After over a month of being stuck inside, Netflix and Hulu can seem to lose some of their luster. During this unprecedented time, it is important to keep our brains stimulated not only to keep the boredom at bay, but for our own health and well-being. Here are some healthy ways to keep creative juices flowing and help the time pass in a more constructive way.
Read a book
Now is the perfect time to get going on that long list of books you’ve been meaning to read but haven’t had the time to start. As a person that loves to read, I found it difficult to put aside a specific time to start new books because of the constant schoolwork, working several jobs and applying for jobs after graduation. Allowing yourself to become engrossed in the storyline of a new book makes the time go by much faster than I could ever imagine and makes me feel more productive than when I re-watch “The Office” for the 18th time. Half-Priced Books and Movies is a great place to find cheap books,and Amazon is constantly churning out new deals and discounts.
Pulling out some markers and coloring books isn’t just beneficial for keeping kids busy. It is proven to reduce stress and anxiety by targeting the amygdala, which is the fear center of the brain. Coloring induces the same feelings as when you meditate and generates mindfulness while improving motor skills and focus. So, grab that mandala coloring book that’s gathering dust in your closet, put on your favorite Spotify or Apple Music playlist and get to work.
Use a brain game app
For those more inclined to use their phones, there is an unlimited number of apps that are designed to help form brain connections while playing colorful and fun games. Lumosity consists of 50 mini games that are designed to train five cognitive functions: speed, memory, attention, flexibility and problem-solving. After signing up, Lumosity sends a reminder daily to complete a brain “workout” that includes three mini-games. Elevate also has 40 mini games that are designed to improve math and speaking skills as well as memory, attention and processing speed.
Do a puzzle
Puzzles help improve short-term memory, which helps us remember shapes and colors and visualize the bigger picture to help figure out which pieces fit together. It also improves problem-solving skills, which comes with taking different approaches to the trial-and-error process of completing a puzzle.
Don’t get swept up in social media apps, TV and movies. Use this time to keep your brain stimulated and prepared for when COVID-19 passes and life goes back to normal.