While we all aim to live long, happy and healthy lives, our overall health and wellness stretches far beyond the surface. Fitness is essential to maintaining good physical health, but let’s not forget about nurturing our main control center: the brain. Exercising the mind should be high on the list of personal health initiatives in order to protect the memory against the inevitable effects of aging brought by Father Time. With May being Nurture Month at Travaasa, we have complied a list of helpful tips and tricks to keep your brain active and strong.

Challenge yourself. Immersing yourself in a fresh environment or learning a new skill is a great way to challenge your mind. Always wanted to learn Italian? Interested in cultural anthropology? Enroll yourself in a community college course or start a Rosetta Stone learning program. Challenging the brain is key to keeping your mind sharp and memory on point.

Make new connections. Introducing yourself to new social environments can help stimulate brain activity. Try joining a book club, volunteering at your local animal shelter or attending a trivia night. Surrounding yourself with a new group of people will help to maintain cognitive health and who knows, you might make a few new friends as well.

Watch what you eat. Eating foods high in nutrients is known to have a positive effect on your overall physical health, yet many don’t know that it can also help maintain brain health. Avoiding processed foods and eating plenty of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis will quite literally feed your mind the essential vitamins it needs to stay sharp as you age.

Use your nose. While vision and hearing are our most commonly used senses, a recent study suggests that using different aromatherapy techniques, such as sniffing lemon oil in the morning and lavender throughout the day can help you stay alert, focused and calm.

Stop multi-tasking. Every time you drop what you are doing to answer a text or respond to an email, you could be doing a disservice to your brain power. While we live in a day and age that promotes multi-tasking by the use of our smartphones, taking an hour or two a day to focus on the task at hand helps reduce stress and improve concentration.

Drink tea. Swap your morning cup of coffee for a cup of tea and your brain will thank you. Green tea is known to boost brain function and boost antioxidants in your body, while peppermint tea promotes alertness and improved functionality.

Find more ways to encourage brain health during Nurture Month at Travaasa by checking out the activities schedule.