5 ways to keep your brain active during the summer holidays

What a year it has been! Hopefully your heads are all a little fuller than they were… you have the whole summer ahead to get them nice and empty before next year starts…
Even the wise words of Albus Dumbledore from the world-famousHarry Potterseries confirm the impression that most parents and teachers already had: along breakfrom studying such as the summer holidays can cause asignificant lossof the knowledge acquired during the school year and make the return to the usual routinemore traumatic.
What can you do tokeep your brain in shapeover the summer? It might surprise you, but the answer is not homework! Here arefive waysto keep your brain active during the long school-free time ahead of you.

1. Lose yourself in a book

For many students,reading feels like a chore: far too often, school ends updriving them awayfrom reading instead of giving them a lifelonglove of books.
But thefreedom of choosingwhat books to read and the luxury of reading for the sheer enjoyment of it makes reading a book (or two, or ten) for yourself acompletely different experience.
Reading books is anexcellent brain workout. Whether it teaches younew vocabularyor simply ensures you are notout of practiceonce you go back to school, reading on your own time is a pastime no educator can frown upon—and if you have anebook reader, you can bringan entire libraryto the beach without loading up your suitcase!

2. Get creative

Speaking of writing, putting pen to paper – or fingers to keyboard – is only one of the many ways topursue your own creative projects. Write, draw, compose music, take photos of all the interesting things you see: whichever means of expression you prefer, traditional or digital,creativity is food for your mind, and during the holidays, when you can escape the restrictions of assignments and rest easy in the knowledge that your efforts will not be graded,your creative freedom increases tenfold.

3. Mens sana in corpore sano

Exercisingin hot weather brings to mind unpleasant scenarios of sweat and sunstroke, so do remember tostay safe, apply sunscreenand choose theappropriate hours of the dayfor your athletic endeavours, but even the heat should not stop you fromkeeping your body moving. The link between an active lifestyle and an active brain is scientifically proven: exercisingpromotes the creation of neural synapses可能会提高你的学习成绩和运动成绩——此外,你的体育老师肯定会同意的。
Keep track of your exercise regimen the old-fashioned way or download afitness app—either way, try not to be a couch potato this summer, and your whole body will thank you for it, including your brain.

4. A change of scenery

Travel does not necessarily mean visiting a luxurious tropical island at the other end of the world. If you lack the time or resources for an extended trip to a costly location, there arecheaper solutionsa littlecloser to homethat can be just as interesting.
Whether your holiday is geared towards the beauty ofnature– camping or hiking, for instance – or ofman-made art– visiting museums or your country’s national landmarks –, accumulatingnew experiencesmakes for agreat story to tellwhen you go back to school (or live on social media if you cannot wait to share it) andkeeps your brain engaged. Trying new foods and seeing unfamiliar places are a worthychallenge for your mind.

5. Keep learning

And of course, if you are not busy enough already, you can attendsummer classesor apply for aseasonal joborvolunteering: you will learnnew skillsthat will look good on yourfuture curriculum,meet new people, and stepout of your comfort zone.
If you like hanging out at the pool, get certified as a lifeguard; if you are an animal lover, help the local shelter.The choices are endlessand you canlearn somethingfrom them all—and learning, in school or out, is thebest summer treatyour brain can ask for.

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