Things to Remember If You’re Prone to Forget By Katy, Wife, Writer, and Yoga Instructor • April 4, 2018
My short-term memory can sometimes ebb and flow. And I try to write some of that off to the fact that I’m not as young as I used to be. But still, the age of 36 seems a little early to walk into the grocery store or simply from my bedroom to the kitchen with a purpose, only to forget why I was headed there in the first place.
In these instances, my first instinct is, of course, to laugh and go on. But frustrations do arise when I get home from the store or climb back into bed and then remember what I needed to pick up or do.
My mind wants to wander to that place of fear.
If I’m forgetting things now, what will life look like in 10, 20, or 30 years? Am I at risk for losing precious long-term memories, as well?
I work full-time as a writer for a medical marketing communications company, and I have written countless articles about the consequences of conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. In my research and the information that I share with readers, I am forced to focus on the fact that there are no surefire answers about how to stop progressive forgetfulness in its tracks.
There are, however, many tips that I use to make my experience of remembering tasks and other to-dos a lot easier. By taking ownership of the fact that my mind can sometimes get fuzzy and flooded with the chaos of overstimulation, I did some research and found some simple ways to gain a little more control.
4 of My Favorite Tips to Stay Mentally Sharp
1) Sleep. When juggling my career, my family, and my relapsing MS, taking time to get plenty of rest can often be an elusive goal. But a sound sleep schedule must be a priority to keep the brain in top form. About 30 minutes before bed, I take a warm bath, page through a book or a magazine, write in my journal, and sprinkle lavender essential oil on my pillow to help me drift off to dreamland. My goal is to get about seven hours each night.
2) Make lists. Throughout the day, I write down the things that I need to pick up on my way home from work as I pass by the grocery store or pharmacy. Without my lists, I have been known to walk into a business and literally ask myself out loud, “Wait, why am I here?” Having a piece of paper to reference makes the shopping process much easier, more enjoyable, and more productive.
3) Stay active. I’ve read in studies that regular exercise can help boost brain health. When I am getting my five days of yoga each week, I am able to think more clearly and focus more completely. By concentrating on my breath and the way it relates to movement, I can combat the chaos created by constant streams of emails, text messages, voicemails, and a relentless 24-hour news cycle.
4) Relax. While goals, lists, and responsibilities are important and motivating, I’ve found that the brain sometimes needs simplicity to properly reboot. When I’m in need of mental clarity and energy, I try to resist the urge to turn on the TV or check social media incessantly. Instead, I like to step outside, sit in the quiet, and watch my puppies play while listening to the birds or the cicadas, depending on the time of day.
All of us in the modern world—with or without relapsing MS—are at risk of forgetting things from time to time. Let’s face it, we’re human. And we need to give ourselves permission to take breaks from the constant demands on our attention, so we can change the narrative.
I’m always looking for new ways to keep my memory sharp. Do you have any tips to share below?
- LIVING WITH RELAPSING MS
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