Tips for Keeping Your Memory Sharp

Loved this write-up on ways to keep your memory sharp, published by realtor Pat Collins in her November 2021 newsletter. I captured her notes, in part below:

While aging can affect your memory, there are ways you can help yourself remember things and keep your memory sharp and organized. Try these ideas:

  • Say aloud what you’re doing: If you’re heading into a room for something, say aloud: “I’m walking into the kitchen for a glass of water.”
  • Use sticky notes: Sticky notes are a great way to post reminders around the house. I use this strategy often with patients. Keep a note on the fridge to note items you need from the grocery store, or put a note above the item in reference (perhaps near outgoing mail if a bill is due, one in your car to remember to schedule your oil change). Place sticky notes around the house of affirmations you want to recite and affirm.
  • Mirror chalk/markers: Similar concept to the sticky notes. Use wipeable mirror chalk on the bathroom mirror of affirmations you want to affirm.
  • Keep a white board: Write pending or daily needs on a white board, erase them or add a check mark as they are done. Replace them as needed. As with a to-do list checklist, it’s exciting, energizing, and motivating to cross things off a list. Energy can fuel cognitive health.
  • Use your smart phone: Why not double-up on leaving notes around and make them virtual, too? Add appointment reminders and recurring alerts to your phone calendar, list items you need from the store in the notes app or perhaps in a different app you download (beware of costs). List talking points for coffee with a friend in a calendar appointment or notes you want to be sure to discuss during an upcoming medical appointment/consultation with your doc.
  • Get organized: Place everyday items, like car keys and your phone, in the same place. You will save so much time looking for them everyday if you keep them in the same spot. You could add a key ring hook by the front door for your car keys and eep your pocketbook in the closet by your jacket/shoes.
  • Keep your mind active: Why not play sudoku or try the latest crossword puzzle in the paper? perhaps download an app or access a website for games that enrich cognitive health? Watch a trivia show to keep your mind in top shop. Strategy games especially strengthen cognitive skills. By the way, what do I mean by “cognitive” — I mean ‘of the mind, related to memory, attention, etc.’
  • Limit distractions: If you are trying to have a conversation with someone, turn off the TV, put your cell phone on silence and put it out of side (not just turned upside down besides you, but in a bag, in another room, or otherwise out of sight). A phone within reach/sight is still a distraction. Face the person you’re talking with so you can focus best on the information relayed. You are more likely to internalize and retain details this way, and the other person is more likely to feel heard.
  • Be mindful of how you treat yourself: Adequate sleep, healthy diet, and some medications can affect memory. Speak to your primary care physician and perhaps even a nutritionist about ways you can enrich and better understand influences on memory health.
  • Quotes, mantras, affirmations, slogans, and sound bytes: There’s  reason why mnemonics and chunking concepts/series you want to remember can be so effective. They’re memorable. It’s no wonder why jingles, slogans, and song hooks are so effective! They’re catchy, sing-songy, and often relatable. Join us at tomorrow’s monthly 2nd Wednesday Nuggets of Wisdom online quote share and jump on in with a quote to share! Need to remember something? Use it in a jingle, poem, or think of a quote or affirmation relating to it.

Find more information, resources, and games targeting cognitive health under this section of Invest in Personal Growth: FREE Resources.

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Have you noticed I’ve published a calendar? Find the Nuggets of Wisdom 2022 calendar here!

Each month includes a quote and commitment for sparking connections with others!


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