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There is no doubt that COVID 19 has affected our cognitive functioning.
The word cognitive implies ‘mental processes like concentrating, memorizing, reasoning, or finding solutions to problems. This is frustrating at times.
We need to know that these systems tend to get affected if we are under stress or any psychological or physical disturbance.
Take, for example, the time we felt very stressed about exams approaching. The thoughts that ‘ what if I don’t do well, there is so much to do, there are chances I may fail’ would multiply in number and not allow us to stay focused at times. We may feel that we are going blank or that we may don’t remember much. But interestingly the minute, the stress levels were being tackled, we realize, ‘ I can remember, I have studied this, I will do well.
Similarly, mild flu also makes it hard for us to do a task that requires our dedication. It feels like a mental load instead.
Here we will be suggesting some fun activities that can polish our cognitive abilities. These activities act as an exercise for the brain. The more we exercise it, the more it strengthens.
- To begin with, let’s start with activities for concentration:
Concentration means choosing to focus on what we want to do and eliminating distractions. To tickle the concentration sensors in the brain, we need to engage in a task that demands concentration. Ex. Take a newspaper and begin to cut a single vowel (like ‘A’) across a passage. To make it more fun, choose two vowels (like ‘E’ and ‘I’) to cancel and try to do it within a time limit. Play this with your family members to see who can do this without a mistake. Our next game can be played with little ones. This classic game is called ‘cups .’ Here we suggest taking 3 to 4 cups through which we will not be able to see. Put a coin or a ping pong ball below one of the cups. Now move the cups randomly and ask the person to identify which cup has the ball or coin. Research states that even playing some video games in moderation, which require attention, can help. So get creative and improve your concentration.
Memory is the ability to remember. Lately, technology has been taking care of this by memorizing phone numbers, lengthy lists, appointments, and so on. Funny enough, memorize this; if we are not using our recalling capacity, it starts to wean off. Therefore, we need to do everything in our ability to polish our memory. Here are some things we can do, for example learning phone numbers and car numbers for emergencies. Then, instead of using a phone to write the grocery list, try to remember it with the help of mnemonics. A mnemonic is a tool that helps us remember facts or large amounts of information. It may include songs, rhymes, acronyms, images, phrases, or sentences to recollect better.
LET US PLAY A GAME RIGHT NOW
Try to remember the following words:
Take 30 seconds to remember!
Write them down the way you remember if you could remember all, great work.
But here is a fun strategy
Build an exciting story using the exact words above. Group them into categories if required Eg. Dog, Fish, wolf belong to the category of animals. Do it the way you like it.
- Problem-solving and reasoning
This function is required while we are working, developing ideas, and more. Games like Sudoku, Scrabble, trail-making games, puzzles can help increase these abilities.
Reading is a fun activity that requires us to use all these circuits of concentration, memory, logical reasoning. It is a complete package.
Besides these activities, some other factors also help us indirectly.
Being socially active (virtually in today’s scenario), eating a diet that helps the brain muscle, and reasonable physical exercise with meditation and breathing also contributes to a cognitive boost.
So don’t just take an immunity booster; take a cognitive boost.
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