I’ve noticed when I’m not working a lot I tend to become a little scatter-brained (insert joke here). Normally, I would chalk it up to my hair color, sleep deprivation or all the pot I smoked in college, but today I started thinking maybe I need to start doing Sudoku or crossword puzzles during my off-time.
I asked my girlfriend if she has noticed the same thing about herself since she once worked and is now a stay-at-home mom. She agreed, and unless she plans on earning a doctorate degree from home there is no chance she is going to be intellectually stimulated. How can she be when all day long she hears Elmo belting out songs about how he loves his goldfish and his crayon, too? So, together, we went our separate ways and started gathering ideas of how to challenge our brains (since Elmo wasn’t doing the job).
Within minutes I had Siri asking me if I was confused about what I was asking her to search for. She couldn’t believe I was looking for brain-developing activities and not shopping for a new pair of Gucci boots. Finally, after telling Siri to mind her own business, I found what I was looking for; website after website offering brain-challenging tasks.
A few of my favorites: Use your non-dominant hand to brush your teeth or dial the phone. Shower or eat dinner with your eyes closed (I wonder if that includes being blindfolded in bed?). Play chess or memorize the lyrics to a new song. Take a new route to the store. And, last but not least, alternate seats at the dinner table every couple of days.
After compiling a list of activities, I felt so relieved staying home all day doesn’t necessarily mean my friend and I are doomed. Instead, with a few brain boosters, we may actually become smarter than we were before!
Are there times when you feel a bit deprived of cognitive activities? If so, what do you do to keep yourself sharp? Please share!