Keeping Your Brain Active

You may find that the motivation to keep your brain active with school work just isn’t there during the current circumstances. This time is particularly hard for students preparing for Junior Cert and Leaving Cert exams. Although the Department of Education are considering cancelling the Junior Cert exams, students must continue with the necessary enthusiasm for learning as though the exams are looming. The Leaving Cert exams are going ahead as planned, currently. Yet, the precarious nature of the pandemic will, understandably, reduce the vim both students require for state-exam year. And for students who are not preparing for these exam at the end of term, the desire to learn about ancient civilizations, grapple with a set of irregular verbs or commit the latest maths formula to memory will be even less present without the pressure of a state exam.

But then, you must ask yourself why you learn about anything in the first place. You learn to train your brain. You learn to keep your brain active, to expand your ideas. Without an active brain people become idle and bored and boredom begets boredom. This then in turn will affect your mental health. If you do not keep your brain active while in lockdon, you increase the chance of entering an unpleasant downward spiral.

Also, going back to school once the pandemic and isolation ends will be even more difficult. So, it’s important that you keep your brain up to speed with school work, but also other activities can help. With the pandemic, we are all forced to remain indoors, but this doesn’t mean that your brain is satisfied to remain stagnant. You must think of your brain as a muscle that needs training to stay fit and healthy.

Brainteasers and puzzles, such as crosswords, word searches, sudokus, are great way to keep your brain active indoors. They are fun and engaging. They provide your brain with some of the necessary sustenance it needs to get through a day of being indoors and away from regular learning found in school.

Another positive aspect of brainteasers and puzzles is the communal nature of figuring out the answers with family members. If you are at home isolating with another person or a few other people, puzzles like crosswords and jigsaws are a great way to work together and create a positive house atmosphere. If you are at home alone, working together over apps can be easily achieved too.

Not only will they be beneficial to you now, but practising brainteasers and puzzles over your lifetime will help you when you older too. But, for now, let’s just focus on their immediate impact and how they will positively affect your brain, mental health and household during the pandemic. If you find a brainteaser particularly challenging or a crossword puzzle you think a friend would enjoy, share it with them. It’s important to stay connected with people during this time and brainteasers and puzzles can provide that link to each other, while also keeping your brain in good nick!


To help with studying for your exams, see our Revise wise series on

Keeping Your Brain Active
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