Finger Food for the Mind

Finger Food for the Mind

As a woman in my late, very late, 30s, with two young kids and a full time job, it's hard to find the energy or motivation to learn anything new. That is, unless it's IG stories and told to me in 15 second or less.  

I've noticed over time, that my brain has taken a sabbatical and what once were pensive moments of reflection and wonder, are replaced with nursery rhymes and school fundraisers. This has prompted me to seek out new ways to fuel my mind without sacrificing too much money and time away from my kids.

Yes, the internet itself has a plethora of information, but where do you start? I'm assuming most deep topics that interest you have already been researched in depth. This post is more about fleeting curiosity and overall general knowledge. Resources that can be left off at a moments notice and reengaged when more time is available. Not overly complicated concepts, more like simple, but new, information or games even, that can be quickly digested. This led me into all sorts of directions, most being accessed via a smart device which most people have with them 24/7. 

1. Entertaining word, travia and strategy games

Word Cookie by BitMango for iOS devices is a not so dull game. It's a word puzzle game that improves your vocabulary and spelling skills as you advance through the simple levels to the much harder ones. It has different themed backgrounds to keep things fresh, along with weekend challenges that can earn you points. 

Trivia Crack  by Etermax is one of many trivia games options. Think of it as a fun version of Trivial Pursuit in that it has 6 basic categories of inquiry. However Trivia Crack has fun characters to introduce the categories such as geography, science, sports, art, pop, and history. 

Homescapes developed by Playrix Games. They have a series of related games that I've at one point or another been addicted to. This is one of those strategy matching games, although there is a background story involved that enhances the interactive experience. You are a character in the story that earns coins that are needed to complete tasks, the tasks involve updating an old mansion. 

2. Podcasts

There are so many podcasts to choses from. I tend to pop in an earbud, only one so that I have an ear free for the ever present questions from my kids. I mostly listen to podcasts when I'm cleaning up.

I have a few favorites, but look for yourself to see what captures your interest. Some that I have on regular rotation are Money Girl by Quick and DirtyTips, Personal finance expert Laura Adams briefly breaks down financial topics, answers questions, and give advice. Episodes are usually less than 30 minutes long. 

Brain Candy is made and hosted by Susie Meister & Sarah Rice. Some of you may remember these two in MTV's The Challenge, the early seasons. I never watched it, so I didn't realize they were reality personalities when i first listen to their podcast. They discuss their take on a variety of topics including literature, science, and psychology. 

Undisclosed is another podcast that I look forward to listening to when new episodes are available. The podcast focuses on wrongful convictions and our country's criminal justice system. Sort of conceived in the aftermath of Serial's first season. The hosts, all experts in their fields of law, they discuss in great detail court cases that derailed in facts. 

4. Reading

Books, blogs, news articles, magazines, etc... keep us up on top of things. There are a couple of ways that allow you a quick sneak peek of the main content. For instance, many news apps have notifications that pop up brief news summaries that allow you to click if you want more information. There are also subscription based newsletters or digests that send you daily summaries of news stories in a simple and easy to read format such as theSkimm. Some people even rely on Twitter for news briefs. 

Many bloggers create brief Instagram or Facebook stories that discuss their blog posts in short, complete with images. This comes in handy as well if you are following people who blog about book reviews or holiday DYI projects that I believe are a great way to sharpen some skills.

These are just a few easy ways to stay current and savvy without having to dedicate long blocks of time to the cause.

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