THERE is much emphasis on self care for our bodies. The focus being on what we eat, keeping moving and a recognition that nurturing our physical selves supports daily functioning and potentially prolongs our existence.

While this is vital, attention is needed to keeping our minds active and stimulated, our brains are after all the supercomputer that drives everything.

I recently facilitated a workshop focusing on keeping minds active for a ladies’ group in Skipton. There was much fun and frivolity in the forms of a pub quiz, with the absence of a pub, bingo, dominoes, cards, and I even dusted off the old snakes and ladders board from childhood. I was heartened to learn of women accessing jigsaws and word games via apps.

Reading was a biggie and journalling which also ticks the emotional health box.

There was also discussion about the positive impact of fresh food versus processed food, and how the latter can trigger episodes of brain fog.

Again, crossover into other elements of self care.

There are numerous factors that impede our powers of concentration, cognition and recall, the ageing process, illness, stress and low mood.

For me menopause had a significant impact reducing me to a zen-like state with the capacity of a goldfish.

Many activities and pastimes were identified to support a healthy mind, watching documentaries, learning something new, puzzles, games and reading books, magazines and newspapers.

There was a general consensus that isolation and loneliness probably has the most detrimental effect on all aspects of self care, including the mind and the most valuable way to support a healthy and active mind is social contact, conversations and laughter.

At the close of the workshop, ladies reported feeling they had given their brains a “work out” which was positive, however, a little attention on a daily basis is equally as beneficial.

* By Corinne Yeadon, of the Being Better private therapy practice in Skipton