Exercising the mind is as important as maintaining physical heath, especially as we age. To ensure your brain works as best as it can, it needs to be challenged every day. Fortunately, this can be fun and easy to do at home.
Here are 8 of best ways to keep your mind entertained at home, either alone or with family and friends.
1. Word puzzles
Keep your brain buzzing with the mental workout that a word puzzle provides. Anagrams, word searches, and Scrabble. Many are available online or at retail stores. You can even grab a pen and paper to play hangman!
2. Jigsaw puzzles
Putting together the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle is incredibly stimulating for the mind. While it keeps your brain active as you trying to find the pieces, it’s also very relaxing, reducing blood pressure and slowing breathing rate — much like meditation.
Making things is a great way to use the imagination, and also maintain dexterity in hands and fingers. Whether it’s photo collages, personalized greeting cards, or knitting a new blanket, you have a way to create something special for yourself or even to give as gifts.
4. Interactive online games
There are hundreds of brain-boosting games available online for free or a small fee that can help to enhance memory and improve mental health. And many are easy to play even if you’re the least techno-savvy person around.
You don’t need to own the game of Trivial Pursuit to play this one. There are an endless number of trivia topics that can be used for a spontaneous a trivia game, like musicals, current affairs, and history. You can find many free questions online.
Chess has been around for centuries, but it is often overlooked as a game that can improve health and mental wellbeing. The game is about strategy, planning ahead, and thinking outside the box, which can ultimately help with real-life scenarios, too.
Whether it’s bridge, pinochle, gin rummy, or canasta, a game of cards will keep the mind sharp.
8. Drawing or Painting
Even if you don’t think you’re talented or never learned, drawing and painting are great ways to relax and be creative. Projects completed on canvas, paper, or fabric allow you to explore more colors and textures.
Remember, games and activities like these aren’t meant to be stressful. Don’t judge yourself if you lose, or if you’re not very skilled at what you’re attempting. The simple act of playing should provide pleasure!