I think it’s safe to say we’re all spending far more time than normal at home at the moment.
I’m at home with my children, trying to juggle my work and their school work and it feels like my mind is constantly active. I’m also able to get out for regular walks with the children, and to go to the supermarket for food and household supplies, which helps keep my body and mind working.
For a lot of people in various different situations though, it can be hard to keep your mind active when you’re at home all the time.
It might be that you’re on the list of people who need to stay home all the time at the moment, to protect your health, and you don’t have children with you who need your constant attention (and help with fractions!).
Or you might be older, and able to stay physically active at home thanks to companies like Age UK Mobility, but you worry about keeping your mind sharp when you’re spending all this time at home.
Whatever your situation is, if you know you need to do something to keep the neurons firing, but aren’t sure where to start then here are some suggestions to get you started:
If you’ve spent a lot of your time at home so far binge watching Netflix, then you can ease yourself into getting your brain going by mixing things up with some documentaries.
There are loads of documentaries on Netflix and Amazon Prime if you have those. If not then there are also lots of them on iPlayer and All4 so you can sit and learn something new at any time of the day.
Music is brilliant for keeping our minds active as well as boosting our moods.
If you used to play an instrument then dig it out and see how much you can remember. Even if you’ve never played in your life you can learn to play an instrument by following videos on YouTube.
Or you can use your voice as your instrument and sing regularly. You can even join a virtual choir if you want, so you don’t have to sing alone.
Learn a new language
No matter how old or young you are you can keep your mind busy and active by learning a new language.
There are some great websites and apps available with different techniques for teaching languages, so spend a bit of time looking around to find the approach that will work best for you.
Do things differently
When we fall into a routine we start going about our day on autopilot.
We do the same things, in the same order, at the same time, and our lazy brains love it because they don’t have to put any work in.
Mixing things up and doing things differently forces our brains to make new pathways and keep active.
So mix up the order in which you do things in your daily routine. Eat new foods. Cook a new recipe. Read a new genre of book, or listen to an audiobook instead of reading to yourself.
Puzzles and quizzes are classic ways of keeping your brain sharp.
It doesn’t matter if you do a jigsaw puzzle, Sudoku or a crossword. Just find something that challenges you slightly but that you still find fun to do.
You can even fit some TV time in with this idea, by watching quiz shows and seeing how many questions you can answer along with the contestants.
I love things like Richard Osman’s house of games that force me to think laterally, and are really fun to join in with at home.
If puzzles aren’t really your thing, then try getting crafty and creative instead.
Whether it’s drawing and painting or knitting and crocheting, these sorts of creative activities keep your brain active as well as keeping your hands busy.
There are so many tutorials available online for all sorts of creative activities, so don’t be put off if you’re a complete beginner. I’ve been following some drawing tutorials with the children recently and they are so much fun!
You don’t have to do all these things to keep your brain active, just pick one or two that appeal to you the most and get started.
Disclosure: this post is in collaboration with Age UK Mobility