Many moons ago, I worked part-time for a kind though a tad crusty old gentleman named Dr. Paul Wohl, who wrote for The Christian Science Monitor. It so happened that at one point in time, we both were in Paris. I was there to enjoy myself with David, and he was there to renew acquaintances, gather research, travel a bit, and, he told me somewhat sheepishly one day, to get some memory pills. Memory pills! Back then, I just chuckled sympathetically. But today, I’d like a few myself! I don’t know if they even exist, but I do know that as writers, keeping our memories sharp is a great idea. So when I came across some quick tips for building a stronger memory, I wanted to share them:
Keep learning: The more you stimulate and tone up your little gray cells, the more resilient your brain becomes and the better equipped it is to fight off disease. So do those crossword puzzles and make it a point to learn something new every day. I’m thinking of taking up French myself!
Sleep more: Getting your ZZZZs — we all know this is important. Not only can getting fewer than six hours of sleep a night increase the chance of your having a stroke, but of course, it also impairs your ability to concentrate.
Eat well: To stoke your mental fires and energize your brain, more than half of your plate should be crowded with green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale, the darker the better. Eat lots of fish, nuts, and olive oil and kick the refined carb habit.
Walk with a buddy: While walking is great, teaming up with a friend for a stroll is even better: It gives you a cardio workout, stress-relieving social contact, and hopefully, stimulating conversation!
Breathe deeply: Meditating is wonder drug on many counts — it’s calming, relaxing, centering, and it boosts the ability to focus — surely a boon to the writing life. For a quick-fix, inhale for seven counts, hold for seven, exhale for seven. Repeat seven times.
Challenge yourself: The number one memory complaint that people have says neurologist Dr. Majid Fotuhi, is that they can’t remember names. His prescription: Take three a day and memorize them. And write on!