Read – If you’re one of countless people who don’t make a habit of reading regularly, you might be missing out. Reading has a significant number of benefits. Just like any other muscle in the body, the brain requires exercise to keep it strong and healthy, so the phrase “use it or lose it” is particularly apt when it comes to your mind. Doing puzzles and playing games such as chess have also been found to be helpful with cognitive stimulation. Take time to read during the holiday break. Children who see their parents reading become readers themselves.
Turn off the devices! – Think about the negative impact phones and tablets are having on our personal relationships. So, rethink your time these holidays. Play games, spend time with family, see people, walk the dogs, plan an outdoor excursion, create experiential memories for your children. When you feel yourself reaching for your device, hit pause! Ask yourself what could be gained from checking your phone at that moment.
Sleep – Lack of sleep is impacting long-term health, blood sugar levels and the ability to learn. Catch up on your sleep during the holiday break and set goals to a sleep routine in the new year. Researchers have found that sleep plays an important role in a process called memory consolidation. During sleep, your body may be resting, but your brain is busy processing your day, making connections between events, sensory input, feelings, and memories. Deep sleep is a very important time for your brain to make memories and links, and getting more quality sleep will help you remember and process things better
Laugh – As they say, laughter is the best medicine. Find something to laugh about or do something that will help you laugh. It will make all the difference in your life! Apart from improving our moods, laughter can reduce stress, help fight infection, and reduce pain levels. Two stress hormones, cortisol and epinephrine which suppress the body’s immune system, drop after a dose of laughter. Laughter causes positive changes in brain chemistry by releasing endorphins. It also brings more oxygen into the body with the deeper inhalations. When we laugh, we gulp in air. Because the cardiovascular system is already dilated, the oxygen moves a lot faster to already relaxed muscles giving our internal organs a massage and stimulating circulation. Therefore, we feel so good afterwards.