Wednesday, January 4, 2017

5 Entertaining & Playful Ways to Keep Your Brain Healthy

There is an old saying that goes like this " If you don't use it, you'll loose it!"  Brain power is like that too! Today we will review 5 Entertaining and Playful ways to keep those brain cells healthy and in good working order, especially once you have retired.

My kids have always told me that I have lost my mind and there are days when I have to agree with them. It seems that children are the first things that impair your mind's ability to function at it's best.  Ask any parent and they will most certainly agree.  Before children, they could remember all manner of facts, without needing any help.  After kids, they are lucky if they remember which order those kids come in.  They call for one but have to run through the list of children's' names before coming to the right one.  It happens to all parents at some time or another.

What can we do to keep our Brains Healthy and Working Well?

That may be easier to answer than you think.  Activity for the body keeps the body from aging too quickly.  Activity for the mind does the same thing.  We need to give our brains something to think about that is enjoyable and still keeps the brain working.  While we are in our 20's, 30's and 40's that is not hard to do. We have a hundred things going on at all times.  Between work and play, sometimes in these years, we need to find something to make our brains stop thinking.  A good book or a movie to settle us down could be the answer.  Our brains need a good amount of activity and they also need some rest as well.  A healthy balance of work and play is good for the body and good for the brain as well.  

Retirement and Brain Activity

As we move into our 50's and 60's we hopefully will start to think about the time when we can stop working so hard and enjoy life a little bit more.  The problem here is that sometimes people look forward to their retirements without making proper provisions for that time.  Work no longer drives us as it did in earlier years. Hopefully, we have had the time to make a good living and our minds are now racing towards the day when we can do what we want to do without having to worry about how to pay for our lifestyles.
Golfing every day sounds like fun, but you need more than golf to keep the brain cells functioning well.  It's great to have time to play the games we love, but we also need to get some routine into our lives as well. Sometimes the hardest thing to remember is what day it is.  Without any schedule or plan, every day can just meld into another day.  At the end of the week, you wonder what you did, or if you accomplished anything. Retirement can be the source of depression if we no longer feel useful or wanted.  To combat that demon, it's good to have some other interests to keep you active and living a purposeful life.  Now is a great time to volunteer your abilities to some group that means something to you.  There are many very worthy volunteer groups that are always looking for people that are willing to help.  If you don't have a group near you, then maybe volunteer at a school or nursing home, an animal shelter or your local faith community. Don't wait for people to ask you, go out and search for those who need help.  It could even be a neighbor who is older, looking for some friendship. 

Learning to spend some time alone is good too!  Go for walks and enjoy the sights and sounds.  Read that book that you never had time to read before.  Learn a new hobby, something like knitting or crocheting or taking pictures or even Pottery.  Learn a new sport like lawn bowling or curling.  All of these things will keep your mind and body active and have you interacting with new people and making new friends.   
Keeping your mind and body active will be easy with all the interactions that you will have throughout the day.  Broadening your friendship base is always a good thing, the more the merrier.  You will have many opportunities to express ideas and plans with like minded individuals.  It's a great feeling to be validated by your peers and make good contributions.

If you need some alone time, grab a newspaper, scan the headlines, read what interests you and then do the crossword or Sudoku,  for the day.  Even these little diversions will work to keep your mind active and searching out new words or numbers.


Our Amazing List of 5 Entertaining Ways to Keep Your Brain Healthy!
  1. Play a sport, golf, curling, dancing, yoga or hula hooping (your choice)
  2. Volunteer your time to teach others to work a computer, read with children, help with senior seniors etc.  again there are hundreds of ways to help others pick one that makes sense to you.
  3. Help a neighbor who is in need, or meet up with friends on a regular basis at a local coffee shop.  
  4. Read that book that has been sitting on your shelf, waiting for when you had the time to read.
  5. Grab the newspaper and scan the news (read what interests you) do the crossword or Sudoku and then later go out for a walk. 
These ideas will not only keep your mind active, they will also help your body remain active as well.  That is truly a Win-Win Situation.

Share this list with friends and I'm sure that they would be able to add at least another hundred ways in which to keep your mind and body healthy for the home stretch.  Cheers,  for now, my drama class is starting in a half hour...... I've Got to Go!



All pictures used in this blog were from Pixabay.com with no attribution required.


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10 comments:

  1. Lovely article. I dream of the day I can retire. People ask me ... "won't you be bored". No. But I already plan to do some of these activities: volunteer, read, sudoku, and participate in many things that I don't have time for right now.

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    1. Having a plan is the most important part Dawn Rae. I have known many people that didn't have any idea what they were going to do and they did not enjoy their retirement at all. Glad you are already planning.

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  2. I love being retired and never have time to feel bored or depressed. My retirement is busier than my workaday world was.

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    1. I'm glad to hear that Pat. So many people don't have any clue what they will be doing. Like you my other half and myself are busier than we were when we were working, but now it's on our "want to do list" not our "have to do list!". Big difference right there.

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  3. I retired in 2015, six months later the company I worked for called me and asked me to help out on a part time basis. Now I work about 18 hours a week on my terms, and still have time to do so many other things. Great article and ideas Olivia.

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    1. Thanks Eugene, it's nice that you can work on your terms and still have time to do those other things. Could that include cooking? Thanks for your comments you know I appreciate them.

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  4. I like your list! Seems that most retired people I know stay just as busy being retired than when they worked - and they enjoy life much more, living it on their own terms. Around here, we're quite happy to be retired.

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    1. Yes I know that Susan, and now that you have joined the Grandparent's club, even more so. Glad you are keeping busy.

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  5. My brain gets plenty of exercise just keeping up with every new policy and software update thrust on me by the technology I use to keep writing online. I'd add blogging to your list of ways to keep one's brain healthy. It's the resting part I have trouble finding time for. I steal it when necessary to read a good book or go for a walk or to the gym. My mom seemed to keep her brain healthy until she died at 89 by volunteering at the library, being active in her church, working crossword puzzles, and reading murder msyteries. She finally had to stop volunteering because she couldn't always remember when she was supposed to be there. Other than that, she was still mentally alert. I attribute her forgetfulness to the number of drugs she was taking and her poor diet when she was living alone.

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    1. You are probably right about your mom's condition being from drugs and poor diet. It's amazing how those things effect your overall health. Glad that you are keeping your brain healthy by all your activities. I agree with you that I should have added Blogging to the list of ways to keep your brain going. Thanks Barbara for your comments.

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