Chemo brain persists for me. F-bomb. Sometimes I get really frustrated and sad when I can’t remember things. Especially the things that I KNOW that I KNOW. Argh. When I kvetch about it, my chemo-free friends corroborate the same feelings with “I can’t remember anything either!”
One thing that I know for sure: the brain is a muscle and it needs exercise just in the same way our other muscles need exercise. So, on a particularly aggravating, memory-less day, I came across a Silver Lined book called: Neurobics: Create Your Own Brain Training Program by puzzle designer Chris Maslanka and engineer David Owen.
Neurobics presents you with a personally structured brain training program geared toward your individual strengths and weaknesses. By teaching alternate thinking strategies through diet and exercise plans and over 100 puzzles, this workbook builds mental abilities and boosts creativity. How great is that?!?
- Design your own puzzle. You can do crosswords-or create a puzzle of your own. Making a grid, coming up with solutions, and devising clues works those neurons cognitively and creatively.
- Use the News. After you listen to the news, try to list the stories in order. Start with those short top-of-the-hour updates and work your way to All Things Considered.
- Rhyme It. Memorize a poem (or at least a line or two) every day. Rhyme and rhythm, say the authors, link “the purely verbal to other modalities of thought,” which makes our memories more agile.
- Visualize. If you’re trying to recall a list of things, link them in a story. You can also imagine the objects in a different place in your home, then mentally put yourself there.
- Play Grocery Games. The next time you go shopping, look over your list, then put it away. Just check before you get to the register to see how much you forgot. Enrich your number skills by trying to estimate how much you’ve spent before the cash register does.
Are you memory challenged? How do you exercise your brain?