“Memory loss is like system reboot.”
Memory hindrances. A topic that I’ve discussed lightly over the course of my journey with epilepsy. Is it a mere coincidence or has my memory declined due to the years of seizures and medication?
Memory hindrance is a frustrating reality and it’s a challenge that I contend with every day. In a conversation, my mind can slip to a pause to reach for a word or in an attempt to make a point but can’t complete.
I hide behind a smile all the while my heart is racing, I’m battling inner panic and anxiety, and I remind myself that it’ll be okay.
Memory is commonly mentioned as a big area of concern for people living with epilepsy. Memory can be affected in many different ways. In each case, the end result will be that recalling an event or a piece of information when you need it becomes taxing.
Sometimes those of us living with epilepsy who are faced with memory hindrances are asked to remember something “on the spot” and may not be able to come up with it, but a few minutes later it arrives on the doorstep of our minds. It’s clear that the information was always there, but access to it was delayed. At times, access might become blocked altogether, but thankfully there are ways to help.
5 Ways I Improve My Memory While Living With Epilepsy
Play Brain Games
Try a word search puzzle, and/or download cognitive-related apps (I recommend Elevate) to your phone. Studies show that puzzles delay brain decline. A timed game, such as Boggle, forces you to pay attention, work quickly under pressure and think openly.
Jot down tasks, appointments and other events in a designated notebook, on your calendar or the planner located on your cell phone. Sometimes I even keep little sticky notes at my work desk! My way of keeping reminders fun and colorful.
Eat a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet can boost brain power and improve our memory. Eat fruits, vegetables and whole grains. If possible, choose low-fat protein sources, such as fish, beans and skinless poultry.
MedicalNewsToday shares 12 Foods To Boost Brain Function
Include Physical Activity In Your Daily Routine
I’ve found physical fitness/exercise not only to be a great stress reliever but a great boost to my memory and I include this into my daily routine, whether it be a nice walk in the park or lifting weights at the gym. Physical activity increases blood flow to your whole body, including your brain.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Keeping a good sleep schedule is ideal and plays a big role in keeping day-to-day thinking sharp, as well as protecting the brain against memory problems down the line. Sleep requirements vary from person-to-person but most adults need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night to function at their best.
How many use their phones before bedtime? Scroll through Facebook, Twitter or Instagram? I’m guilty as charged! From time-to-time, I do and this can play a negative role in getting a good night’s sleep. Harneet Walia, MD at The Cleveland Clinic explains why looking at our phones before bed can impact a good night’s sleep and what we should do.
Let’s try to commit to saying goodnight to our cell phones 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime to give our minds and body time to power down.
Bottom line, there are many fun, simple and even delicious ways to improve our memory.
Exercising our minds and bodies, and fueling ourselves with nutritious foods are beneficial methods.
Include these science-backed tips to your daily routine to give your brain health a boost and keep your memory in top shape!