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Give your brain a holiday

What happens when your brain is overworked and overstressed?

Your brain is constantly changing, and long periods of stress could cause changes to how it regularly functions:

Here's a guide to giving your brain the break it deserves, so it's refreshed and prepared for the New Year.

1. Give yourself a technology detox

Heavy tech use is linked to sleep disorders & depressive symptoms—now is a great time to disconnect.

2. Meditate. Be mindful. Think.

Reduce stress hormones like cortisol and enable yourself to handle stressful events more effectively.

3. Replace some holiday treats with brain healthy foods

Make time for breakfast and learn about brain-healthy food as suggested by scientists.

4. Read something interesting

Increase neural connectivity, and improve your ability to process and store new information.

5. Naptime isn't only for preschoolers

Enhance your creative thinking, memory, and learning, by catching some shut-eye.

6. Don't do too much hibernating

We're social beings and we aren't meant to hide away – reach out to family and friends.

7. Indulge in the frosty weather and the activities it brings

Bundle up and boost your brain and body power with a winter walk, skating, or skiing.

8. Sharpen your creative skills and bring novelty to your daily routine

Keep your brain active—playing an instrument, painting, woodworking, or knitting—creations can be meaningful gifts.

9. Take a break from work or school. A real break

Remind yourself that it's okay to take a break, as you'll be more productive once you get back to it.

10. ……

Why no tip #10?

One of the great stressors of the holidays is feeling you have to compile and complete long lists of "must-dos". You don't. In fact, the best way to give your brain a holiday is to keep those lists as short as possible and simply unwind.

Your brain will thank you in the New Year.

The Ontario Brain Institute is a provincially‐funded, not‐for‐profit research centre seeking to maximize the impact of neuroscience and establish Ontario as a world leader in brain research, commercialization and care. The OBI creates convergent partnerships between researchers, clinicians, industry, patients, and their advocates to foster discovery and deliver innovative products and services that improve the lives of those living with brain disorders.

SOURCE: Ontario Brain Institute

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