Have you been feeling a little foggy, distracted or unfocussed lately? Like you brain needs a reboot? You’re not alone! Experts say we are all experiencing “pandemic brain” – an inability to remember things and follow through on tasks.
Just like a simple leg stretch to break up the workday, the brain needs a workout too! Although many Aussies are limited in their social interactions and activities at the moment, it doesn’t mean we have to completely switch off. Normally, we have plenty of opportunities for cognitive challenges during our day, however, due to the extreme changes in our lifestyle, we need to deliberately exercise our thinking skills.
With this in mind, getting in touch with five mind-body practices to boost brain power that I thought might be of interest for a feature. After all, the more you train your brain, the more you’ll improve critical cognitive skills. Practices include:
It’s important to keep the mind stimulated while we are at home to avoid brain fog and low motivation. If you are one Love Island episode away from completely losing it, you can keep entertained by using Alexa’s Question of the Day skill. From arts and entertainment to literature and science, Alexa poses a new trivia question for you every day. You can start off your morning with learning a quirky fact and you collect points as you progress. Who doesn’t love a game of trivia?
We all know how easy it can be to stay glued to our desk when working from home, especially without a friendly colleague to remind you to grab a coffee or take a break. We’d normally burn off some of this stress by heading to the gym or jumping in the pool. A recent study by the University of Queensland revealed that weekly moderate physical activity increased people’s cognitive function on average by 5 percent for men and 14 percent for women. Fortunately, there are plenty of simple exercises you can do around the house or with household objects that will work instead. At home exercise sessions can include taking your lunges indoors, using that bag of rice as a dumbbell, following along with a YouTube HIIT class or even gardening! Squatting while weeding and planting can strengthen your core and glutes.
Ditch the calculator
Remember in school when we were taught to use our brains to do simple sums? It’s time to feel sharper so put down the calculator and brush up on your equations with a quick maths quiz. Simply ask: “Alexa, start Brain Workout” to access a quick brain teaser activity, designed to improve your concentration, memory, and processing speed. That’s what I call, quick maths! If it feels like the days are blurring into one, test out your memory as well with Alexa’s Sharp Memory game. The objective of the game is to correctly inform the word requested by Alexa when it presents a list of ordered words. You can continue playing until you reach high levels of difficulty.
Eat a delicious meal
The foods you eat play a large role in keeping your brain in peak working condition. Food also acts as the ultimate mood booster! According to nutrition experts, these are some of the best foods to support your brain and memory: fatty fish, blueberries, broccoli, dark chocolate, turmeric and coffee. If coffee is the highlight of your morning (or day) at the moment, you’ll be glad to hear that it’s good for you. The caffeine sharpens concentration, increases alertness and improves your overall mood.
It’s no secret – we are all a little stressed out at the moment, so it is the perfect time to try out some virtual meditations at home. Practicing meditation, even ten minutes a day, can significantly improve cognitive function. Zen out with Alexa’s Guided Meditation of the day for Calm skill, where you can learn how to meditate regularly and develop practical skills to help you relax. You can switch between over 70 guided exercises for mindfulness. Breathe in, breathe out…
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