When you experience the beginnings of dementia, the effects of an aging mind, or even a brain that is just overwhelmed and overly stressed, it can be very scary. Memory troubles are eye-opening and concerning when it happens no matter the cause — whether to you, a family member or friend. But in many cases, the difficulties can be improved or slowed. First, always check with your physician — get a physical and request checks to determine the cause of yours or your loved one’s forgetfulness. A variety of medications and diagnoses can be to blame. Follow your doctor’s orders first, but you can also use these tips to help sharpen your memory (or keep it sharp!).
- Use memory aids. When your memory is failing, scheduling your days out and keeping a calendar can really help. Make to-do lists and use your smartphone reminder app or place sticky notes around your home to keep things top of mind. All of these organization tactics can prevent you from forgetting important engagements.
- Use memory tricks. Pneumonic devices are basically memory tools that give meaning and organization to a random group of words or things. They could be an acronym (COP for “Call Owen and Peter”) or a rhyme (to recall someone’s name associate a trait or relationship with them like “Sal is Lisa’s pal).
- Try something new. Adopting a new hobby or activity creates new neuropathways in the brain. You’ll be growing your brain capability no matter your age! Take up knitting, puzzles or hiking!
- Limit alcohol. Some alcohol is fine, but overdoing it has direct effects on memory.
- Get active. Walk, run, anything — just get moving! Try something new and challenging to give your brain a workout too. Maybe Zumba class or yoga to help you destress?
- Make time to relax. Schedule some downtime to make sure stress isn’t contributing to your memory concerns. Read, garden, watch a movie, meditate or do some yoga. Hustle and bustle and constant activity is exhausting to the brain. Allow it time to chill.
- Tackle puzzles. Whether crossword, Sudoku or jigsaws are your thing, exercise your brain with puzzles. There are numerous studies about how healthful it is for you to engage in problem-solving activities like these. Pull out the newspaper today and give one a try!
- Eat right. Make sure you’re eating a good quality diet. Feed your brain and body with a rainbow of fruits and vegetables. These healthy foods protect your brain and body from free radicals. And add in foods rich in omega-3s and 6s, too, like fish and olive oil. These also feed your brain.
- Stop multitasking. Focus on just one thing at a time. In a world where everyone multitasks, this simple action immediately improves clarity.
- Sleep more. Improving the length and quality of your sleep provides overnight improvement for many. Focus on getting your Zs.
If one of your goals to improve your memory is to reduce stress in your life, Errand Works can help! You give us the list of errands to complete, and you won’t have to worry about them again! Contact us today to get started on simplifying your task list.
Errand Works, LLC, is licensed, bonded and insured. Every errand runner must pass a Virginia State Criminal Background Check prior to being hired. In addition, each errand runner is a Virginia State Notary. Errand Works currently serves Prince William County, Fauquier County, Fairfax County, Loudoun County and the surrounding areas.