Now that the doldrums of winter are once again upon us, the chances are high that we will be spending a greater amount of time at home over the next few months. However, this does not necessarily have to represent a negative situation. There are plenty of ways to remain entertained even when the weather outside takes a turn from the worse. In fact, a handful of fun techniques can actually benefit your mental acuity. Whether you are looking to hone a specific set of skills or you simply wish to remain productive between now and the spring, the methods outlined below will prove to represent a surprising breath of fresh air. Let’s take a closer look.
Strengthen the Mind-Muscle Connection
Humans are all creatures of habit. If we repeat a behaviour enough times, it soon becomes engrained within our minds. Unfortunately, it seems as if bad habits are much easier to pick up if we allow our focus to wander. This is why enhancing the mind-muscle connection is a wise activity. Not only will you be able to develop new skills, but the process itself can be a great deal of fun. Here are some home-based activities to consider:
- Learn juggling.
- Begin practicing a specific type of dance.
- Stretch out to increase your flexibility.
- Strengthen your balance and core strength through yoga.
Not only are these recommendations extremely healthy, but they will force your mind to process information in novel ways; providing it with a bit of much-needed exercise.
Use Meditation as a Form of Stress Relief
Winter can be a stressful time and some individuals even suffer from a condition known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). One excellent way to combat feelings of doom and gloom is to begin practicing meditation. This will provide a form of stress relied while simultaneously training your mind to purge itself of any negative thoughts. The good news is that there are many different forms of meditation to consider. From deep breathing exercises to focusing upon a lit candle, you will soon find a sense of inner peace and clarity that was impossible to experience in the past.
Create a Gratitude Journal
It is always good to recognise the positives that life has to offer. Remaining mentally upbeat has been shown to produce certain “feel-good” chemicals within the brain known as neurotransmitters. Serotonin and dopamine are two common examples. It just so happens that these very same substances will provide you with feelings of clarity and motivation (similar sensations to those experienced after a rewarding exercise session or a jog in the park). Noting the things that you are thankful for will remind you that every cloud has a silver lining. This is obviously healthy from a psychological point of view.
Play Stimulating Online Games
Did you know that online games have been shown to increase mental clarity and alertness? While the exact mechanisms are not yet fully understood, it is thought that these games force your brain to create new connections between its neurons (known as neuroplasticity). So, what types of games are the best to consider?
It is a good idea to choose platforms which force you to make sudden decisions. For instance, some of the best online slots games are associated with fast-paced action and time-sensitive strategies. Playing under a certain amount of pressure is great for the mind. Here are some other variants to consider as well as the benefits related to each:
- Hidden object games (great for visual acuity).
- Chess, backgammon and poker (all help to build strategy).
- Brain teasers such as puzzles and riddles (excellent ways to enhance your problem-solving skills).
Feel free to experiment with different games in order to appreciate which ones you prefer the most.
Embrace a Creative Mindset
Always be open to trying new things while at home. For instance, why not learn a new cooking recipe? You could also choose to redesign your living room or perform minor renovations to a bathroom. You could instead grab an easel and a paintbrush and try out your artistic skills. These are all fun ways to get the creative juices flowing. Furthermore, it is likely that you will come across skills that you were unaware even existed. Above all, remember to have fun and not to feel any pressure.
We can now see that there is no reason why winter must represent a dull and lethargic time of the year. On the contrary, it should be viewed as an opportunity to learn new things while developing a positive mindset. Do not hesitate to bookmark this page for inspiration and always perform further online research, as helpful advice is only a click away.
This is a contributed article.