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Of all the things I've lost...I miss my mind the most

Monday, September 21, 2009
I have lost many things over the past few years, including clients, money, my cat, a favorite sweater, etc. But of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most.

I miss the ability to remember my kid's proper names. Instead I switch their names or call them by the dog's name.

When I go into our cellar to get something, I forget why I am there...stop and think...give up and go back upstairs. Get to the top of the stairs, curse because I just remembered what I needed and then go back down stairs to get it. And who said moms don't get exercise!

Today, I took a big box of books with me to the post office to mail to a former client. I needed to first stop at my other office to get bubble wrap. I took the box of books and the tape gun but forgot the address. That means I get to do it all again tomorrow.

My desk and computer screen is lined with yellow sticky notes:

"pick up the dog today"
"kids get off the bus"
"call client at 1:00pm"
"car needs oil change"
"reschedule haircut"
"close savings account"

The last reminder on this list, "close savings account" was a note for this morning. However, I forgot to look at my reminder notes, and now I get to try again to do that task tomorrow as well.

I make lists, set reminders in my Outlook, ask my husband and kids to remind me about certain things...but nothing seems to work.

I stare at my computer screen trying to remember what I am working on. Occasionally I forget words in sentences and have to find a way to describe to the person I am speaking to what it is I am trying to say. This is very frustrating when you are trying to sound intelligent in front of a client.

Balancing motherhood and being an entrepreneur can be stressful, but in my opinion it is a good stress. The consensus among brain researchers and psychologists is that a little stress can be helpful in certain situations, but that too much can do harm to memory and other basic mental functions.

Fortunately, reducing stress or better managing it can improve your memory. Daniel Pendick, author of the article "Memory Loss and the Brain" suggests the following tips for reducing and coping with stress.
  • Relax: Make time throughout the day for a few minutes of meditation, quiet time, prayer, or even staring out the window; take a hot bath or go to a movie.
  • Exercise: It relieves tension and provides a "time out" from stressful situations.
  • Sleep: Get enough of it. It gives your stressed-out body time to replenish itself.
  • Caffeine: Caffeine is a stimulant. Reduce or eliminate caffeine by cutting back on coffee, tea, caffeinated soda, and chocolate.
  • Multi-tasking: Avoid "multi-tasking," or trying to do more than one thing at a time, like eating or talking while driving.
  • Organize: Get organized, set your priorities, and simplify your life. At work, delegate tasks to others or let some things go.
  • Socialize: Socialize with family and friends. Limit time spent with negative people or in stressful situations.
  • Seek help: If you feel that your stress is out of control, speak to a therapist or ask your doctor whether anti-anxiety medications might help you as you learn how to manage stress better.

Mom entrepreneurs - do you feel you are losing your mind? What other stress relieving techniques and tips would you suggest?