If you’re a mom, chances are you’ve experienced “Mommy Brain.” It’s the unique moment when you’ve forgotten your address. Or what day it is. You’ve gotten in your car and driven to the school despite the fact that it’s Saturday and you meant to go to the mall. Spacey moments happen to everyone at some point, but after having children, we seem to have more and more of them. Looking for your purse only to find it right there in your hand? That’s “Mommy Brain.”
According to an article at PsychCentral, Mommy Brain is legit. “At no other time in a woman’s life does she experience such massive hormonal fluctuations as during pregnancy.” Some research even suggests that reproductive hormones may help a woman’s brain get ready for the demands of motherhood, “helping her become less rattled by stress and more attuned to her baby’s needs.” The trade-off is that we forget our last names when the nice lady at the pediatrician’s office asks us for it at check-in. So how can we go back to being fully functional women after we’ve had babies?
I found a million different ways to boost your mental agility after kids and I’ve picked the 7 I love most. You might be thinking that you’re super busy and have no time to add in MORE activities to boost your brain power, but I think I can show you a typical day. Here’s how it looks.
After a busy day doing whatever you do, whether it’s work at an office, work from home, volunteer at the kid’s school or raise kids at home, it’s generally a mad dash from dinner to bedtime. (1) Pop a piece of gum in your mouth and let’s get started. MRI scans have found that chewing gum affects 8 parts of the brain involved in higher functions! While you’re chewing, take a few minutes to (2) tell your children a story and teach them all about what it was like when you were growing up. Recalling our own memories helps access parts of the brain we tend to neglect. After that, (3) change your environment. This can be as easy as going for walk to a part of your neighborhood you don’t normally walk in, or going to a different park than usual. When we are in new environments, our brains are forced to pay closer attention and “wake-up.” The bonus is that you’re getting some exercise too, and that’s a boost every time.
Now you’re back home and it’s bedtime. The children are nestled into bed and it’s time to (4) have some adult conversation. Talking to other adults is brain boosting because conversations won’t always follow the familiar path of cartoon heroes and video game dialogue. While you’re at it, (5) pour a glass of champagne (just one!) because “according to research from a team at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom, organic acids in the French sparkling wine actually increase brainpower.” And maybe two or three times a week, (6) treat yourself to a hot bath. Relaxing is a great way to de-clutter your brain and as a bonus, if you can sneak a book into the bath, reading is a fantastic way to engage your brain in higher order thinking and imagination.
Once you’re talked out, relaxed and bubbled (from the bath and the champagne) (7) have sex. When you’re involved in a loving relationship, having sex improves your connection to your partner as well as emotional intelligence. And the hormones released during sex may give our brains a powerful boost.
So, you see? There are plenty of opportunities to incorporate brain boosting activities into our already packed schedules. Give them a try…because there are worse ways to spend an evening than with a book and a bath!