Updated: May 5, 2020
Have you ever wondered whether the things you are doing are enough to keep your brain fit? Especially in a time like now with the COVID-19 lock-downs, do you feel like you are “loosing your mind”? Well here are 5 things you can do to get your mind back on the rails and keep it there!
1) According to Nataly Kogan’s post, something immediate you need to do when that “loosing it” feeling starts to creep in, is to stop and count your breath. Counting your breath makes you focus on yourself and thus helps your mind quiet down. Another good advice is to take a 10 minute walk. Walking causes your brain cells to produce a relaxing feeling and while relaxed you actually think better! You should also schedule some time to think about what is stressing you out, then focus on something good. Lastly but not least practice self-compassion and write down something you accomplished recently. You will surprise yourself how amazing you are!!
2) Prioritize physical and emotional well being. In a blog about mind/body connection, the author notes the importance of taking care of yourself and how your emotions can heavily affect you. It is very important to get enough sleep, pay attention to what you eat, and exercise. Yes, I know you all hear these a lot but the combination of all these are super important for your mental health.
3) Meditate and practice gratitude. According to Be Happy Yoga & Salt Cave, gratitude meditation is “a simple way to meditate” because at its core, all you have to do is just “reflect on all the people and things you are grateful for.” Doing this ever so often will help your mood in so many ways. Have you ever found yourself thinking of someone you love and how grateful you are and suddenly you find yourself with a smile and maybe a few tears of joy? That’s it…do that again.
4) Keep your mind engaged and do something different. Doing things like puzzles, board games… or how about try cooking a new food recipe, one you have never had before. Doing things that make you think and are novel has been shown to be great at boosting your brain powers. In this article by Lauren Mazo she notes that it is important to break up routines. In the book “keep your brain alive” by Lawrence Katz and Manning Rubin, they propose several ways of doing things differently using Neurobic exercises. A good place to get started on these is with M1ND 6YM a place dedicated to mental fitness using these Neurobic exercises but in a fun, educational, and social environment that will give you tools to think creatively and stay mind fit.
5) Stay socially connected and avoid over doing with the news! It is indeed important to keep up with what is happening in the world, like with this scary pandemic, but do not over-consume. As discussed in Sara Lindberg’s post, this can become toxic and have negative effect in your mood as well as your physical and mental well being.
It is better, and actually very important you spend some of your time staying social. In the Psychology today article by Angela Troyer, there are many benefits to being social and these are; living longer, better physical health, better mental health and lower risk of dementia. So go ahead and zoom on, get in touch with all your long lost friends…chat away!
Remember keeping the brain fit is not just doing one thing, its doing several, if not all of the things above. Carve out time to fit these in and you will be sure to notice an improvement within yourself. Imagine when you are mind fit how much impact you will have on others around you as well!
Stay mind fit, and keep safe!