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“Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.” Albert Einstein

Have you ever felt like you are operating on autopilot? So often we establish our daily routines and find ourselves doing the same things over and over again, often without even thinking too much about it. While there is certainly comfort and stability in routine, it can also make us feel like life has become too predictable and a little boring. One of the best ways to both exercise your brain and challenge yourself is to commit to learning something new. It can be something small and relatively easy to do, like reading an article about a topic that interests you, or it can be something large and may require a significant commitment, like growing a garden. Either way, there are many benefits that can be felt by learning something new. Research has shown that ‘mental sweat’ helps your brain build new cells and strengthen connections between the cells; specifically, when you learn something new you are exercising your brain, which can help improve cognitive functions such as concentration, attention to detail, memory recall and problem-solving, and also reduce the chance of developing dementia1. Additionally, learning something new can create a sense of achievement; specifically, setting yourself a goal to learn something new, then achieving it, is super rewarding and gives you a sense of accomplishment1. Finally, learning something new can be a lot of fun and you may find it really enjoyable to be pushed out of your comfort zone when you try something new1.

The sky is truly the limit when it comes to finding new and interesting things to learn. There are many lists available online and talking with friends or family is sure to also help brainstorm some things you have always wanted to try.

Here are some ideas of new things that you can try to not only build your knowledge but also increase your feelings of accomplishment:
• Learn a new language (or at least a few phrases)
• Learn to play a new game (board, card, or video)
• Learn about a foreign place (watch a documentary or do online research)
• Learn to play an instrument (take private lessons or watch tutorials)
• Learn to build something (it can be big or small, for use or decoration)

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