“Hold on to the memories, they will hold on to you.”
— Taylor Swift

For those of you who are done finals, pat yourself on the back.  You did it! You survived! It’s now time to sit back, relax and enjoy some time off. For those of you who are still not quite finished yet, take a deep breath! You got this. The semester will be over before you know it. 

Once classes and exams are finished, it’s often hard to remember all of the material we learned throughout the year. But there are some really simple strategies you can implement now which will help you improve your memory for next semester.

Here are 5 suggestions to help improve your memory:


1. Eat right

muppet character throwing vegetables off table

This may seem like a really obvious suggestion, but it is incredibly important. People often don’t realize the effect our diet has on our bodies. Research has shown that your diet is closely linked with brain health. Increased risk of depression, anxiety, and forgetfulness are just some of the side effects of eating processed foods high in sugar and fat.

An easy way to start improving your eating habits is by adding some brain-boosting foods to your diet. Studies have indicated that berries (such as blueberries, blackberries or cherries), vegetables (like broccoli and dark leafy greens), walnuts, and foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids (like salmon) are great for improving your memory.


2. Get enough sleep

baby falling asleep from sleep

It’s no secret that getting enough sleep can help with memory retention. The science of sleep tells us that there are two major areas affected when we are sleep deprived. First, our attention span suffers which makes learning new information really hard. Secondly, our ability to store and retain memories for future use is reduced.

The average adult requires an average of 7-9 hours of sleep. Some simple lifestyle changes can be made to help students get enough sleep. Not sure where to start? Try spreading out your work rather than cramming it all in at once. It will do wonders for your sleep schedule and overall health.


3. Exercise

people running

Diet, sleep, and exercise are three of the biggest lifestyle targets you can make if you are feeling down in the dumps. But they also have the added benefit of helping with memory retention.

Exercise can actually make your brain bigger! Studies have shown that those who exercise regularly have larger memory and concentration capacity than those who don’t.

Think you don’t have the time to stay active? Exercise doesn’t have to mean hitting the gym five times a week. Something as simple as walking to school on a nice day instead of driving or taking transit counts as being active!


4. Meditation

man sits on hill at sunset

Meditation is an incredibly easy way to improve your overall mental health. Studies show that meditating for 20 minutes a day can greatly improve your memory retention and concentration. The long-term practice of meditation can help you concentrate on things for longer!

There are some easy ways to incorporate meditation into your daily routine. For example, meditating at night has the added benefit of getting you relaxed and sleepy, perfect for right before you go to bed.

On the other hand, starting your day with some mindful breaths can be a great way to calm your nerves before starting a busy day.


5. Train your brain

brain with eyes and mouth bouncing

Brain training games and apps are a super fun way to improve your memory! One study shows that playing brain-training games for 15 minutes a day, five days a week can improve short-term memory, working memory, problem-solving and concentration.

Brain games are easy to incorporate into your daily routine. You might not even realize you are already playing some! Crosswords puzzles and Tetris count as brain games! There are also a ton of brain-boosting games you can download for free from Google Play and the App Store. If you’ve got a few spare minutes while you’re in line at Starbucks, or on your daily commute, close Instagram and use a brain training app instead! That precious noggin will thank you.

Looking for things to do over the holidays? Check out the 5 most exciting events happening in the GTA this winter

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