Tips for Staying Mentally Sharp

Woman doing a crossword in a newspaper

As we move into retirement there are plenty of things to look forward to. After years of working hard, you’ve earned the right to take it easy. While it can be tempting to let go and relax it’s important to try and stay active. We are all well aware that we need to look after ourselves not only physically also mentally as well. Studies have shown that staying mentally sharp can have huge benefits including preventing the early onset of dementia. There are plenty of ways to make sure that you stay sharp and none of them are boring. With these tips, you can keep your mind fresh as you transition into retirement.

Reading books or magazines

A simple but effective one. If you are already an avid reader you are probably well aware of the benefits of reading. Rather than spending hours in front of the TV, you could spend anywhere from 30-60 minutes a day reading. It doesn’t have to be great works of literature either, it’s about reading what you enjoy. This can come in the form of books but it could also be newspapers and magazines. Reading stimulates your brain and can help introduce you to new ideas.

Play brain-teasing games

This can go hand in hand with reading newspapers and magazines. They have great crossword and sudoku puzzles in them. There are plenty of great puzzle books out there too. These can all help with getting your grey matter going. With these activities, you can stimulate the problem-solving part of your brain.

Learn a new language

Something that we Brits love to do is travel, especially as we get into our later years. This can also be the perfect opportunity to start learning a new language or even brush up on one you’ve studied before. There are plenty of languages to choose from. You could start with Spanish or French for something to use on your holidays. If you are feeling like challenging yourself you could try out Chinese or Japanese. It can be a great opportunity to meet new people too. You could try and find a language group locally that meets up to practice.

Start a new hobby

You may already have plans to start a hobby in retirement but why limit yourself to one! Right now there are plenty of ways you can teach yourself. The resources available online are endless. If you’re planning on taking up a musical instrument there are plenty of tutorials on websites like YouTube. Not to mention things like photography, gardening and cooking. It could be a great way to meet new people too if you prefer to do in-person lessons.

Remember to socialise

It can be easy to let things slip as we get into retirement. For some people, some of the only socialising they did was going into work every day. Making time for friends is important for everyone. Retirement can also be a chance to make new ones. As mentioned this can be in the form of a new hobby or even organising regular phone calls with friends. This will not only benefit your mental sharpness it will also benefit your mental health.

Eating healthy

The old saying “you are what you eat” rings true as ever. Eating foods that are rich in healthy vitamins, minerals and fats can give your body the right fuel. There are foods that have been linked with healthier brain function. Foods like oily fish such as salmon, blueberries, broccoli and whole grains have been shown to help promote a healthier brain function. Adding these kinds of food to a balanced diet could make a difference in the long term.

Get regular exercise

Your mental wellbeing has been linked with your physical wellbeing. It’s never too late to start. As we move into retirement it’s the perfect time to get into things like yoga, hiking, swimming and even running. There are plenty of benefits to this and has been shown to help prevent brain shrinkage. When starting an exercise regime it’s always important to check with your doctor to make sure everything is ok.

Plenty of good quality sleep

The quality of sleep you get has a massive impact on your brain function. Studies have shown that sleep is vital for cognitive function (thinking skills). This is true whether you are young or old. Getting a good 7 or 8 hours of sleep a night could be beneficial for both your physical and mental health. If you have trouble with getting to sleep or sleeping you should consult with a doctor.

Protect yourself with British Seniors

These are just a few of the ways that can help you to keep your mind sharp well into your later years. Some of them might be new to you and you might have been doing others for years. Either way, it’s important to protect your mental health. You should enjoy your golden years with some peace of mind. At British Seniors, we can help you protect your loved ones if you were to pass away with a range of over 50 cover, including Over 50 Life Insurance. For more information, call us on 0800 803 0052.

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