CRS. It’s a syndrome almost all adults experience. It’s a worldwide phenomenon and yet no one seems to be talking about it. What is it? It’s that moment when you enter a room and immediately forget why you were in the first place, which can make things reaaaaaal weird. Or when you stutter out a phrase that makes absolutely no sense to the overall topic.
I’m being facetious, as CRS stands for “Can’t Remember Shit.” I’d like to tip my hat to my Dad for instilling this phrase into my mind and vocabulary.
So while I’m not referring to the REAL diseases of amnesia, dementia and Alzheimers (which are very, very real and very, very scary for everyone it affects), I have found that since adding to our brood and losing sleep with each passing week that my memory is not nearly as sharp as it used to be. I often mix up or flat-out forget simple words. I, daily, walk into rooms and forget what I’m doing. I tell the same story twice.
Balancing a multitude of things on my mind at all times across my responsibilities––like those at home, work and life––and trying to remember everything is tough stuff and its taken a toll.
Mental exercises are so important, and not just for parents. According to the Mayo Clinic, “stress, anxiety or depression can cause forgetfulness, confusion, difficulty concentrating and other problems that disrupt daily activities.” What adult DOESN’T have a little bit of these happening in their lives?
My husband is really smart. He’s both book smart and life/logic smart. And as I’ve observed him in our fourteen years together, I’ve noticed he is constantly quizzing himself. When he has some free time, he’s watching Jeopardy and spitting out the answers before or at the same time as the contestants. In fact, when he was gifted the Amazon Echo, the first skill he enabled was Jeopardy.
At first, I thought his obsession with trivia was just to prove how much smarter than me he is (I’m serious, every time he’s playing he whips out answers that I’ve literally never heard before in my life). But then I realized how much it is actually helping his mental strength––constantly testing himself has enabled his memory to stay sharp and on point.
So without further ado, check out some great ways for you to stay mentally sharp, too!
I won’t advocate for screen-time, but if you do find you have thirty minutes to kill, record Jeopardy each day and play along.
If you have an Echo or Echo Dot (linked above), enable the Jeopardy skill and play every morning as you get ready for work or your day. This not only gets your brain ready to tackle the day, but it helps you jump-start your memory.
This is an area I’d like to start concentrating again on. Adding a journal entry each day, even if you only spend five minutes on it, encourages you to really think through what happened each day.
Even better? Journaling encourages you to look for the good in each day and head to sleep with a clear mind and positive attitude. And who else enjoys going back after it’s been several years and recalling what your life was like at the time?
SPORCLE and HQ
The Sporcle website has a vast array of trivia. Some quizzes are more fun, like TV shows and entertainment questionnaires. Others are more education-based and help you jumpstart your memory of grade school lessons. I love taking a mental break from time to time to hop over to this site and kick up my memory.
Another fun trivia game? C.D. introduced me to HQ and I’m hooked! It’s played twice a day (2PM and 8PM CST) and quickly ticks through twelve questions. While you’re testing your knowledge, you are also vying for a chance to win real cash. It’s a win-win, even if you lose! Get it today at the Apple Store or Google Play Store.
Everyday Health suggests taking up fine-motor skill hobbies where you can to better shape your mind’s health. It’s true––the times that I actually set aside time to doodle, paint or craft wood were the times that I felt more relaxed in my thinking. I was testing my mind and my abilities, but I wasn’t stressed out or anxious about the outcomes.
These are just a few tips and ways you can get started TODAY with exercising your minds and your brain power. Do you have other ways to focus and jumpstart your memory? We’d love to hear them in the comments!