Snow is falling in the midwest, colder air is moving in and Thanksgiving is just weeks away … it must be time for our annual Total Brain Health® “Brain Healthy Gift Guide!”
We know that finding the perfect gift for everyone on your list can be difficult, so we’ve put together our 2014 Brain Healthy Gift Guide to keep your holidays stress-free. At Memory Arts we are always on the look out for cool and fun ways keep you, your family and friends brain healthy, and what better way to celebrate the season than with a gift to boost the brainpower of those on your list? From your boss to your spouse, mom or mom-in-law, kids, grandkids and all those folks in between, each can use a way to maximize their intellectual potential.
We had such a great time putting together our Total Brain Health® Brain Healthy Gift Guide and know these items are sure to tickle the neurons of those on your list.
Here’s this year’s top 10 list for brain healthy gifts, plus a few extras for good measure. We’ve covered the full range of Body|Mind|Spirit activities that are part of our Total Brain Health® blueprint, with ways of engaging that have been shown to improve everyday performance and long term brain vitality. There’s something for everyone and every price point – even some suggestions that are free! Each suggestion is linked to make your shopping even easier.
Here’s to a holiday season full of many wonderful memories!
THE TOTAL BRAIN HEALTH® 2014 BRAIN HEALTHY GIFT GUIDE
You Can Banc On It. What better gift could you give someone than peace of mind? Keeping the details of our day-to-day lives in order can become difficult as we age, but the MemoryBanc Register organizes and records all of the important personal, financial, medical, online and household details and documentsso that you can easily access them as needed or pass them on to your loved ones. Additionally, the beautiful leather-like binder can be personalized, making the gift even more special. For the holidays, Kay Bransford, the creator of the MemoryBanc Register, has graciously offered a 10% discount to TBH subscribers. Enter the code GREEN at checkout.
Puzzle Them. The sign of a great game is when everyone, from kids to adults, waits anxiously for his or her turn to play. Katamino is a multi award-winning game that challenges and develops spatial, visual and observational skills, which are all important in keeping us brain healthy. Start at the lowest level, with only four pieces, and once you’ve mastered that, increase the level of difficulty by adding blocks and increasing the size of the playing space. The deluxe version, with it’s beautiful neutral wood pieces, is pictured, but there’s also a colorful version for kids and another that’s great for travel. It will keep everyone engaged for hours.
Give Them The Gift of Relaxation. How many times have you said to yourself, “If I could just close my eyes for a few minutes, I’d feel so much better?” Sometimes, all it takes is a few minutes of down time to feel completely rejuvenated. Studies have shown that during a nap or other resting states such as wake relaxation, our brains are active but in a different and special way, doing some mental housekeeping, organizing, and processing of information. The Savasana Eye Pillow, from our friends at Priti Collection, is filled with aromatic lavender and flax seed oil. It’s designed to relax the eyes and surrounding forehead muscles and is a wonderful tool for recharging. Again, the wonderful people at Priti have offered a 15% discount to TBH subscribers for the holidays. Just enter the code TOTALBRAINHEALTH15 at checkout!
A Recipe For Health. If you’ve received our Gift Guides in the past, you’ll know that we’re in love with chef Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbooks. The newest, “Plenty More,“ is filled with over 150 amazing vegetarian dishes inspired by his Mediterranean background. Recent studies have shown that a Mediterranean-style diet can be linked to better cognitive function, lower decline in brain activity, and a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease. While these dishes will surely dazzle friends and family, they’re also brain and heart healthy.
Desktop Nirvana. Did you know that meditation may be one of the best things you can do for your brain? It can help us manage pain, stress and emotional distress, all of which can detract from daily memory performance. Some studies suggest that it may even offer a way to target different centers of the brain to maintain function. While it would be wonderful to sneak away to a relaxing zen garden for some time dedicated to mindful meditation, most of us, with our busy lives, can’t afford that luxury. Inspired by the famous rock garden at Ryoan-ji in Kyoto, Japan, the Zen Garden by Toysmith will transform an ordinary office in to a tranquil, magical space. We love the peaceful simplicity of the Deluxe version, but if you’d like to add a few pagodas to your garden, there’s a Mini version that includes three! Breath deeply and let all of that holiday season stress go!
Give The Gift Of Balance. Hands down, Suspend is the favorite game at our house right now! STEADY hands are required as you work to balance individual game rods on a steel frame while trying to prevent the entire structure from collapsing. This is a really entertaining game for 1 – 4 players and a great way to work on hand-eye coordination and cognitive skills.
Do They Doodle? Studies suggest that doodling may help us maintain focus and remember more effectively. These notebooks from Denik have been featured in the New York Times and on MTV, the Huffington Post and Good Morning America, among others, and are the perfect place to express your creativity. All covers are designed by global artists, and a portion of each sale goes to building schools worldwide. Choose from over 45 designs, or if you can’t decide, go for the Epic Bundle of 10! Gift giving with a conscience!
AAAAHsana. Renowned yoga instructor Jillian Pransky’s new DVD is titled “Calm Body, Clear Mind,” and that’s exactly what you’ll be giving with this gift. Mind, body and spirit are all satisfied by yoga: it builds sustained mental focus, strengthens our bodies and increases our stamina, and is a wonderful resource for maintaining emotional balance. No wonder we’re fans!
A Daily Dose Of Art. The originals may be a bit expensive, but you can still give your friends and family a piece of fine art every day. This free app delivers one classic masterpiece and the story behind to their smartphone or iPad every day, and there’s also a Pro version for $4.99, with added features like creating a personal gallery and searching for artists or works of art. Such an inspiring way to start the day!
The Gift of a Great Book. “Still Alice” is a compelling debut novel about a 50-year-old woman’s sudden descent into early onset Alzheimer’s disease, written by first-time author Lisa Genova, who holds a Ph. D in neuroscience from Harvard University. Genova tackles a difficult subject, but does so in a very gentle and caring way. Written with compassion and realism, the book gives the reader a sense of what it must be like to live with Alzheimer’s disease. Mark Warner of Alzheimer’s Daily News describes “Still Alice” as “the best portrayal of the Alzheimer’s journey that I have read.” The book – which we can’t recommend highly enough – has also been made in to a motion picture starring Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart, Kate Bosworth and Alec Baldwin, to be released in January 2015.
Yes, It’s A Top 10 List, But We’ve Got A Few More Great Ideas!
Give In Their Honor. The holidays are a wonderful time to give to charity. Why not make a donation in a recipient’s name to those who are in need? Among our top choices are the Alzheimer’s Association and the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, which funds early stage research in Alzheimer’s treatments.
Finally, A Brain Fitness Gift That Keeps On Giving. Why not give them the chance to keep on top of their brain fitness? Sign them up for our Total Brain Health® Newsletter! They’ll get a great resource full of science updates, tips for getting brain healthy, and other information four times a year – and it’s free!