2020 has been a rocky year, to say the least. Many of our plans for the year have been canceled or put on hold, as have our normal daily routines.
With many of us having to stay home more than usual and missing out on our favorite hobbies, interests, and social interactions (and in some cases, our jobs), it can feel very much like our brains are slowly turning to mush.
That’s why staying mentally and physically active at this time is so important. Luckily, there are ways that you can exercise and stimulate your mind while you’re cooped up at home.
Here are four great activities to keep your brain sharp and agile in 2020:
#1 Play online casino games
Online casino games are a fantastic way to keep your brain sharp and agile — and have fun while you’re at it.
Casino games test your decision-making skills, your logic, your strategy, and your memory. You might not think it while you’re having fun playing cards, but the whole time you are, you’re giving your brain a proper workout.
There’s a whole variety of different casino-style games to get into, so you can easily find one that you enjoy.
Poker is probably the most popular casino game to play online. There are plenty of sites you can play it on for free — the three main ones being 888Poker, Full Tilt Poker, and PokerStars (who acquired PKR Poker Network a few years ago — you can find out more about PKR games and what happened with these insights from OnlineCasinos.co.uk).
Wherever you decide to play, it’s a brilliant way of staying mentally sharp and stopping that brain from turning to mush!
#2 Learn a new language
Learning a new language is a great activity that will keep your brain sharp and agile — and by the end of it, you’ll have a new and incredibly useful skill!
Learning a language is not easy, which is why it’s so good for keeping your mind sharp and exercising new parts of your brain.
You definitely have to be up for the challenge — trying to master a brand new language with all its grammar and vocabulary is no mean feat, and many people find it daunting.
However, it can also be incredibly fun and rewarding. And when we’re able to travel safely, you can book your next travel destination and put your new knowledge and skill to good use!
There are many different ways that you can learn a new language at home, and finding the right one for you will make it easier, whether it’s following a series of videos on YouTube, signing up for lessons with a virtual tutor, or simply downloading an app like Duolingo.
#3 Challenge yourself with word puzzles and games
Word puzzles and games are perfect activities to keep your brain sharp and agile while you’re stuck indoors.
There are plenty of sites where you can play solo word games or test yourself with puzzles, and there are lots of different types to chose from, like crosswords and word searches, to name but a few.
Live with other people? Then try some competitive wordy games like Scrabble or Bananagrams (an anagram puzzle sort of like speed-Scrabble with tiles).
This sort of word boardgame or puzzle is a fun way to unwind in the evening after a long day at work and give your eyes a break away from your computer or your phone. Plus they push you to keep your mind agile — you have to think quickly to beat your opponent, challenge yourself when planning your strategic next steps, and widen your vocabulary along the way.
It’s ridiculously easy to buy a Scrabble set or Banagrams online (or any other wordy game you fancy), and once you do, you’ve got hours of brain-boosting fun in store. And, once the dust settles and we can all socialize safely, you can introduce your friends and family to your new fave hobby!
#4 Try some arts and crafts
You might not think that arts and crafts-type activities could help to keep you mentally agile, but they absolutely can.
They use a different part of your brain — the creative side rather than the logic side, which is equally important to flex and keep using.
There are all sorts of different artsy activities and hobbies you can do, from painting and drawing, to knitting and crochet, to crafting your own furniture or home decor.
All of these hobbies help to challenge your brain while you’re having fun. And not just that, either — they boost your mood and mental wellbeing too, increasing the “happy chemicals” in your brain due to the sense of achievement and contentedness you get while you are taking part in the activity. This can help to tackle mental health problems like depression and benefit people dealing with stress symptoms like high blood pressure.
These are just four great ways that you can keep your brain sharp and agile in 2020. There are plenty of other things you can do too, including learning to play a new musical instrument, doing daily sudokus, reading books, and even just socializing with friends.
The choice is up to you — but it’s reassuring to know that there are many things you can do to stop your brain from feeling slow and mushy, even while you’re cooped up at home.
Featured image credit – Ollyy/Shutterstock