Strategies from Alamedas for Mental Acuity

Island residents turn to word games and crossword puzzles, meditation and languages, exercise and reading to keep their minds sharp.


Jan Colvin: Besides working with numbers every day in my profession, I am an avid Words with Friends player and play other word games as well. I find that as I am getting older, I consciously try to exercise my mind. I do things like memorize my grocery list so as not to rely on it once I’m at the store.

Millie Rourick: I do crossword puzzles, I eat right, and I keep working.

Rebecca Trissell: As a yoga instructor, one way I like to keep my mind sharp is through yoga breath techniques. One breath technique I use is called Kapalabhati, which means “skull-shining breath” in Sanskrit. This cleansing breath helps not only release stress and toxins from the mind and body, but can also help release negative emotions, shake off sluggishness, and energize. Another practice that makes a huge difference is meditation. Meditation helps clear the mind, reduce stress, foster clear thinking, and increases capacity for empathy and compassion. It can also help us understand our own mind.

Vic Zoschak: I read books in all subject areas.

Taryn Cooper: I’m teaching myself German on my smartphone through an app called Duolingo. I’m not in school right now, so I’m actively trying to keep my mind challenged.

Elizabeth Rose: I take a daily fish oil supplement, do Soduku puzzles, exercise, and practice learning Spanish when I can. I also try to have a consistent sleep pattern sleeping seven to eight hours a night.

Kelsey Spaulding: I play brain games on my phone; there’s a good variety from to which to choose that train different areas of the brain.

Claudia Perkins: I stay grounded and connected to new ideas through reading novels, nonfiction, and current events—preferably in old-fashioned paper format. I also enjoy the challenge of crossword puzzles and word games.

Weezie Mott: I’m 95-and-1/2-years old, and I read one book a week. I pay my own bills and do crossword puzzles. I make a daily effort to stay busy and keep my mind challenged. I think everyone owes it to themselves to not give up and just do nothing, no matter how old you are. I’m happy to be in good health and have good energy.

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