Do you suffer from mommy brain? While it's a little-researched condition, I've finally figured out what causes this disease: A combination of years of sleep loss from middle-of-the-night feedings, nightmare consoling, and sick kid duty added to too many hours of the Disney channel and Raffi CDs combined with a regular diet of coffee, goldfish crackers and wine can make your brain start to look similar to your midsection - mushy.
Symptoms include blanking on the date of your middle child's birth, forgetting why you came into the bathroom holding the peanut butter jar, starting the coffee maker without actually adding the coffee, and get stumped by your 3rd graders math (though with the new common core math, we will give parents a pass on that one - that stuff is crazy!)
But today is National Train Your Brain Day which is the perfect time to start to take back your brain, one neuron at a time! While playing an app doesn't promise to turn you into Super Remember-Everything Mom, some studies have shown that it is possible to see cognitive improvement after playing these brain games. It certainly won't hurt. And if it helps you recall your wedding anniversary or where your youngest left her other shoe a bit faster, well, cheers to you, brain. Here are four brain-boosting apps to try.
Lumosity: One of the most popular brain apps on the market, Lumosity uses its cognitive research findings from their Human Cognition Project to create a series of games that have been designed to boost your brain by improving problem solving, memory, speed, and attention. Choose the mental functions you want to focus on most and Lumosity will create a daily routine of different brain games for you based on those skills. The app tracks your score and adjusts as you improve. With over 70 million users worldwide, Lumosity has definitely found fans. (Free for limited access, upgrade for $12 a month or $60 a year; available for iOS and Android)
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Fit Brains Trainer: You may know Rosetta Stone for their foreign language programs, but they've also released their own brain training app called Fit Brains Trainer which includes 60+ brain games and puzzles as well as 360+ personalized training sessions in six categories: Memory, Speed of Thinking, Concentration, Problem Solving, Language and Visual-Spatial. Game difficulty increases the better you get, and you can track your progress in relation to other users of the same age and gender to help you know how you measure up. (Free for limited access, upgrade for $12 a month or $60 a year; available on iOS and on Google Play)
Elevate: Chosen by Apple as one of their 2014 Apps of the Year, Elevate is designed to improve your focus, speaking abilities, processing speed, memory, math skills, and more. Choose which cognitive features you'd like to focus on and whether you'd like 3, 5, or 7 training sessions a week. Elevate then will tailor lessons to your learning goals with over 35 different games. This is one of the few apps that includes math skills which can help if you're getting fuzzy calculating how much to pay the sitter or how many cupcakes you need to order for the class party. It's also on the cheaper end for their upgraded service which includes access to 14 premium games and one new additional one each month. (Free for limited access, upgrade for $8 a month or $45 a year; available on iOS and Android)
Happify: Let's be honest...mothering can be hard. Sometimes it's not about remembering to-do lists and the soccer coach's name. It's about not being depressed or downright angry about having to pick a wet towel off the floor again or the ungrateful chorus of complaints when you serve dinner. If you are less concerned about your mental speed and more about your mental health, try Happify. This app is designed with research-based games and activities to teach you how to disrupt patterns of negative thinking, manage stress, and build skills to overcome various life challenges. Centered around Happify's S.T.A.G.E. framework, the app helps you develop five key happiness skills: Savor, Thank, Aspire, Give, and Empathize. Choose the free version or upgrade to Happify Plus for additional access to premium content, a 20-page character strengthens report, and happiness tracking. (Free for limited access, upgrade for $12 a month or $60 a year; available on iOS and Google Play)
How do you battle mommy brain?
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