12 Activities to Keep Your Mind Sharp During Summer
With summer here, you might be looking forward to some needed R & R for your body and mind. At the same time, you don't want to see the higher brain function that you've spent so much time developing start to decrease. Keep your mind sharp over the summer months with these brain-building activities.
- Keep reading. You've likely read many pages of required content. The thought of reading more may not be at the top of your list, but indulge yourself a bit in the summertime. Whether you fancy romance or sci-fi, fact or fiction, reading is a skill that you want to keep strong.
- Play word games. Crossword puzzles and similar language-based or puzzle games will keep your deductive skills sharp. Games that require a great deal of creative or critical thought and strategy are especially effective at keeping your brain on its toes.
- Follow the news. Staying informed about what's going on in the world will help you consider how today's issues impact the people and places around you, and that's likely to keep you thinking ahead of the curve whether you're in school or not.
- Ask questions. Wherever you go this summer, never stop learning. Ask the people you encounter questions about their experiences, expertise, and opinions. Expanding your worldview will make it easier to navigate our global society, and you may even meet your next best friend or mentor!
- Pick mind-enhancing entertainment. Rather than opting for mindless TV shows or the latest blockbuster hit, mix it up and challenge your mind with materials that make you think. Try a documentary, informative podcast, or historical show instead.
- Choose a map over GPS. If you're used to mindlessly following your GPS system when you head out on summer adventures, opt to study a map of the area and plot the route yourself. Using a map and pre-planning a route will improve your spatial understanding and memory, and it makes it easier to improvise if there's a change in traffic!
- Learn a language. If you've always wanted to speak a certain language but haven't had the time to practice, summer offers a golden opportunity to learn the basics. From local language courses to distance learning online, there's no excuse not to stretch your mind's multi-lingual muscle.
- Try a musical Instrument. Music and the arts are proven to promote clearer thinking and stronger memory. Pick your favorite instrument and start practicing, or try song-writing to stimulate your musical mind. Not only will it keep you sharp, you'll have one more way to impress at parties!
- Come out of your cocoon. Learning is always more fun in groups. Check out the Meetups in your area to find social clubs around a shared interest that you want to know more about. With so many to choose from, you're bound to find something you like and make some new friends along the way!
- Let your brain recover. Your brain works hard all year. We all need rest to be at our best, and taking time to relax will ignite your enthusiasm and reawaken your senses.
- Explore a new place. Anytime you break out of your comfort zone to have an adventure, you expose yourself to unfamiliar stimuli that keep your brain curious. There's no need to go far. A simple day trip can do the trick.
- Journal, blog, or record your thoughts. Our brains are always working, even when we don't think about it. Stretch your skills at forming complex thoughts by expressing what's on your mind in a journal, blog, video, or voice memo.
As an online student, you don’t get summers off. However, you can take school with you, so you might be able to squeeze in some relaxation time. Have fun, and keep your mind in shape with these 12 tips.
Written by Ashford University staff.