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How to Come Out of Quarantine With an Even Stronger Mind Than You Had Before

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How to Come Out of Quarantine With an Even Stronger Mind Than You Had Before
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Do you feel like your brain is slowly turning into mush while stuck inside? You’re not alone. It’s so easy for us to sink into a lethargic lifestyle that leaves us more forgetful and frustrated. However, with a little extra effort, we can all spend this strange time not only maintaining our brain power, but making it even stronger than it was before. 

Vernon Williams, MD, a sports neurologist and founding director of the Center for Sports Neurology and Pain Medicine at Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute in Los Angeles, shared his tips for stopping our brains from melting away while in quarantine with US News & World Report. “I don’t want to diminish the very real burdens carried by exhausted frontline workers, shuttered restaurant and retail businesses, and the lonely who’ve abruptly seen their social and sports gatherings banned,” he writes. “The grief you’re feeling is real, and it matters. I feel it too.”

But despite the unprecedented situation we’re all in, and as someone who spends his whole career looking into how our brains’ tick, Dr. Williams couldn’t help but wonder if all this time indoors could be more of a benefit than a setback. He asked himself, “What might we do to emerge with more powerful brains and, perhaps, a resiliency that can carry us through a lifetime?”

Williams’ recommendations: Prioritize sleep, exercise every day, and meditate mindfully. Sure, we know these practices can help us stay healthy on a regular basis — but think back to your pre-quarantine life. How many times did these ideas take a backseat to things like busy days, stacked social calendars, or long commutes? That’s exactly why Williams says we should take this “new normal” as an opportunity to really embrace each of those elements. 

“Think of sleep as food and water for your mind,” he writes. “During sleep, our brains perform the ‘housecleaning’ of clearing toxins and waste products (like the lymphatic system’s actions in the rest of our body).” Williams also reminds us that it’s not just brain power that gets boosted by a good night’s rest, but our immune system, too — something that’s definitely important for us all right now. 

Of course, sleep is something most of us struggle with on a good day, and maybe even more so now that time seems to have lost all meaning. Williams suggests trying an interesting twist on our morning alarm: “You may be used to setting an alarm to wake up. Try setting an alarm to remind yourself to go to sleep at the same time each night.” We would have never thought of something so simple, but it makes a lot of sense! You can also use a few of our favorite tips to keep you from tossing and turning at night and actually get the seven to eight uninterrupted hours of snoozing that Williams recommends.

Source: First for Women


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