“Put on your socks, wash your hands, get your bag and I’ll meet you outside.”
I came across this article from the people at Sonic Learning, the ‘brain people’. Although written with a child in mind, it is actually a useful list for all of us to stop brain atrophy over the holidays. I trust you will find it useful for the children in your life as well as for yourself.
“Working memory is so important for a variety of situations that a child faces. Did you know that improving working memory can improve fluid intelligence and the levels of brain chemicals important for learning?
- Exercise! It helps make new brain cells – no couch potatoes these holidays.
- Play games together that involve memory (e.g. scrabble, sudoku, taboo, card games).
- Learn something new – a craft or a new computer game. Going on holiday? Learn some phrases in a foreign language.
- Eat healthily – plan ahead to include nutrients that stimulate brain function.
- Play memory games while travelling – e.g. “I went to the shop and bought an apple; I went to the shop and brought an apple and a can of coke…”
- Get plenty of sleep.”
I’m not sure about the buying of a can of coke, especially coming straight after the comment about eating healthily, but given it’s about memorising a list, we can be somewhat more tolerant, although that phrase repeated often enough will be lodged in the memory so perhaps substitute ‘a bar of soap’, just in case.
For adults especially, I would add ‘drink plenty of water’ as I’m sure during the festive season everyone’s going to have the odd alcoholic beverage. There’s nothing wrong with celebrating but if you want your brain to be in the right place in the morning (or any time) then drink LOTS of water.
Actually children need to get into the habit of drinking water, as it is indeed a habit, rather than asking for carbonated drinks, cordial or milk drinks every time they are thirsty. These drinks contain a lot of sugar and chemicals which need to be flushed out of the system so, in fact, are dehydrating. Water is what is needed for the whole body to function, but most especially the brain.