Many people are struggling to keep their minds active during the COVID-19 pandemic. Going from being able to go outside, go shopping, meet up with friends and socialize to being confined to the same four walls for weeks on end can be detrimental to a person’s mental health, but doing nothing all day everyday for long periods of time can have a negative impact on your brain.
If your life is hectic and you’re constantly on the go, doing nothing at the weekend is perfectly fine and is actually recommended, but lockdown is a whole other thing and has seen most people sitting at home in front of a screen for days on end. This is no good for the brain; it needs to be stimulated, but that doesn’t mean you to need come up with a master online business plan. Here are five ways you can keep your mind active during lockdown.
1. Read a Book
Nothing gets your mind going quite like reading a book. Imagining scenarios in your head can transport you to another world, and many people find this escapism comforting. Aside from the relaxation that comes with this, reading actually increases your intelligence because in widens your vocabulary. Not only this, reading increases your memory function which can keep your brain sharper for longer. If you don’t like reading, try an audio book instead!
2. Do a Jigsaw Puzzle
Brain teasers are excellent for brain health and really testing the capabilities of your brain, and there’s no better brain teaser than a jigsaw puzzle. This is something you can do by yourself or with your household, ensuring everyone in your house is giving their brain the exercise it needs. Puzzles improve your mental speed and short-term memory. Not only this, they teach patience as you try and figure out what piece goes where, and betters your spatial reasoning.
3. Learn a Dance Tutorial
What better way to get moving AND improve your brain function at the same time than by dancing? Find a dance tutorial on YouTube and try and commit it to memory. Whether it’s a classic dance routine like the Thriller dance, or if it’s something a bit newer like the Single Ladies dance, getting up and getting moving will improve your memory function, coordination and your physical health because it counts as exercise, except it’s fun so it’s slightly easier to do than a HIIT circuit.
4. Eat Well
If you’ve put on a bit of lockdown weight and are looking to get it shifted, a diet change is in order. Likewise, if you’re not feeling quite as sharp as you used to, a diet change could also benefit your brain. A good diet that consists of lots of fruit and vegetables can reduce your risk of cognitive decline, and this is especially important when it comes to lowering your risk of developing dementia in older age.
5. Learn a Language
At this stage of the pandemic, there are lots of people who are looking to really challenge themselves. If this is you, learning a language could be the solution. People who speak a second language have been proven to excel at problem-solving, have better critical thinking skills, increased concentration, better memory and the ability to multi-task. If those benefits weren’t convincing enough, speaking a second language opens you up to be able to communicate with millions more people, and that can be very rewarding indeed.
These are just five ways you can keep your brain active, but remember it’s perfectly okay to do nothing and there’s no pressure to do anything completely left-field during lockdown. Stimulating yourself could help with your mental health and wellbeing, but it’s equally as important to take time to do nothing, too.