to-do lists for work, for chores, for errands. I keep shopping lists, phone call lists? I’ve even started writing down the times of my favorite television shows in my calendar. When you sit down to write a list, don’t trust yourself to remember everything you wanted to include. Instead, jot down chores or grocery items as they come to you. When you’re out, you can use a small digital recorder or the Notepad function on your cell phone to record reminders to yourself.
- Most of my memory glitches occur when I’m not paying attention. The other day, washing dishes, I forgot if I already put soap on the sponge! Be extra mindful when performing routine tasks. Take a few extra seconds to watch your hand as it turns off the stove or coffee pot or iron. It will give you extra peace of mind when you leave the house.
- Have you often missed your turn driving home from a familiar route? To stay mindful on the road, go a different way, which will force you to pay attention. It also exercises your memory muscles and creativity.
- Use mnemonic devices. I’ve never been great with names, but I’ve never been this bad. The other day, I forgot the name of an associate, until I remembered a conversation we had about her mom being a Stevie Nicks fan. Her name was Rhiannon! Mnemonic devices can include words that sound similar and relate to the person or alternate meanings for their names, like Dawn, the light of day. When you first learn a name, try to repeat it several times during your first conversation. If you find yourself forgetting names of people you know fairly well in the midst of a conversation, say their name in a greeting when you first see them, so it will stick with you.
- Don’t multitask! There will be plenty of time to do four things at once after the baby is born. Concentrate on one task, finish it, and move on. Even having too many tabs open in my browser confuses me lately. If you find your mind starting to drift to your next doctor’s appointment, your baby shower, or what color you’re going to paint the nursery, stop yourself and focus on the task at hand. Reserve time to think about baby stuff, and when you have an idea or solution, write it down so you don’t forget.
How about you? What shortcuts and routines do you use to get you through the day?