For many of us, our brains have been on overload these past few months and under more stress than usual. We have been concerned about our health, our finances and, for many, our future.
When you have a lot on your mind, you may suffer from sleepless nights or anxiety. It’s almost as if your brain starts to hurt and you get monkey-mind. Keeping our minds and brains healthy is important but often overlooked. June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Health Awareness Month. So in honor of a month dedicated to a healthier brain, here are five things we can do not only for our brains but for our overall wellbeing.
Five Ways to Keep Your Brain Healthy
Join AARP’s Staying Sharp program. AARP is offering a 25% discount on annual memberships, bringing the cost down to $12 for the first year with an automatic renewal. There are a wealth of perks to becoming an AARP member. Not only will you receive significant discounts on a wide range of products and services, their magazine and more, but you will be able to access a significant amount of information and resources on a wide range of topics. One program AARP offers is Staying Sharp, which includes articles, activities, recipes, games and more, all with the objective of keeping your brain sharp. In addition to covering the mind element, Staying Sharp offers a whole-body approach to keeping your mind fit. Once you become a member and activate Staying Sharp, you can take their brain health assessment which is free in June. The cost is usually $6.99.
The Alzheimer's Association is a wonderful resource for anyone wanting to gain a better understanding of how to care for the brain. You will find articles and studies that will shed insight into ways to protect and keep your brain healthy. One recent study highlighted the connection between physical activity and cognitive health.
Stay socially engaged. This is more important than ever. Not only does social engagement stimulate your mind, but it wards off the feeling of isolation. Doing so virtually is safe and fun. FaceTime and Zoom are two ways to easily connect with people face-to-face. Try doing a virtual night out. Sites like Goldstar.com offer free or low-cost activities and events for you to enjoy from the comfort of your own home.
Consider your diet. Harvard Health Publishing Harvard Medical School offers 12 tips to help with brain health. In their list of tips, they recommend a Mediterranean style diet and keeping your blood sugar in check.
Learn a new language. It’s never too late to learn a new language, and your brain will appreciate the challenge. Since many of us are still spending a lot of time at home, now might be the best time. I decided to take on Italian. It’s fun, even if you learn just the basics. Rosetta Stone is interactive and you can even work with a teacher. Other simple ways to learn are through apps like Duolingo.