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Staying sharp academically without sudoku.

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DoItTooJulia Mon 02-Feb-15 21:27:54

I'm 35. Im busy, with demanding career, kids yada yada, and I just feel a bit, well, I don't know, is it bored? sluggish of brain? Out of the loop?

Basically, I miss having interesting stuff to learn about/get into.

Part of my problem is a reading drought, I'm just not reading for fun like I used to and I miss it, but I do read some journals like New Scientist and the New Humanist. I do get the odd London Review of Books, but tbh, I've found it a bit impenetrable at times. I'm not hugely cultured (theatre is a huge turnoff for me). I read the news, I'm interested in politics, but still this feeling of brain lethargy persists.

What do you do to stave this off? What can I try?

Parietal Mon 02-Feb-15 21:34:11

I'm in a similar position. I do an evening class one evening per week (art) and it just refreshes me for the whole week. other friends of mine do choir or sewing classes or book group for the same effect. you need something that gets you out of the house and talking to people who have no connection to work or kids. It keeps you sane.

meandjulio Mon 02-Feb-15 21:37:49

I'd agree with Parietal.

Have you tried a book club? May seem like a cliche but it's the absolute highlight of my month, every month.

What's your next step at work? Do you have a mentor?

Could you volunteer for a parliamentary candidate? Maybe some phone calls for them? Having to argue/debate with people could get you feeling terrified more engaged with life.

DandyHighwayman Mon 02-Feb-15 21:40:49

Also, have Radio 4 in the background, in the car

Download the 100 objects series here

yy to taking up music, rock up and sing/community choir to start

DoItTooJulia Mon 02-Feb-15 21:59:12

I do feel a bit stagnant with work, but for lots of reasons, I'm staying where I am progression wise/ job wise for a few years yet. I have been exploring my options a little bit re work, wondering if it's part of the problem.

I did do a book club, but I found the book choices dull. I'm difficult to please! I like books that aren't chick lit, but not terribly highbrow. (Although I do read both, I prefer a weightier book. Iyswim?) and I think the drought isn't helping. I have a stack of books I want to read, so I don't want to read a book that isn't in that pile! Maybe it was the group.

I've started running, but it doesn't help with the intellectual stuff I'm missing.

I have a friend who is a parliamentary candidate. Maybe I should do more for her, great idea meandjulio

Bonbonchance Mon 02-Feb-15 21:59:42

Have you looked at Futurelearn courses? All free, really flexible & on a variety of topics. You just sign up on the website, it tells you how many weeks it takes & how long you should spend each week. I'm currently on course 3,4,5 at the same time!

DoItTooJulia Mon 02-Feb-15 22:00:41

Oh, and what a wonderful link Dandy thank you, I'll get stuck into that for sure!

DandyHighwayman Mon 02-Feb-15 22:24:39

Thumbs up!

meandjulio Tue 03-Feb-15 22:07:51

I'm listening to spoken word podcasts while running - doesn't give you the 'oomph' of music but it's great nonetheless - am devouring Serial at the moment but the 100 objects might be good

meandjulio Tue 03-Feb-15 22:08:23

My dh struggles to find the right book club as well - try the Radio 4 one - or the Mumsnet one in fact

RosyAuroch Tue 03-Feb-15 22:45:14

Try learning a mindfulness based meditation, great for general clarity and sharpness. Helps you notice all sorts of new things about familiar places/objects/tasks/routines that means your life ends up being much more stimulating.

Shallishanti Tue 03-Feb-15 22:50:56

I second the FutureLearn suggestion, am half way through my first course, it is challenging! (but not scarily so- you can engage at a level your comfortable with)

velourvoyageur Tue 03-Feb-15 22:57:51

Esperanto
2048 (developing strategies)
Keep a drawing/collage/photo book
Map quizzes online (e.g. lizardpoint)
Anything to do with the Mitfords!
Guitar
Following something in the news

I like learning things by heart smile like history dates

AuntieBulgaria Tue 03-Feb-15 23:48:00

I like the Infinite Monkey Cage radio 4 podcasts and the RSA (royal society of arts) podcasts for thinking about new things whilst walking.

invisiblecrown Tue 03-Feb-15 23:49:26

I play chess!

OneLittleLady Wed 04-Feb-15 00:01:04

cousera is basically the same as future learn but based in america and has hundreds of short courses you can sign up for. some of them you can receive accreditation/validation for as well for a fee

mammmamia Wed 04-Feb-15 00:11:33

What do you mean about the Mitfords, velour?

velourvoyageur Wed 04-Feb-15 00:17:43

Books & films about them and by them smile

JustAnotherControlFreak Wed 04-Feb-15 00:20:39

Learn a language that interests you. On top of many books available, plenty have accompanying CDs which could be transferred to iPod etc, or download some free apps until you're sure of which styles suit your learning type

DoItTooJulia Wed 04-Feb-15 18:34:43

Sorry, RL got in the way!

I laughed out loud at the learning things by heart idea: I'm too obsessive for that, but it's a fabulous idea. And I do love history. How much do you know by heart velour? <did I menion that I can be terribly competitive as well as obsessive>

There are some great ideas here. Thank you all flowers

TwoNoisyBoys Wed 04-Feb-15 19:38:40

Watching with interest.....one of my new year promises to myself was to return to reading! I used to read 1-2 books a week easily, but that slid and I was spending too much time internet surfing ��
I've also enrolled on an evening course that's starting in April, but I'm looking at the futurelearn online courses too.

Tokelau Wed 04-Feb-15 19:45:13

Learn a new language.

Learn to play an instrument.

Learn all 50 states of the USA and their capitals, it's a challenge!

TheFirstOfHerName Wed 04-Feb-15 19:45:38

Sightreading music works for me.

DoItTooJulia Wed 04-Feb-15 21:42:12

I like that, learning the states and their capitals. I'm going to do that.

I just feel a bit, dare I say, Midlife crises-ey.

I thnk the ipad helped kill my reading passion and struggling to find stuff I really liked. Ds2 is 2 now, and I have read probably just 3 books in the two years since he was born, compared with the one a week I got through before he came along. That kept me sharp!

Tokelau Wed 04-Feb-15 22:06:54

DoItTooJulia, look up USA States wood puzzle on the App Store, that's what I used to learn the states and capitals, and I retest myself now and again with this, piki.org/quizzes/usa.html .

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