In good condition

Solving the riddle of memory loss


“I thought it was Sunday, not Tuesday” — an iteration of the phrase almost everyone around me has started saying since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are all forgetting simple details in our routine and our internal awareness of time and events is fading.

To squash my own quarantine memory loss, I have tried to incorporate something new into my routine: brain exercises.

My mind feels the most disoriented it ever has and it shows through the daily activities I follow. My journaling is completely off and I always seem to zone out when talking with friends over the phone. 

A change needed to occur. Otherwise, I might start to forget the important things in my life.

According to CNN, our bodies depend on more than environmental cues like sunlight to regulate our circadian rhythms — they also rely on physical and social cues to maintain balance.

For a UW-Eau Claire student, this may look like the morning alarm going off for an 8 a.m. class, timing out your meal at Davies in-between classes or scheduling Friday’s for coffee dates with friends.

My two-month mark of quarantine approaches and the time seems to have flown by. Days are blurred together, my structure between school and socials has completely vanished. 

Research from Healthline shows that, regardless of what age you may be, brain exercises will work to boost cognitive memory, concentration and make daily tasks easier to accomplish. 

Plus, they are extremely fun.

Here is a list of brain-boosting activities that I have focused on to find clarity in these blurry weeks:

  • Crossword puzzles: These puzzles were my first attempt at building up my brain activity during quarantine. You may be like me and have to start with simple ones, but it is a great way to learn about fun facts on any topic. My favorite crossword website to start with is Fun Trivia Quizzes (Plus, they have an easy mode if you need an extra push). 
  • Build up vocabulary: I highly recommend downloading the Mirriam Webster mobile app and exploring the games they have involving vocabulary. It is fun to share the word of the day and outsmart friends. 
  • Reading: Participating in a book club is a recent hobby I have tried to kickstart with my friends as we social distance. It acts as a great way to bond and acquire knowledge on subjects we all enjoy. We are currently reading a story about trees and it is evident that I need to brush up on my tree knowledge.
  • Solve riddles: This has been my favorite activity to challenge cognition and it has been a way for me to bond with my family as I search for answers around my house. Do you know the answer to, “What gets wet while it is drying?” — it’s a towel.
  • Dancing my heart out: Make a playlist dedicated to those songs that get you grooving and get moving. I have tried it with success! It has helped me let loose mentally and feel active in a fun way.
  • Quizzes: Not the silly Buzzfeed quizzes that tell you what princess you are. On top of my academics I have also found joy in taking quizzes to test my knowledge on other life knowledge. 

Whichever activity appeals most to you, it is worth giving it a shot. Challenging my personal brain fitness has been an entertaining way to pass the time and explore my knowledge in creative ways.

You may be surprised to find how much you really know and the endless ideas that are yet to be explored. 

Nelson can be reached at [email protected]