As the holiday season rolls around, thoughts turn to memories of the past and ways to make the season memorable for the future. For many adults, this can lead to stress. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to make everything picture perfect.
Added to this scenario, many adults struggle with memory issues. This makes it even more difficult because they don’t want to disappoint their family members and are embarrassed by small and large lapses.
The stress of trying to make perfect memories isn’t healthy, physically or mentally. Here, we will discuss stress-free ways to make your time with others special, while also going over a number of tips to help with mental and emotional well-being.
The holiday season should be something that you enjoy, not dread. These ideas can help you make it more about the experience and less about the picture.
Tips to Enjoy Your Time With Friends and Loved Ones
Whether you’re trying to make a special occasion joyful or just get more out of your everyday life, these tips can help you drop the pressure from your interactions with loved ones and family members. Don’t worry so much about what you’re doing or how to make it perfect.
Instead, concentrate on the quality of the time that you’re spending together. The best memories aren’t made through careful planning. And this isn’t social media, where it’s all about the picture.
Here are a few ideas to make time with friends and family more enjoyable:
Put the phones away
Everyone is tied to their digital devices these days, and it takes away from the connection that we have with the people right in front of us.
If you want to take pictures at an event, do that and then put the phones away. You can return calls and talk about the event on social media after it’s over.
Include pets in your activities
Pets are great, and they’re often as much a part of your family as anyone else. Plan events that you can include the pets in, like a walk together or a trip to the park.
Choose a new activity
Try something entirely new because experiences make our time together much richer. This could be something as extravagant as a vacation, or it might be something as simple as trying a new ethnic dining experience.
Try to make it something that most of the group hasn’t done before so everyone can enjoy a first time together.
Make charity a group event
There’s nothing quite as fulfilling as dedicating your time and energy to a worthwhile cause. See if your family can pick a cause to spend the day working with. This might mean donating your time to a soup kitchen or helping with your favorite charity drive.
If you belong to a religious group, see if there’s something that you can do to benefit the congregation or if there’s an ongoing drive that your family can get involved in together.
Create a new tradition
If you have a regular family gathering for the holidays, maybe it’s time to mix things up with a new tradition. This might be a new game that everyone can play or a movie to watch together.
Maybe you can choose a book to read out loud. As your family grows and changes, adding new traditions helps the members leave their mark on family gatherings.
Enjoying time with family and friends can be as simple as sharing a meal. The key to making memories that really last is in the connection.
Taking pictures and videos is a great way to archive the times that you share, but don’t make that the whole point of the gathering. And make sure that your camera person is also included in the conversation.
Tips to Help Improve Brain Function and Memory
As wonderful as time spent together can be, a great experience won’t improve your memory. With age, many people find it difficult to remember events clearly and may become frustrated as things slip from their thoughts.
While there are limited medical treatments to reverse or treat severe conditions such as traumatic brain injury or Alzheimer’s disease, there are some lifestyle changes and natural tips that can help preserve and strengthen your mental, emotional, and physical health.
If you’re worried about memory loss or just trying to improve your own mental clarity, some of these tips may help:
Meditation isn’t just a passing fad
Taking the time to quiet the world around you and meditate has been proven to provide many benefits, including decreased stress and increased health.
There are many forms of meditation, and you don’t need to devote a great deal of time to it to see progress.
Avoid or limit alcohol
The term “alcohol brain” is a real thing. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, people who use and abuse alcohol tend to exhibit symptoms like memory loss and misunderstanding or misconstruing things that are communicated to them.
This is because alcohol can damage the brain. While moderate drinking often does not impact people this drastically, it’s important to limit alcohol if you’re experiencing other signs of memory loss.
You wouldn’t think that exercise could help with memory, but the truth is that regular exercise has a positive impact on whole body health, and that includes your mental health. You can choose an activity that meets your physical needs.
Cardio is excellent because it gets the heart pumping and oxygen moving through the brain.
Maintain a healthy sleep schedule
Lack of sleep or a poor sleep schedule can have a dramatic effect on your health. Lack of sleep can be more dangerous for your concentration than drinking or drug use, and many adults are not getting enough sleep or their sleep schedule is constantly in flux.
Too little sleep over a long period of time can damage your body and mental acuity.
Maintain a good diet
You hear all the time about a heart-healthy diet, but many people don’t realize that they can eat foods that are naturally found to benefit brain function.
Anti-inflammatory foods, such as berries, are excellent for brain function. Limit things like pastas, white breads, rice, and cereal because refined carbohydrates can have a negative impact on your mental function, as well as your whole body health.
You can replace some of these meal ideas with whole wheat and other healthier choices. The Mediterranean diet is a good example of a diet full of the right nutrients for those who want to boost their brain function.
Test your vitamin levels
Many people don’t think about how drastically vitamin deficiencies can impact them. The truth is that most Americans have some vitamin deficiency because they’re simply not getting the right nutrients through diet alone.
Your doctor can test your blood and recommend supplements if you’re showing deficiencies over a period of time. Some common vitamin deficiencies include vitamin D, vitamin B, and iron.
Take supplements to support memory
There are some supplements that you can add to your diet to help strengthen your memory.
Fish oil is said to be good for memory and brain function, and it’s also linked to heart health and lower cholesterol. Prevagen is another supplement that you can try that’s made specifically to help with memory loss commonly associated with aging.
Both of these supplements are available over the counter. You should ask your doctor about taking them if you’re on any other medication.
Exercise your brain
Your brain is an organ (not a muscle, as many claim). But it does need stimulation and activity to stay strong.
This includes physical exercise, but you should also enlist in memory and cognitive exercises specifically developed to keep the brain active. There are many online cognitive training games.
You might also enjoy puzzles and word games, as well as number games. Trivia is a great exercise for many people because they have to reach back into their memories to access the answers to questions.
Cognitive games are a great activity for every age, and it’s never too early to start building up your brain power. These tips have been put together by Prevagen.
- These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.