Top tips for keeping your brain active

1 April 2020

Now is not only a great opportunity to find new ways of learning at home, it’s also a great opportunity to discover new passions and ways of developing and connecting differently.    

Keeping your brain active will not only help you prepare for the return to school or college, but can also help you productively utilise all the time you have. Here are our top tips for just eight things you can do to keep your mind active.  

Top Tip #1: Make a bucket list  

We all have things that we want to do, so why not start planning now? Whether it’s something small like improving your score in a sport, or something bigger like learning a language or a new skill, now is a great time to start with weeks to dedicate to your list. Put together a list of five small and big goals you think is attainable over the coming months and see how many you can complete during your time at home. You could even make a bucket list of things you want to achieve after you return to school or college.

Top Tip #2: Discover a new great read  

Now is the perfect time to get into a good book – or two! There’s a book for every kind of interest – fiction, non-fiction, cooking, biographies, true crime – this list goes on. GC’s Libraries team have been scouring the shelves for some great books and resources we think you’ll love. Discover their tips on Twitter. 

Whether you’re picking up your Kindle, or reading a printed book, there are many benefits to reading, including: exercising your brain muscles, expanding your vocabulary, reducing stress and boosting your imagination. What’s not to love about a good book?  

Top Tip #3: Go outside once a day  

Spring is the perfect time to get outside and enjoy the sun (while it lasts)! Not only does getting out in the sunshine improve your bone health, it also brightens your mood and helps you sleep better – just make sure you wear sunscreen and appropriate protection. Making sure you get outdoors once a day will also get you exercising, which is great for stress. Get out a football and kick it around, paint outside in the garden, or go for a walk around the block or the stunning countryside we have in Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds – obviously keeping at a safe distance from others.  

Top Tip #4: Do some puzzles or brainteasers  

Puzzles are not only fun, but are a great way to keep your mind active. Whether you’re doing a puzzle book by yourself, or a puzzle game with friends online, there’s loads of different types of puzzles to suit all types of levels. If you’re a lover of quizzes, why not create a fun quiz for the whole family to do? Or, if you just want to have a go at a quiz, why not check out our GC Summer Quizzes – ‘What college course should I study?’ or ‘Which career path should I choose?’  

Top Tip #5: Take an online class  

For those who love to learn, the learning doesn’t have to stop when you’re at home. Online classes aren’t for everyone, but they are an option if there is a skill you’ve always wanted to learn, or a recreational activity you’d like to learn more about. Not only are they a great way to keep your mind stimulated, but also an opportunity to meet new friends online, with similar interests to you. There’s loads of different types of courses available – check out your local youth centre or recreational classes or club websites; or search for online exercise, dance, craft or cookery classes, many of which are currently free!  

Top Tip #6: Cut down on social media  

Social media is a great way to keep in touch with friends when you’re busy with homework, or if you haven’t had a chance to catch up with them recently, but now is a great opportunity to ditch the social media and have a good old-fashioned phone or video call instead! Not only will you have much more fun catching up with your friends, but verbal communication also improves your confidence and language skills. Taking a detox from social media can also have great health benefits for you. Studies have shown that social media can lead issues like stress – itt a showcase for people and it can be difficult to remember that most people only share the positive things.  

Top Tip #7: Virtually visit places you’ve always wanted to see  

How many famous attractions have you visited in the last five years? Many are now offering virtual tours to facilitate people getting their culture fix, make some new family memories and even learn something new.  

If you’re a fan of art and history, why not visit The National Gallery, Buckingham Palace or The Louvre? Animal lovers can keep an eye on antics at Edinburgh Zoo, while those missing the glorious Britich countryside can soak up the sights of the Lake District National Park, or closer to home, enjoy a 360-degree view of Hidcote Manor Garden. Other options include virtual tours of the RAF Museum in London, the Natural History Museum, Stonehenge, the Houses of Parliament and many more.  

Top Tip #8: Get gardening 

Not just for the green-fingered, gardening is a great form of exercise, way to reduce stress and improve sleep and mental wellbeing - if you have one, of course. 

Whether you are clearing weeds, planting seeds or watering flowers, gardening will raise your heart rate, strengthen muscles, increase dexterity and flexibility, and improve your immune system. Plus you can dry your own fruit, veg and flower seeds to create new life in your own personal paradise. 

 

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