While you are caring for someone else, it’s important to keep your own brain healthy. Reading that, you’re probably wondering how you can fit one more thing into your schedule, but there are things that you can easily incorporate into your day and possibly use with your caree as well for no cost.
Do the same things differently. If you always take the same route to the store, work, or church, drive on different streets. If your route seems to have a lot of road construction causing you to change your usual route, instead of getting upset thank the city for helping you keep your brain healthy.
Socialize. Socialization is important for brain health. Talk with your caree, people in line at the grocery store, or friends on the phone. If you have the opportunity to go out with friends, do it and enjoy yourself!
Use your non-dominant hand. Use whichever hand you do not normally use to complete routine tasks. For example if you are left-handed, use your right hand to brush your teeth or eat. You’ll find you need to pay more attention to what you are doing to get the food into your mouth and to keep from poking the roof of your mouth with a toothbrush.
Change your view. Most people always sit in the same chair at the table when they eat, sit in the same place on the couch when they watch TV and sit in the same chair when they read. Mix things up! Switch where everyone sits at the table for meals. How does everyone react to the change? Do people like their new view or their old view better? Sit on the other side of the couch when you watch TV. Is your view just as good or better than it was in your previous spot? Keep changing your seat every so often to keep everyone on their toes.
Try a puzzle. Any type of puzzle. Newspapers contain crossword puzzles, Sudoku puzzles and word search puzzles. In your own home you might find a jigsaw puzzle you haven’t attempted in years. Go online and search for free puzzles. Give them a try. You don’t have to like them all but you might find one you enjoy!
Remember that what’s good for the heart is good for the brain. Eat well more often than you don’t. Exercise with simple stretches and by walking around the house or yard if you don’t have the opportunity to get out for a walk. Check out an exercise DVD from the library and workout along with it. You’ll be trying something new and exercising, two things that are good for your brain!
Take good care of your brain. As a caregiver, you’re under stress, so take every opportunity you can to be kind to the part of you that makes you the wonderful, unique person you are!
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