For some of us, summer is a stacked mix of shorts, sandals and visits to sunnier climes – with study, work and extra childcare commitments thrown in to top it all off.
So maintaining the right balance isn’t easy, but it’s vital that you take time to rest, relax and revitalise your mind.
Here are five ideas for recharging your brain over summer.
1. Bookish brain boost
If escaping between the pages of a good novel or memoir keeps your brain ticking over, you can join thousands of book fans from around the world and listen to your favourite authors live at the Edinburgh International Book Festival between August 10th – 26th.
Highlights for adults this year include Eddie Izzard discussing Dickens’s Great Expectations and poet Benjamin Zephaniah waxing lyrical on his Life and Rhymes biography, while the children’s programme features The Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson and Horrid Henry wordsmith Francesca Simon amongst many others.
2. Family board games
It might be tough convincing children raised on video games that they won’t be bored by board games, but getting to grips with these cardboard classics is fun and keeps the whole family’s little grey cells in fine form.
Chess is excellent for strategy, memory and concentration, scrabble is wonderful for word warriors, Trivial Pursuits tweaks your brain with tricky knowledge categories and, if you’re in adult company, Cards Against Humanity allows you to pit your wicked wits against partners and pals. Shuffle your decks, dust off your dice and let the good times roll.
3. Structured soul searching
If you’re lucky enough to be left to your own devices for a week over summer, make the most of it by attending events run by emotional intelligence organisation The School of Life.
With branches around the world, over the next few months you can find out how to identify your career potential in London, attend the summer school in Berlin or even learn how to release workplace stress in Taipei.
Each class crams in a mindful mixture of philosophy, psychology and creativity, with fascinating insights from history’s greatest minds that inform wise choices in your career and life.
4. Food for thought
The right mix of protein, antioxidants, monounsaturated fats and water work wonders for fuelling your brain and helping you tackle study tasks with aplomb.
And with a little of prior research, it’s possible to make sure summer barbecue food tastes fabulous and helps you stay healthy too.
For instance, grilled turkey burgers make an excellent alternative to beef and are packed with vitamin C, while salmon and pineapple kebabs are low in fat but still tantalise the taste buds.
5. Get fit in the Great Outdoors
Getting outdoors is great for your mind, body and spirit – it’s the perfect preparation for practically any type of educational endeavour.
So now’s the ideal time to get back on your bike for weekend cycling sessions, hike through your local forest in the evening or run through city streets as the sun rises.
Alternatively, for something more challenging, push yourself to the limits of physical and psychological endurance by signing up for a Tough Mudder event at venues around the UK and beyond.
Adopt any of our tips on recharging your brain over summer and you’ll keep on top of current coursework or be perfectly primed for next term – while taking care of everything else life throws at you.
For further lifestyle and study tips, take a look at these blogs: