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Play This One Game Every day To Help Speed Up Recovery From A Stroke

Play This One Game Every day To Help Speed Up Recovery From A Stroke

Have you or anybody in your family suffered a stroke? Then you would know how recovery from a stroke can be an uphill battle, marred with frustration and anxiety on the patient’s part and helplessness on others.

But there is always hope. Recovery from stroke is literally a lifelong process, but there is this one game you can play, that could really become a valuable aid in making you as mentally and physically fit as it possible.

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What is a stroke?

By definition, a brain or cerebral stroke happens when the blood supply to the brain is disrupted, and when the brain does not receive oxygen that the blood supplies, brain cells begin to die. A stroke affects motor functions and muscle control and patients also often have memory loss, mental fogginess and sometimes pain or tingling in the affected parts of the body.

Is recovery from a stroke possible?

Recovery from a stroke is a long process, but a possible one. Within weeks of a stroke, the brain begins to regenerate the dead or damaged cells – making new brain cells (neurons) as well as new blood vessels to connect to them.

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What can we do to fasten recovery from stroke?

You can play chess. It sounds flippant—it is anything but. Chess is a game long revered for mental strategy that is proven to have long term benefits on memory, IQ as well as reading. It enhances problem-solving skills, creativity, patience as well as planning and ends up exercising both the sides of the brain thereby increasing mental acuity.

How can chess help in physical recovery from a stroke?

When you play chess, you need to move the pieces around in a multidirectional but precision format. There’s a wide range of movement – forward, backward, diagonally forward or backward and of course, sideways. Hover each movement is precise in its range – the piece has to move according to the rules of the chess, and a set number of squares only; be it to play, defend or attack. This precision movement helps in regaining vital motor skills needed to live an independent life. There’s so much that our hands and arms do and when you lose part of this movement after a stroke, chess can help in this physical part of recovery from stroke.

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How can chess help in mental recovery from stroke?

When you play chess, you use both the hemispheres of the brain for chess marries logic with creativity in a power-packed mental game of skills. There’s a considerable mental effort required to play the game.

  • Memory improvement: You use your memory to remember how which piece moves, attacks or defends and this metal exercise helps you recover lost memories and help in further retention.
  • Mental clarity: Your strategy keeps changing and you have to think and rethink new moves the way your opponent continuously does too. You need to give full concentration to the game, else its checkmate for you. This mental exercise can improve communicative as well as cognitive abilities.
  • A state of calm: Chess is also a sort of a meditation – when you play chess, your concentration shrinks to just that board – this single-mindedness in a game that as fast or as slow as you want it to be, helps you in achieving a zen-like state of mind.
  • A happier state of mind: Win a game or lose one, chess is rather invigorating when played well. It may not have the same effect as physical exercise, but playing a game of chess can flush the system with adrenaline and make a depressed stroke victim feel so much better.

Remember that chess makes one cheerful for even if one loses a game, there’s always the next one to look forward to. There’s nothing like some good competition to revive the brain and the soul. And by doing that, chess inculcates hope and a new lease of life in a person bogged down by recovery from stroke.

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Featured photo credit: Deviantart via img04.deviantart.net

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Rima Pundir

Health, Wellness & Productivity Writer

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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