Keep your mind sharp this summer

With summer just a few short weeks away, it may be tempting to rest, relax and do absolutely nothing as you unwind from school. There are, however, some fun ways to keep your brain awake in the summer months without causing any stress. Here are some tips and tricks to keep your brain active this summer.

Read a book

To quote Richard Steele, an Irish writer and playwright, “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” Although we do lots of required reading for our classes, it is a good idea to continue to read books throughout the summer to keep our minds active.

Accordingly to Maryanne Wolf, director of the Center for Reading and Language Research at Tufts University, “Typically, when you read, you have more time to think. Reading gives you a unique pause button for comprehension and insight.” Reading also keeps your memory sharp, not to mention, it can be quite entertaining.

Go camping

Going camping is a great way to learn or refresh your survival skills and get in touch with nature. In South Florida, many large parks offer campgrounds such as the Everglades National Park as well as C. B. Smith Park. Exercising your survival skills is a great way to keep your mind sharp because you are using all of your senses to stay aware of your surroundings. David Strayer of the University of Utah also states that “spending short amounts of time in nature without technology does calm the brain and helps it to remember better.”

Write a summer bucket list

Writing a bucket list is a great way to keep your mind and body active as well. It helps you to get in touch with your values and remember your goals. As you check items off your list, you participate in being productive, regardless of what your bucket list entails. Having a written bucket list, perhaps in a poster or journal format, also helps you to be creative and dabble in drawing, calligraphy or painting. Forbes Magazine further explains that “[hand]writing is good for keeping one’s [brain] sharp and may even influence how we think.” A study at Indiana University also showed that “the mere action of writing by hand unleashes creativity not easily accessed in any other way.”

Take up a new hobby

It’s often difficult to find time for hobbies during the school year, but summer is the perfect time to try something new and see if it sticks. Hobbies protect our brain. T. F. Hughes and colleagues conducted a study that results in evidence that proved “that engaging in hobbies for one or more hours every day may protect against dementia later in life.” Not to mention, hobbies can be fun and are a great way to keep your mind active and entertained.

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