To go along with last week's theme of new year's resolutions, I found Newsweek's (January 9, 2012) list of 31 interesting ways to get smarter this year. You can find the whole list at: http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2011/12/30/31-ways-to-get-smarter-in-2012.all.html , but here are a few of their suggestions.
- Do word puzzles--can help reduce the risk of Alzheimer's and dementia.
- Learn a new language--to improve your prefontal cortex, which affects decision-making and emotions. As an added benefit for child care providers, being bilingual can help you attract new customers, or better serve existing customers.
- Eat dark chocolate--(YES!! oh, sorry, I got carried away...)--dark chocolate (and red wine) contain flavonoids which can help improve memory.
- Hydrate--a dehydrated brain has to work harder; and the rest of your body will appreciate the water as well.
- Visit an art museum--viewing art can reduce stress. Field trip, maybe??
- Learn to play a musical instrument--boosts IQ and can increase memory and coordination.
- Eat yogurt--(I love these eating ones!)--can improve your ability to handle anxiety and increases activity in the parts of the brain that handle emotions and memory. Your stomach may appreciate the probiotics too.
- Get out of town...and back to nature--time on a crowded street can impair your memory and self-control, but spending some time in nature can help your brain recover.
Have fun taking care of yourself this year!