Tips to improve brain health during lockdown
Activities you can perform in your home.
- Juggling — Bunch some pairs of socks together and find a place to stand with a high ceiling. Scientifically proven to improve the grey and white matter in your brain. This is a useless skill initially, but the benefits to your mental health make it worthwhile.
- Calisthenics — Otherwise known as bodyweight exercise. You could do with a yoga mat for this one unless you’re blessed with a nice carpet in your home. This is a common method of exercise for bedroom warriors. Yes, it can still build muscle but you won’t be Ryan Reynolds any time soon, sorry. You can use one of the many bedroom workout apps out there to guide you through a substantial workout, or you can follow along with a Youtube video.
- Meditation — Easiest in theory, hardest in practice. Where are the fast results? In truth, there are no noticeable results, but the point is about letting go of results and goals, the point is that in meditating you are taking a step back and regenerating to move forward and prosper, or whatever you want out of life.
- Stretching — This one requires some guidance, if you follow a Youtube video you’ll be in safer hands. When you stretch, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain. The benefits of stretching are incredible and infinite, if you want to improve your overall wellbeing, I always suggest starting your day with a stretch routine. But two main benefits stand out. Firstly, it calms your mind and initiates your waking psychological state gently for the day ahead. Secondly, it increases correct blood flow to all your limbs and muscles, so if you want to remain healthy and able for many years, these two benefits should give you that little push to do this every day.
- Reading articles on Medium — I used to spend weeks on a single book, now I read most posts on Medium and will find books based on reference points in the posts. It’s not just the fact I learn new things when I read articles, it’s the fact I am training my brain to flow properly when I interpret information. I read with purpose, not meaning I am working towards something, but purpose as in I am feeling the words and sentences, using the correct intonation in my mind, like a driving lesson, stopping at red lights, looking both ways, being conscious of the bigger picture (which is safety, when driving). Reading gets my brain into gear (bad pun) and when the day throws up any issues, my logic can calmly and sensibly find a solution without relying solely on emotions.
- Write a letter to your future self — Explain where you are, how you feel, what you want, and words of guidance for your future self. Then export as a PDF, convert to PNG/JPG, send it to your phone, make it hidden in your camera roll, link it to your cloud service, and forget all about it. You may stumble upon it earlier than a year and want to add to it, but never delete anything and then just let it float away again for a rainy day in the future.
These are only a few that I have myself applied to my daily routine and habits, they work for me currently, but there’re many many more you can find and add to your daily routine.
One last thing to add, if you wake up extra early to perform these activities, you will see the benefits quicker, and overcome the roadblocks to completing them quicker, as life will inevitably take over again, once the whole world is awake and moving. I wake up at 7 am at the moment which leaves me 3 hours until I have to go to work. I want to wake up at 5 am eventually.