According to the Alzheimer's Association, chronic stress — like that experienced during the current pandemic — can impact memory, mood and anxiety.
It can also promote inflammation in the brain and other potentially damaging conditions affecting brain function.
Here are a few tips to help keep that noggin healthy:
1. Recommit to brain-healthy basics
- After a stressful year, get back on the healthy eating and workout bandwagon. Many experts agree that people can improve their brain health and reduce the risk of cognitive decline by adopting healthy lifestyle habits.
2. Return to normal at your own pace
- Don't feel pressured to jump back into social circles. Go at your own pace.
3. Help others
- The Alzheimer's Association says helping others may not only make you feel better, but it may be good for you as well.
4. Unplug and disconnect
- This last year, we spent a lot of time in front of a screen. Experts advise setting limits on your screen time, avoid carrying your phone everywhere, and disconnecting from digital devices at bedtime.
5. Control your stress before it controls you
- We've spent a year in a stressful world. Prolonged stress can wear down the brain, leading to serious health problems including memory loss and increased risk for dementia. Find ways to manage it by talking to a therapist, going for a walk or picking up a hobby.