If You’re Feeling Scatterbrained, Here Are 10 Reasons Why

Some days, we all just feel a bit out of it…

Maybe we feel rushed or forgetful, or we easily get overwhelmed and feel quite ditsy for some reason.

Well, that ‘some’ reason could be any number of things.

We’ve rounded up 10 common causes for feeling scatterbrained, as well as how to address and resolve these issues…

1. You’re burnt out.

Burnouts are real, take it from us!

If you’re feeling scatterbrained, it might be because you’ve essentially fried your brain.

It sounds intense but it’s very common – especially these days, when we’re either working 7 jobs, pushing ourselves to get a promotion before we turn 25, or comparing ourselves to everyone we see on social media.

Add to that the fact that information is instantly and constantly accessible to us, and it’s no wonder you’re feeling overloaded and scatterbrained. 

Combat this: limit your internet usage and social media consumption and start saying no to things. Skip a social event and get some rest; say no to an extracurricular activity at work so you can focus purely on what really needs doing. 

2. You’re not sleeping enough.

Being tired makes everything worse. If you’re not sleeping enough, or you’re not sleeping well, things really start to pile up.

You might feel more forgetful or easily flustered, you might get snappy or feel irritable, or you might just feel all over the place and really out of sorts.

Either way, if you’re wondering why you feel scatterbrained, check how much quality sleep you’ve been getting recently.

Combat this: set yourself a bedtime and stick to it – it’s not just for little kids! Commit to turning your phone off and getting into bed at the same time every evening. Our bodies and minds both benefit from routine.

Establish a nighttime ritual that you associate with sleep, like playing a meditation track and putting some lavender oil on your pillow. The more you do it, the more you’ll come to associate it with rest – and the better you’ll start to sleep…

3. You’re not planning your time very well.

If you’re feeling all over the place, it might be because you’re not making great use of your time.

It’s easier said than done, we know, but if you don’t plan how to spend your time, you might end up feeling rushed and anxious about completing tasks on time.

The more anxious you feel, the less productive you’ll be, and the longer it will take you to finish them anyway! This is really backwards and not productive at all, so it’s something to be aware of. 

Combat this: make the effort to plan out each day or week to ensure you have enough time to get everything done. Map out deadlines, prioritize what is urgent, and stick to your plan! 

4. You’re on your phone too much.

This is something most of us are guilty of at times! Mindless scrolling has become such a habit for the majority of us. It may seem innocent enough, but it can become quite destructive over time.

We’re a weird mix of switched-off and over-stimulated when we’re looking through social media, and it can confuse our minds.

We might feel comfy and out of it, but we’re also consuming so much information and seeing so many photos and 15-second videos at a time.

This can leave our brains feeling a bit confused and overwhelmed, which can give us that ‘scatterbrained’ feeling. 

Combat this: limit how much time you spend on your phone! Some phones have settings that cause the phone to lock itself at a certain time in the evening, as a reminder to get off it before bed.

You can also monitor your phone usage and how much time you spend on it each day through your phone settings and different apps. Set yourself a limit and stick to it – it might seem boring but it’s for the best! 

5. You’re putting too much pressure on yourself.

If you’re the kind of person who loves a challenge, you need to take extra steps to ensure you’re still looking after yourself.

As someone who has never had less than 2 jobs at a time, and manages to fit in a social life, daily yoga practice, 8-mile daily walks, and somehow finds time to sleep – you need to slow down!

If you’re doing more than most people do, or more than you are used to doing, you need to look after yourself and stop putting so much pressure on yourself to achieve things.

You don’t need to smash your goals every single day, whatever the influencer on Instagram you follow is telling you.

You’ll end up feeling out of it and dazed or overwhelmed because you’re under so much pressure.

Combat this: remember that you’re allowed to relax and have fun! You can ease up on your expectations of yourself and still achieve great things – and you’re not a failure if you need to drop a commitment or take more time to achieve your goals. 

6. You’re taking on too much at a time.

This one is similar to above, but is really about stretching yourself too thin.

It’s not just the pressure you’re putting on yourself, but the different ways you’re expecting yourself to show up on a regular basis.

You can’t do everything at once, and you also can’t take on pressure from everyone at once, including from yourself.

The more we overload ourselves and try to have a finger in every pie, the more we’re left feeling scatterbrained and ditsy because our brains simply can’t keep up with all the different things going on.

Combat this: work out what aspects of your life you can work on at a time. Some days can be dedicated to exercise, others can be set aside for work on personal growth and projects.

Space things out so that your brain has time to catch up and reset for each new thing you’re focusing on. Your mind is like an internet browser – too many tabs open at a time will make it crash. 

7. You’re overthinking things.

One of the reasons we feel burnt out or scatterbrained is overthinking. You might be getting bogged down in little details or obsessing over things to an unhealthy extent.

This can really fire your brain up and get it stuck in a loop, which makes it hard to focus on other things or function as well as normal.

If you’re using up all of your mental capacity to stress about one thing and replay it over and over again, no wonder you’re feeling ditsy and confused.

Combat this: try to practice mindfulness and learn to let go of the little things you cannot control. Meditation and yoga are a great way of doing this – they allow your brain to rest a little bit and let go of some control, which will really help you stop overthinking as much. 

8. You’re working in the wrong environment.

If you often feel scatterbrained at work, or when you’re studying, you might not be in the right kind of environment.

I love working in busy, noisy cafes because the background buzz keeps me going. I can’t stand working in a quiet room as my brain just zooms in on any background noise and starts trying to listen into conversations just because I can very vaguely hear something.

If I’m in the wrong kind of environment, I cannot focus and I get nothing done, which makes me frustrated and irritable and often makes me feel scatterbrained and out of it.

Sound familiar? 

Combat this: you need to find a space that works for you, whether that’s with your headphones on blaring white noise or punk rock, or in a quiet room with bright lights and a huge computer screen.

9. You don’t prepare for things very well.

“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail” – anyone else’s parents drum this into them during exam revision sessions?

If you’re feeling easily overwhelmed, distant, or scatterbrained, it might be because you’re not setting yourself up in a good, helpful way.

You might feel like you’re always rushing out the door in the morning, which then means you feel stressed before you even arrive at work. This then impacts your whole day and can leave you feeling even more out of it!

Combat this: do some basic prep before bed each night. You can get your outfit ready, have your coat and shoes by the door so you’re not racing around trying to find them in the morning, focus your mind before a presentation by going over your notes. Whatever it is, preparation can hugely impact how present you feel.

10. You’re buzzing off coffee.

This is a pretty simple one but it deserves a mention nonetheless! If you often feel ditsy and all over the place, or quite erratic or forgetful, you might be too caffeinated.

Coffee is great for productivity levels sometimes, but it can also cause us to feel scatterbrained and almost too wired.

It also affects our quality of sleep, which, as we now know, can have a huge knock-on effect….

Combat this: it doesn’t sound true, but a hot water with a lemon wedge squeezed in it can really perk you up! It’s not as fun as coffee, we know, but it hydrates you, perks you up, and can activate neurons in your brain that can lead to more productive levels of work and functioning.

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About Author

Lucy is a travel and wellness writer currently based in Gili Air, a tiny Indonesian island. After over a year of traveling, she’s settled in paradise and spends her days wandering around barefoot, practicing yoga and exploring new ways to work on her wellbeing.