Brain Fatigue—The Effects of Concrete, Nature, and Bees


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As you may or may not know, Choices magazine (and Scholastic Inc.) is based in New York City. And contrary to what the movies may make you think, most afternoons here are not spent taking carriage rides and romantic strolls in Central Park. Yet scientists say that the human mind can take only so much city living  until you succumb to brain fatigue. Brain fatigue, as in stress-induced forgetfulness, distraction, and mental walkabouts. (Sound familiar?)

One way to fight brain fatigue is to stroll through calm leafy parks. In fact, people who just live near trees and parks have lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol than those who live amid more hectic urban places. So if you or your students are feeling the dreaded weight of brain fatigue, encourage them to take a walk in the park, doff  their shoes, slap on some sunscreen, and vegetate in the sun!

Even if you don’t live in the city, you can suffer from nature deficit disorder—it’s actually a real thing. So don’t forget to protect the health of your teens’ brains—and your own. Encourage them to take breaks from stressful activities and environments and float in the lazy river of leafy nature. Scientists have proved that nature allows the mind to relax, wander, and reset to peak performance. To get you started, here are some amazing resources. Now go take a hike!