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Homesick? 9 Simple Ways to Feel At Home Wherever You Are

Homesick? 9 Simple Ways to Feel At Home Wherever You Are

Whether you are moving abroad for work, are a student choosing to study overseas, or you have decided to make that sea change, the idea of finding a new home can be very daunting.

Anyone with the travel bug will agree that having ‘homes’ in so many different places can paradoxically cause you to feel like having no home at all. It is very true that home is where the heart is, but that can be difficult when the emotional and spiritual hearts also move from place to place. Here are 9 simple ways to truly feel at home regardless of where you are:

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1. Create that Safe Place.

Wherever you find yourself, set up your room in a similar fashion. Humans find comfort in what is familiar, so something as simple as the position of your bed, the direction you face when you sleep, or where you typically put your desk are all very effective in allowing you to feel at home.

2. Get a Little Sentimental.

Everyone has a sentimental piece that they cherish. It may be your grandmother’s ring, your father’s watch, or that  encouraging letter from a friend. Take that one piece with you wherever you travel. You will find it to be incredibly helpful in times where you are feeling a little down. They are not just objects—they carry a message of love.

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3. Become Aware of Your Surroundings.

Combat professionals, such as the S.W.A.T, are always in new surroundings. Their cardinal rule after entering into any new place to to become familiar with the elements—to take inventory of everything that is around them. This is not only effective in combat, but also in life. Take a stroll around your new location, become familiar with your environment. Allow yourself to acclimatize.

4. Learn the Language

If you really want to be embraced by the local people, be sure to grab a phrasebook and begin to learn a few phrases. If you are in another English-speaking country, learn some colloquialisms or put on your best impersonation of their accent—that always draws a laugh! In no time you will have people inviting you over for some paella with mussels, farfalle pasta, or korma curry.

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5. Get Connected.

Your hobbies and your passions are things that never leave you. Look for groups and social gatherings centered around what you enjoy doing. Connect with like-minded individuals. Many seasoned travelers will agree that as beautiful as a place may be, it is the people who make it even more beautiful. Great relationships are universal and give you that sense of home.

6. Commit to Experimenting.

A great way to become less anxious in new settings is to always be stretching yourself beyond your own comfort zones. Always be looking to try something new. As drinkers will build up a greater tolerance against alcohol, build up your tolerance against anxiety and the unfamiliar through challenging yourself daily. Start off with only one area of your life, let’s say, food—make a habit of trying something new once a week. Take on a new hobby, go to a concert, or to an art museum. Make the unfamiliar become the familiar.

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7. Love that Accent!

Nothing beats hearing your native accent pop out from among the buzz of the new country that you are in. Everyone can recall that time they stopped sipping their coffee and perked up as they looked to see where that beautiful sound came from. Whether you go down to your local pub or to a backpacker bar, it is always great to run into one of your own ‘locals’ on the other side of the world.

8. Who’s Your Team?

Whether it’s football, basketball, hockey, or baseball, cheering for your home team is a sure way to fire up that warm feeling of home. You can be certain about making a new friend as you find you are not the only person cheering after that magnificent goal. Find out when the next big match is and where the game will be shown.

9. Look for Your Favorite Treat

You can find Reese’s Pieces almost everywhere—and if you can’t, you will no doubt find them online. Sure it may cost a little more, but the feeling of biting into your favorite treat…priceless! It’s a little taste of home no matter where you are. In addition, there will certainly be your favorite home cuisine served up at a restaurant somewhere—jump online and have a search. If that fails, go out to the store and buy some ingredients, invite a few friends over, and introduce them to some spectacular home cooking!

In a world that is becoming more connected and in which traveling has become much more available, loneliness and anxiety can follow you wherever you go. Go out and try some of these simple steps to make wherever you are feel like home sweet home.

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12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate:

15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

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B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

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It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and black tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here:

11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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