Happy Sunday Reader!
Recently, I have been hitting the books, studying for a licensing exam. While I don't miss my days in school, it does mean that learning is on my mind! Mainly, how can I cram any more information inside my brain! It might just explode!
But, did you know that continually learning as you go through life is a form of self-care? Really! I am not just exhausted and making that up. Keep reading to learn how learning changes your brain, and how you can use it for self-care this week.
Self care tip.....
Have you ever thought of personal training for your brain along with your body? This is a form of lifelong learning that can have huge health benefits! By lifelong learning, I mean, training your brain to enjoy learning new things! There are so many benefits to lifelong learning for your overall health and specifically for your brain including:
- Sharpens your memory. Specifically your working memory (multitasking) and for remembering small details day-to-day
- Boost your self-confidence. Who doesn’t want to feel proud of themselves?
- Learn new practical skills. Learn how to manage your finances better, computer skills, or even improving your communication skills!
- Discover new hobbies or talents. You won’t know what you’re good at unless you try!
- Become a positive example for your children and members of your family. Teaching by example works wonders with little ones, especially when they see how fun learning can be.
In today’s digital age, there are countless opportunities to practice lifelong learning that you can do in the comfort of your own home anytime that is convenient for you. Keep reading for some ideas you can start today via Etsy or YouTube. To keep your brain sharp, here are four ways to practice lifelong learning:
- Use It or Lose It: One of the best ways to expand your horizons is to continually engage in new learning. When you stop learning, you start dying. Since your brain is like a muscle—the more you use it, the stronger it gets. When you learn something, new neural connections are created, which improves your capacity to remember. In fact, regardless of your age, mental exercise has an overall positive effect on your brain. On the other hand, when you stop learning, cognitive performance suffers as the internal connections in your brain begin to break apart.
- Avoid Repetition: Even if your routine tasks are fairly complicated, such as teaching a college course or fixing a crashed computer network, they won’t help your brain as much as learning something new. Whenever the brain does something over and over, it learns how to do it using less and less energy. That tells us something about how to exercise the brain. Just doing crossword puzzles or Sudoku isn’t enough to actually enough to strengthen your brain. To get the maximum benefit from a brain training exercise, our brains need to be challenged with new forms of stimulation. Try something you haven’t done before such as doing math in your head, learning a foreign language, or challenging your taste buds.
- Online Learning: To create a brighter future master your health, emotions, relationships, and brain with online courses. One of the positives that came out of the Covid Pandemic is the huge wealth of online learning opportunities that allow you to access teachers and skills that were otherwise inaccessible for you. The first place I would look is YouTube, but you can also branch out to other paid learning opportunities like free classes from Harvard or Kahn Academy.
- Give Yourself a Break: Many people equate taking breaks with wasting time, but research demonstrates that taking breaks actually improves your focus and efficiency. If you focus on a task for too long, your cognitive control system can start to fail. By switching your attention to something else briefly, you can then return to your original task with renewed focus.
Etsy Find of the week.....
Craft kits are one of my favorite ways to learn a new skill! They give you everything you need, detailed (simple) instructions, and you walk away with a new skill and a souvenir that you made! So simple! Here are some of my favorites!
I love the colors on this punch needle kit!
Macrame is so popular right now! Save your money and create your own!
Make your own candles with this kit!
Learn the art of Quilling with paper and make some fun intricate designs!
All you need is a pen and paper to learn hand lettering!
Upcoming week intention......
Is there something in your life that you want to learn how to do, or how to do better? Take some time to ponder this and see what learning opportunities you can come up with to help your brain stay strong and engaged!
Weekly good news to share.....
The rise of video based social media platforms can also be a great learning tool. This article talks about the benefit many are seeing learning from short educational videos posted on TikTok and Instagram. Education is at our fingertips!
Featured blog post of the week......
Finances is a common topic that I hear people wanting to learn more about. A great method for learning more about finances, can be found in my post here! Everyone is a beginner at some point. Don't let fear or shame hold you back from learning more about a topic that interest you!
One thing I am loving this week.....
Cooking is one of my favorite activities, and something I always feel like I can learn more about! It doesn't matter if you are a newbie or expert in the kitchen, there is always a tip, trick, hack, or method you can pick up from another cook. My favorite way to learn new things in the kitchen, is through YouTube. It's not like I can just invite a chef over to my house to learn from! And yet, I can on YouTube! Here are some of my favorite chefs to watch!