You know I’m a huge proponent of taking care of your mental health, and I especially enjoy my word games and anything I can do to stimulate my mind. How often do we learn something new as adults? The brain is like any other muscle in your body and you know what they say, ‘if you don’t use it you lose it.’ Now, that might be a bit dramatic, but by stimulating your brain, you make new neurological pathways which make it so you’re better able to handle stress, solve problems, remember things and so on. So, you can quite literally rewire your brain – also called neuroplasticity – which is the brain’s ability to restructure itself when it recognizes the need for adaption. Since your brain can continue to change and develop throughout life, it’s important to keep it stimulated. So, here are twenty things you can do to keep your mind sharp…
1. Play a word game – some of my faves are Wordle and the New York Times crossword but there are tons of similar ones on the ap store.
2. Journal or start a gratitude list – train your brain to find things your grateful for so it becomes a habit.
3. Learn a new language – don’t panic, I’m not insisting you take a bunch of classes or jet off somewhere, but you can download Duolingo and take bitesize lessons for free. Who knows, maybe you’ll learn a few words for your next international vacay?
4. Read a book – go out of your comfort zone and try a new genre.
5. Do a puzzle – yes, I mean the old fashioned kind but if that’s not your thing, try a number puzzle like Sudoku.
6. Practice an instrument – if you’ve ever wanted to learn guitar or play the piano then why not give it a try?
7. Create something – paint, draw, color or create a mood board.
8. Take a class – even if it’s a pottery or sommelier class, find something that interests you.
9. Try a new workout – your brain has to work harder when it’s learning something new!
10. Teach someone – by teaching someone a skill or concept it forces you to explain and master it yourself.
11. Watch a documentary – press pause on whatever you’re binging on Netflix and watch something educational.
12. Listen to a podcast – I’m constantly learning new things from people I interview on mine and there are SO many great podcasts out there!
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