Athletics & Community Blog

Athletics & Activities Blog – November 20

Anyone Else Experiencing “Brain Fog” This Year?

I guess I was hoping to prove that the old adage “misery loves company” is true.  After forgetting to complete a common task last week, I reached out to Google and typed in the words “Brain Fog”.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that I am not alone.  Many people are suffering from forgetfulness and just feeling “out of it” these days. 

“For many people, most notably working parents, the sudden switch to home working has meant an intensification of work/life conflict; it’s tricky to focus on a spreadsheet as your kids wrestle for the TV remote control. But it feels like there’s more to it than that. Even when work is finished for the day and the kids are in bed, it’s hard to find any focus to escape into a novel or box-set,” writes Dr. Christopher Jarrett, deputy editor at Psyche Magazine.

It turns out that this feeling of brain fog is associated with Cognitive Load Theory (CLT), which has to do with the way our minds process information. Learning a new task, for example, depends on our working memory, which involves short-term memory and does not have a lot of capacity.  Jarrett explains: “The less familiar you are with a task, the more you depend on your working memory to help juggle the relevant information; in contrast, when you’re an expert, most of what you need to know is stored in long-term memory and you can complete the task on auto-pilot.” (Jarrett, 2020)

So if we are constantly learning new things – like how to feed our children breakfast while logging into another virtual meeting – our working memory will have to decide to let something else go.  That’s why you might complete a task and forget that you did it, or just completely forget to do the task at all. 

And that’s just the beginning!  Brain fog can also be exacerbated by stress.  And who isn’t a little more stressed out these days?   If you are worried about getting sick, or someone in your family has a compromised immune system, then you are surely feeling a little more stressed out.  

According to Dr. Jarrett, “When you’re anxious, for example, this is known to reduce working memory capacity, thus making it more difficult to work through any mental problem that requires conscious problem-solving (think of how exam nerves scramble your brain, making it tricky to work through maths questions or compose a coherent sentence; or how the stress of your driving test made it much harder to multitask than in your lessons).” (Jarrett, 2020)

I guess it’s comforting to know that it’s not just me.  But what can we do about it?  Try slowing down.  Meditation helps. Exercise helps.  Taking a moment to go for a walk or chat with a close friend or family member – that helps too.  All the things that help with our health in general also help clear up our brain fog. 

I am hopeful this means I can stop worrying that I’m losing my mind and focus on downloading that new app for PE….if I can just remember what it was called.

Jarrett, Christian. “Cognitive Load Theory: Explaining Our Fight for Focus.” BBC Worklife, BBC, 13 Nov. 2020,

Community Education Update

We have put together a series of new Community Education classes for parents and staff, based on feedback we received over the past few weeks.  People have requested ways to stay mentally and physically fit while also being social with others in the ISY community.  We are currently offering classes in meditation, kickboxing, spinning, and HIIT (high intensity interval training), in addition to a “compassionate communication” seminar.

Registration is now open on PowerSchool.  Just log into your parent account and look for the Community Education tab on the left sidebar menu.  If you do not know your PowerSchool username or password, please take a look at this handy guide on resetting your PowerSchool login. If that doesn’t work then please contact PowerSchool support at

The Community Education packet can be found HERE!  Keep in mind that more classes could be added over the next few weeks.

Facilities Update

Following our phased plan of increasing the campus facility use ISY is now opening up the weight room, aerobic fitness area and swimming pool to middle School students, in addition to parents and high school students.   The fitness room aerobic machines have currently been moved into one of the gym courts to allow for social distancing.  The weight lifting equipment is still in the weight room at the back of court 1 of the gym.  Masks must be worn at all times in both areas.

Time slots of up to 60 minutes for the fitness room equipment are bookable by clicking on this form.  If a time slot does not appear, it has been filled and is no longer available.  No more than nine people will be permitted in the aerobic fitness area for use of aerobic equipment only and no more than four people will be permitted in the weight room.  Some time slots are also blocked automatically for deep cleaning.  The aerobic fitness area and weight room will be closed during school hours of 7:30 – 13:00. Other than those times, the aerobic fitness area and weight room will be open all day everyday.

Middle school students MUST be accompanied by a parent when using the fitness area or weight room.  The parent and child must have a liability waiver on file and both must sign-up online to an available time slot ahead of time in order to maintain proper social distancing measures.  Whether or not the parent is working out, they must be in the gym with their child at all times.  

Time slots of 60 minutes are available for lap swimming in the same form.   No more than 4 people are allowed in the pool at one time to leave a lane between each swimmer.  Users must shower poolside with soap before entering the water and please note that only swimmers/lifeguards will be permitted in the pool area.   The pool will normally be open from 6am to 6pm Monday to Saturday but please note the holiday closures below.

Please note masks need to be worn in all public areas of the school, except while in the water.  This includes while using the fitness facilities, walking from one area to another, in the locker rooms, and while on the front steps.  We also ask that you make every attempt to practice social distancing. Please always enter through the front steps area as this entrance is outfitted with a thermal camera to check temperatures.  We also ask that everyone wash their hands at the sinks on the front steps before entering the campus. The field and other outdoor play areas are not available at this time

For questions on facility use please contact Ms. Isom (

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