3 Important Tips to Keeping Your Brain Sharp in the Pandemic
The intense isolation that comes from battling a pandemic has caused a mental health epidemic of boredom and loneliness. Much of the joys of normal life that we took for granted are currently inaccessible and inadvisable, with many of us limited to a life spent indoors, staring at screens.
The Cognitive Reserve
There is a phenomenon in the brain known as “cognitive reserve” that is used to describe the tendency of one’s memory and thinking skills to be more efficient and resilient in people who routinely engage in cognitively demanding tasks. This could mean education, puzzles, learning new skills, and so on.
Many of these activities have been made unavailable to us. Not only can this cause a person to feel disillusioned, but it can also cause stagnation due to the lack of mental stimulation in an isolated environment. Essentially, the brain won’t get the exercise it needs to grow and function as effectively as it normally does, and the mind will atrophy as a result.
As such, it is important to keep our minds stimulated in whatever way we can. To help with that, we have created this list of tips to boost brain activity even though you’re bored at home. Read on to keep your mind and memory sharp.
Tip #1: Diversify your activities
Repetition is the enemy of enjoyment. The quickest way for you to grow bored is to repeat the same tasks again and again. As such, it is important for you to diversify your stimulation. Crossword puzzles are great for language and short-term memory, and tetris is great for visual logic. Board games are also a great option if you happen to be in a multi-person home.
If you live alone, you could arrange to play games online with friends. There are now plenty of platforms to play board games online, such as tabletop simulator, Roll20, and so on. Not only could you boost your brain activity with games on these platforms, you could provide yourself with the social interaction you need.
Tip #2: Set smart goals
While it is noble to try and develop a new skill, it is good to remember that there are plenty of stressors out there in the world. The pandemic, various political circumstances, and so on can cause your cognitive functions to be less effective.
You might be frustrated with yourself that the online course you took is taking you longer than usual to get through, or that you are not making enough progress on that language learning website. Remind yourself that progress is possible, but perfection is not.
Tip #3: Keep it regular
The more you exercise, the healthier and more powerful your body will become. The same can be said for the brain. The more regularly you challenge yourself mentally, the better your brain functions will be. Even just 30 minutes to an hour every other day is effective at staving off the stagnation, but the more you do it, the better your cognition will be.
The trick here is to find something that is both mentally stimulating and fun. This will make it seem less like a chore.
Now more than ever, it is important to take care of our mental health as well as our physical health. Make sure to stay safe, sane, and healthy by keeping yourself entertained and mentally stimulated while you remain isolated indoors. After all, the brain is a muscle that needs flexing from time to time.
If you’re looking for other brain-boosting and boredom-busting activities to get you and your family through this pandemic, send us at Bored A Lot a message. We have plenty of fun things for you to do.