It’s fair to say the lockdown has made a few of us sluggish.
Some people have gained weight they’d rather not have, others have found it hard to retain their usual work ethic working from home. For a lot of people though, it’s been an issue of mental sharpness.
It’s important that we stay mentally sharp throughout lockdown and use this as an opportunity to learn new things. You don’t have to master an instrument or become Picasso, but keeping your mind sharp is the key to keeping everything else ticking along throughout lockdown. Let’s take a look at some ways you can do just that.
It’s not just the suits and sunglasses that make poker players so sharp.
Believe it or not, card games are a great way to keep your mind in great condition and prepare it to learn new skills.
Classic games such as blackjack and poker force players to juggle multiple possible outcomes improving their knowledge of odds calculation and concentration on the game. Frequent players are great critical thinkers who can weight up the probability of success.
Many of the most demanding and stressful roles in the world require skills that can be learned playing these games with friends, demonstrating their demanding, yet rewarding, nature.
There are lots of ways to play these classic games online during the lockdown and prepare to sweep your buddies at the next poker night. You can play for free or for cash in many online casinos. If you happen to pick up a few winnings you can use that on real money slot sites, of which Online Casinos recently did a great full report, so you’re not wasting your winnings.
When lockdown measures first started I’m sure you saw the influx of joggers, cyclists and yoga enthusiasts that I did. Suddenly everyone was exercising just to have an excuse to get out of the house.
An unexpected bonus of a lockdown exercise routine is a sharpening of the mind. Yes, exercising doesn’t just keep you in great shape on the outside, but up there on the inside too.
Exercising improves your heart rate, which pumps more oxygen into the brain. It can even improve the growth factor in your brain, allowing it to grow new neuronal connections. In short, that little jog doesn’t just tone up your legs but improves your ability to retain information and solve problems.
If you haven’t given lockdown exercise a try yet find the routine for you and get moving. It won’t just give you time to clear your mind, but sharpen it.
Stay in touch with people
Lockdown has been particularly hard for people living alone. The limited connection to the outside world can make the days feel longer and without the stimulation of frequent conversation, it’s easy for your mind to lose some sharpness.
To avoid this it’s imperative you take as many opportunities as you can to connect with people outside of your home, even if it’s through a screen.
Texting is nice, but a phone call demands your immediate attention and requires an instant reply. Sometimes just hearing someone’s voice can snap you back into reality in a way a message icon never could.
Video calls have become the go-to social activity throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Quizzes, after-work drinks and one to one facetime calls have all become great ways to get your daily dose of human interaction. You may not be able to touch each other, but seeing the emotion on someone’s face and hearing the sound of another voice is a great way to make sure your mind doesn’t start to lax.
Get a routine, and stick to it
Routines are vital for keeping your mind strong.
Even if you’re working from home, it can be difficult to have a solid structure to your day and you might find yourself wondering what day it even is.
Before the pandemic, a routine life may have felt boring, but a healthy one can stop our brains from becoming confused and panicking, leaving more room for clear thinking and help us remain focused on the here and now.
If you don’t want your mind to wander to unproductive or dark places it’s important to force yourself into as much of a lockdown routine as possible. Get out of bed early every day, eat a solid three meals and make sure you’re not up until the early hours of the morning basking in the blue light of your phone.
Set designated creative time
So far lockdown has been a great opportunity to learn new skills and develop existing talents. There’s still plenty of time to do that, even as restrictions are lowered, and some time dedicated to creative skills, in particular, can make a person feel much sharper and satisfied.
Depending on what you want to pursue and how hard you want to pursue it, dedicate one hour a day or a week to practicing a creative hobby.
You can try drawing what you see from your window, write a diary about your lockdown experience, experiment with some paints in the back yard or slowly get to grips with that instrument you’ve always wanted to learn.
The key to a productive creative hour designed to keep your mind sharp is it’s less about the finished product and more about what you learn from the experience. You might even learn you don’t like painting, but it would have forced your brain to engage with how the brush meets the canvas and what colors work well together.
Everyone is dealing with lockdown differently, meaning everyone’s mind is in a different place right now. Even if you feel as mentally sharp as ever it’s worth trying one of these techniques to keep yourself in shape for a roaring return to the real world.