During the holiday season, it is very easy to drop the ball on self-care, physical fitness, and brain health.
I bet you didn’t see that last one coming. And that’s because unless you lose someone to a brain illness, brain health isn’t always the main priority
However, the truth of the matter is, we as humans should all keep brain health top of mind. We all age and with age comes varying degrees of cognitive decline so just like anything else, it’s imperative we stay on top of it.
To put a little pep in your brain health step, I’d love to share six ways that you can implement brain health every single day.
These tips come by way of Dr. Ed Park, founder of NeuroReserve’s Relevate. He and I sat down on Instagram Live recently and discussed several ways that we can prioritize brain health on a daily basis during the holiday season…and all throughout the year.
Head here to listen in on our entire conversation.
Below are 6 ways you can maintain brain health every single day.
Physical fitness is just as good for your brain as it is for your body and heart. And what is so extra special about exercise is that it can help improve sleep, manage weight, boost your mood, and reduce risks of cardiovascular diseases which, all of these things, are good for your brain!
Whether it’s taking an early morning jog, doing a HIIT program, power walking or playing pickleball with a best friend – the body moving benefits the brain.
Holiday Tip: While out shopping this holiday season, park far away from the store’s entrance and get your steps in. This will also relieve the stress of trying to find the closest spot to the door. Less stress and extra steps!
Another idea: Bundle up, get outside, and go for a holiday jaunt. There is nothing more festive than taking a long walk as the sun sets and all the holiday lights begin to twinkle. Perhaps even tune into my all-time favorite Spotify holiday playlist, Peaceful Christmas Guitar.
Be mindful of what you’re eating. It is so easy to lose sight of any semblance of healthy eating, especially during the holidays. There is SO much sugar all over the place and it is beyond tempting. So, what can you do about healthy eating during the holiday season? Here are a couple ideas:
Try eating a healthy, Mediterranean-inspired meal before heading out to a holiday party. OR eat two hard-boiled eggs before heading out to help you not to overindulge.
Pick the healthier options at the party and really limit your sugar intake. Instead of three desserts, just choose one, and savor it. It’ll make it more special.
And don’t forget to take your Relevate daily!
Holiday Tip: Instead of slamming a ton of hard liquor, reach for the fanciest Italian red wine at the party – that’s what it’s there for! And instead of having three glasses, try just one maaaaaybe two. This will help you skip the holiday hangover, extra calories, and feelings of regret the following morning.
Controlling Medical Risks
Again, during the hustle and bustle of the season, it’s easy to lose sight of keeping up with personal medical needs and precautions.
Stay on top of your medications, be mindful of the amount of sugar you are consuming, and stay active as well as hydrated.
Holiday Tip: Give yourself the gift of a physical. This will not only keep your health top of mind, but it will also have you going into the new year having a really important task taken care of.
Sleep and Relaxation
When it comes to brain health, sleep plays a huge role. Our brains need to reset and rest so it has space and energy to remember things we learn and experience.
It is recommended that humans get at least eight hours of sleep to maintain a healthy noggin so do what you can to accomplish this as often as possible.
Try coming up with a nighttime ritual. Set a time to put away your devices. Create a skincare routine that you tend to every night. Put a stack of books next to your bed to inspire more reading. Do whatever you can do have that body and brain of yours prepared for sleep and under the covers at a reasonable hour every night.
Holiday Tip: When you are ready to really wind down for the evening and the kids have been put to bed, light your favorite holiday candle, have a seat in front of it, and take 5-10 minutes out of your life to just breathe. This will help you decompress and prepare for sleep. OR find a restorative yoga class at a studio near you. Restorative yoga is designed to help you experience deep calm and relaxation which will have you feeling less stressed and better prepared for sleep.
Exercise your brain like you do your body. Think…biceps for your brain. Or jumping jacks. However you want to think about it, your brain needs a workout just as much as your body does.
Do a puzzle. Download Duolingo and learn a new language. Memorize your favorite poems. Bake something you’ve never baked before that will challenge you. Create some art or even your own holiday cards this season.
The goal here is to learn something new and develop new skills to keep your brain sharp and adaptable to change.
Holiday Tip: This season, bring a book with you everywhere you go. This way, while in line, instead of engaging in the scroll of death on your phone, read a book! Your brain will be so grateful. And so will your eyes.
A strong sense of community can help combat stress and loneliness as well as activate brain stimulation.
Reach out to loved ones during the season whether it’d be via a phone call or text. Set up a weekly walk and talk or coffee date with someone who lifts you up.
Allow yourself to be really tuned into the person you’re communicating with paying keen attention to what they are saying and following along with the conversation best you can. This will exercise the brain, create a mindful moment of conversing, as well as a strong sense of connection.
Holiday Tip: Grab your favorite friend and go to the Christkindle Market at the Daley Center. It’s the perfect place to experience a European evening of holiday culture, food, shopping, and the opportunity to catch up.
This post is sponsored by NeuroReserve’s Relevate. A brain health supplement modeled after the Mediterranean and MIND diet. Relevate is part of our every single day and if you are looking to add more brain health nutrients to your day, it should be part of your day as well.
Please visit their website to learn more about Relevate and use our code: TSP for 15% off of your purchase.
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