How To Protect Your Brain Health Now
Your brain is truly the most amazing part of your body. It comes up with creative ways to express your thoughts and emotions, coordinates movements from chopping onions to running an obstacle course, stores your most precious childhood memories, and solves the Sunday crossword. But it’s easy to take those powers for granted.
While a COVID-19 infection itself can directly harm your brain, months of isolation can take a toll as well
“People know that COVID-19 is a disease that affects the lungs, but they are not as aware that it can affect the brain as well. Even though there is much still to be learned about how COVID-19 affects our thinking, the GCBH wanted everyone to know this is a well-recognized problem, and emphasize that there are ways to address the health of their brain during the pandemic. The council also wanted to address some of the negative effects of the isolation that many people are experiencing
Decades of research show that the ways we maintain good heart health—exercise, nutrition, and controlling high blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol levels—are also crucial to brain health.
Get More Sleep
Sleep is a mechanism by which your body recuperates and restores its energy reserves. If you’re not getting enough sleep, your body will use stress to keep you active and alert in the absence of stored energy. A lack of sleep is a significant cause of stress. Unfortunately, though, stress also interrupts our sleep as thoughts keep whirling through our heads, stopping us from relaxing enough to fall asleep.
You should also aim to go to bed at roughly the same time each day so that your mind and body get used to a predictable bedtime routine in order to get a healthy brain.
Tip No. 1 is not surprising: Consider getting the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible and be sure to complete all required doses and keep following CDC guidelines. Doing so can protect your brain from the virus’s potential neurological harm, and may well save your life — especially if you’re over 65.
Move Your Body
Walking for 30 minutes a day, taking a dance class, or going for a swim helps keep you slim and fit, and it could improve your cognitive health, too. A large Canadian study that found the more physically active adults were, the higher they scored on tests of memory and problem-solving.
Exercise boosts blood flow to the brain. And studies have shown it can increase the size of the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for memory, which naturally shrinks as you age.
New research from Italy suggests that working your leg muscles may be key to getting the maximum brain benefit from physical activity. The researchers found that when you use your legs in weight-bearing exercise, the brain receives signals that spur it to make healthy new cells.
Working out regularly is one of the best ways to relax your body and mind. Plus, exercise will improve your mood, instead of having the same busy routine. But you have to do it often for it to pay off.
Work up to 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderately intense exercise like long walks or jogging or other sports.
Your body needs to be healthy, strong, happy and properly fueled to help you tackle stress. Like it or not, stress is a bodily reaction to anything that disturbs its natural state, meaning that your body can have a profound effect on producing and relieving stress. Try to avoid snacks. Fruits and vegetables are always good, and fish with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce the symptoms of stress. A tuna sandwich really is brain food.
Mindfulness is a mind-body approach to life that helps us to relate differently to experiences. It involves paying attention to our thoughts and feelings in a way that increases our ability to manage difficult situations and make wise choices
Try to practice mindfulness regularly
Mindfulness meditation can be practiced anywhere at any time, it can reduce the effects of stress, anxiety and related problems such as insomnia, poor concentration and low moods etc.
Don’t be too hard on yourself
Try to keep things in perspective.
Remember that having a bad day is a universal human experience
When your inner critic or an outer critic finds faults, try and find truth and exception to what is being said
If you stumble or feel you have failed, don’t beat yourself up
Act as if you were your own best friend: be kind and supportive
Take a few minutes each day to appreciate yourself.
Try New Things
Building new skills throughout your lifetime You need to set aside time for new things you enjoy. Try to do something every day that makes you feel good and comfortable, and it will help relieve your stress. Relaxing hobbies include things like:
Doing an art project
Watching a movie
Playing cards and board games