I don’t know about you but I have always had a lousy memory. Ever since, well, I don’t know when, I have had trouble recalling information I should know. Appointments have come and gone, situations both happy and sad have vanished from my consciousness. I can’t keep a calender or to do list because I’ll never think to look at them. Horrible, right? Actually it’s a double edge sword.
No one wants to forget the fun of vacation days, where you went and what you saw, certainly not me. I am always reading a book, and although I usually would know half way through if I’ve read it before, I wouldn’t be able to tell you about it. I read a book last week and I can even remember the title no less who wrote it.
No memory of how old my kids were when they took their first steps or their grades on standardized tests. i can’t remember dates or the names of people I’ve met. I often ask my family members to remember things for me, like where I put something or to the time of a meeting. It gets annoying for them and frustrating for me.
I get to live in the moment. I have no flash in my head about how someone wronged me. I don’t relive a fight over and over. I live unencombered by past disappointments. Whenever I am doing something it is because that’s what I want to be doing at that moment.
I feel my memories. I may not be able to tell you the itinerary of a trip but I can tell you if the day went well. The milestones of my children’s youth was measured by the pride I felt when they achieved them, not by comparisons of age. I have begun to learn to maintain a day book for appointments. I still don’t look everyday but it is a work in progress.
There are many ways to help improve your memory and prevent memory loss. Here are my top three:
1. Stay mentally active.
It is important to keep building new pathways in your brain. Try do things with your non-dominant hand or alternate your hands while doing simple tasks. Crossword puzzles, Suduko and other brain teaser games are helpful. Learning a new language or instrument also works.
2. Eat healthy.
Proper nutrition is important for brain health. Eat a variety of fruits, vegetables and lean proteins. I think “they” said chocolate was good for you so I’ve got this one covered. Good hydration is also imperitive so make sure you are drinking enough water throughout the day.
3 Get enough sleep.
Adults need seven to eight hours of sleep each night. Turn off your phone, iPad, TV, laptop and Go To Sleep. Let your body heal itself!!! I have heard of a study done that discovered that if you learn something new and then immediately go to sleep you will retain the information better than if you learned something and stayed awake for a while.
4. Physical activity.
Oh, I was only supposed to do three, I forgot! Okay, you get a freebie.
Move yourself. It will increase blood flow and circulation. Exercise the body and you’ll exercisethe brain. It also increases oxygen to the brain and helps release chemicals that maintains brain function.
There is a lot of information out there on improving your memory. I hope to remember to look at it. I’ll ask my daughter to remind me. At least I remember to blog!