20 Ways to Get Your Pre-Mommy Brain Back. For Real.

The keys are lost again. Why in the heck do I misplace these things so often? I JUST had them! 

Sound familiar?

As moms, we’ve got lots to think about. Feeding people. Bathing people. Cleaning house. Running errands. Helping at the school. Helping kids with homework. Figuring out how to discipline our kids effectively. Trying to maintain our marriage. And that’s just IN our home and family. Don’t even get me started on social, community and extended family stuff.

Ever feel like your brain goes AWOL right when you really need it most? Maybe it’s because we’re overwhelmed. But then again,

Maybe we struggle because we think “taking time out to rebuild or develop our talents and skills – let alone our mind – is an indulgence, something that we’ll make time for once everything else is done” (Kat Eden).*

If you’re tired of your mind ambushing you, here are 20 things that will give you back your brain.

  1. Read things that challenge you. They change your perspective and force you to learn new vocabulary.
  2. Talk to someone very different from you for at least 5 minutes.
  3. Choose a subject in the news and find out more about that event or person by doing a quick search online.
  4. Listen to talk radio or NPR for 10 minutes. Even if you don’t agree with the politics or bias.
  5. Do a crossword puzzle. Even if you have to use a dictionary, you’re stretching your mind!
  6. Play Sudoku. It’s a free app on smartphones.
  7. Get a quote-a-day app for your phone to experience the varied perspectives and language style.
  8. Watch a TED video. They’re all 10 minutes or less and share a wide range of information.
  9. Read, watch or listen to witty comedians. Wit stretches your perspective and recognition of connections in life.
  10. Subscribe to RSS feeds for your interests. They keep you reading and keep you current.
  11. Subscribe to a word-of-the-day app or by email. Determine daily to USE the word that it shares.
  12. Play strategy games: Chinese Checkers, chess, Blokus, Sequence… the list is endless.
  13. Listen to music from another culture. The differing tones and rhythms stretch your mind.
  14. Play memory games. They’re fun, and the kids get into them too!
  15. Train yourself to remember phone numbers and names (or whatever is hard to remember). Use association, word pictures, patterns, or whatever you can to stretch the memory muscles.
  16. Exercise – endorphins released from exercise clear your head so you can think effectively
  17. Write a list to solve a problem you face. Aim to list 20 ways you can solve it. The last few will come from stretching to think outside the box.
  18. Rest your mind. Force yourself to think of nothing (or of light, someplace pleasant, warmth or coolness… whatever releases you from the mental racetrack). A rested mind is a sharp one.
  19. Sleep. Whether it’s a 20 minute power nap or adding an extra 30 minutes to your night’s sleep. Your mind is more efficient when it’s not physically exhausted.
  20. Forgive people. As moms, life requires much and we can grow to resent it. Choose to forgive. It doesn’t let the other person off the hook for what they did – it LETS YOU OFF THE HOOK so you can have your mind back.

What will you try today to get back that beautiful brain you’ve been missing?


*Kat Eden quote from “5 Quietly Powerful Strategies to Press ‘Play’ on your Dream Life.”

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  1. Lisa V. says

    I'm skeptical about the word games but I'm willing to try a crossword puzzle. Lord knows I DO too often have “brain mush”…LOL. I especially like the idea to read something challenging as reading is my fun. I have also had an ongoing desire for some time now to re-fresh my sign language skills but it's been hard to find that time. Thanks for the ideas!

  2. says

    Thanks for the tips, Laurie! This is such a helpful post! One of my favorite things to do to relax and stretch my brain at the same time are hidden picture puzzles, which are available for download online.

  3. says

    Thanks Laurie, getting sleep, which is really hard for moms, really help with the mommy brain. Most of it is caused by trying to keep track of so much information so writing everything down helps also.

  4. says

    Any time I make time for myself, it results in a brain boost. This comes in many forms: sleep, reading, sitting, coloring (with or without my kids), creative writing, art, prayer, exercise, and breathing.