We’ve all wished for more free time, but in those fantasies ‘free time’ never looked like this. Spending day-after-day in your home with no one (or very few people) to talk to can make you feel like your brain is turning to mush. Good news! There are things you can do to have a little fun and keep your mind active and sharp while practicing social distancing.
Play Brain Games
Brain games are not only fun, they can also improve memory, focus, brain speed and cognition. They’re designed specifically to improve brain function and can be played on your computer, tablet or phone. Some options include Lumosity®, Elevate, Peak and Brain Games from AARP.
Jigsaw puzzles keep you busy and challenge your brain. Sudoku, Solitaire and crossword puzzles are all good choices and can be played in their traditional ways or online.
Get Others in On the Fun
Being social sparks activity in different regions of your brain. Have conversations with people daily. If you’re lucky enough to have someone home with you, bust out the cards or board games. Another option is to play online games with friends. There are many to choose from, but Best Fiends and Words with Friends 2 are two worth checking out.
Bust Out of Your Rut
Doing something out of the ordinary forces your brain to work a little harder. Anything that gets you out of a rut — whether it be learning to knit or doing a new kind of exercise — will get your brain working in different ways. Learning a new language is another great way to get your brain fired up — try Duolingo for a fun, easy way to get started.
Keep Your Body Moving
Physical activity stimulates your brain. Exercise doesn’t just make you feel better, it also improves your brain function and memory.
Feed Your Brain
Not only does good nutrition support your immune system, it also boosts your brain health. Load up on fruits and vegetables for a healthy dose of antioxidants — experts recommend between five and nine servings a day. And don’t forget to eat fish and walnuts to boost your omega-3 level.
Get Some Sleep
Missing out on sleep actually impacts your brain’s ability to function. Get seven to nine hours of sleep every night to be your sharpest self.
Too much stress makes anyone feel frazzled, but did you know it can also harm connections between your brain cells? Right now, there’s no shortage of stress. Luckily, there’s also a lot of ways to alleviate it. Exercise, meditation and talking to a friend or counselor are all great ways to get a handle on your stress level.