Boy, if I could dedicate this to a person in particular without putting them totally on blast, I definitely would. As someone who has a pretty good memory, there's a client that I've got whose memory is so atrocious that sometimes I genuinely wonder if they are gaslighting me. When I've brought it to their attention, something that they've said is between all of the stuff on their plate, them not getting a ton of rest and oftentimes feeling super overwhelmed, all of this can make recalling stuff pretty challenging.
I'm pretty sure that they are not a rainbow unicorn when it comes to this particular life challenge. So, I thought I would share 12 memory hacks for different kinds of issues. That way, I can just forward them a link (perfect) while hopefully helping a few others at the same time. Are you ready to make your own memory sharper — or to help someone else in your life who has this particular struggle? No worries. I got you.
1. Listen to Classical Music or the Rain
Two things that can relax your mind in a way that other things cannot are the sound of classical music and the sound of rain (I can definitely vouch for rain). Since they both have a way of releasing dopamine which helps to cultivate a sense of pleasure, when you're trying to commit a large amount of content to memory, try and avoid music that has a lot of words in it; that can sometimes confuse your mind. Classical music, rain or some other nature sound is way better in the sense of being far more effective.
2. Choose a “Random” Scent
This one right here is kind of buck. If there's something specific that you need to recall for a business meeting later in the way, try either spraying a scent that you wouldn't typically use or chewing a piece of gum that is not your usual flavor while you're trying to commit it to memory.
If you then spray that scent or chew another piece of that flavor gum right before the meeting, it can actually help to jog your memory. If it does, report back. I'm curious.
3. Read Out Loud
I once read that you're around 50 percent more likely to remember something that you actually said out loud. One researcher said that it has something to do with the fact that adding a production element to whatever you're attempting to retain helps to keep it on your long-term memory for a much longer period of time. So, if you're a silent reader who struggles with remembering what you've read, try reading out loud and see if that helps at all. According to quite a bit of research, it should.
4. Do Some Yoga
With the amount of benefits that come with yoga, it really is crazy that more of us don't do it. On the mental tip, it can help to reduce stress, relieve anxiety, fight depression-related symptoms, improve sleep quality (which also plays a huge role in keeping your memory intact) and it helps to keep your brain in great shape too. Matter of fact, on a science-based level, there are many studies to support the fact that yoga reduces the risk of several cognitive issues. So, if you're looking for a holistic way to improve your memory, sign up for a yoga class. You won't regret it.
5. “A Loaf of Bread, A Container of Milk and a Stick of Butter…”
Aight. The real ones know where this particular reference comes from —Sesame Street. If you need to run to the grocery store (or some other store), there are only a few items that you need to pick up and you don't feel like writing anything down, apply this skit and just substitute the words for what you actually want to buy. It might sound corny yet it's amazing how well it actually works.
6. Say Their Name When You Meet Them
There's a guy I know who calls everyone "baby" because that's how many women he juggles (chile, I already know). Thing is, I've known him long enough to confidently say that he pretty much sucks when it comes to retaining anyone's name unless you happen to be super close to him. If this is your dilemma, a way to help keep someone's name in your memory bank is to actually say it back to them when you first meet them. For instance, if you're at a work luncheon and your boss says, "This is Jackie Johnson," instead of simply saying, "Nice to meet you," go with something along the lines of, "Hello. So, do you prefer to be called 'Jackie' or 'Ms. Johnson'?" They will appreciate the courtesy and it will help you to keep their name locked in at the same time.
7. Study in the Afternoon
Say that you've got a test that you need to study up for. Even if you consider yourself to be a morning person or night owl, it's actually the afternoon that several studies say is the best time to study up. Without getting too deep into it all, apparently that is when our brains are better at combining new info with things that you already know. Definitely another argument for schools not needing to start at the crack of dawn every day. Yet, I digress.
8. Take a Pic When You Park
OK. Some of y'all are cynical. That I know (LOL). So, if you read this one and thought, "How is taking a picture of where I parked a memory hack?", here's the thing. I once read that 55 percent of people have forgotten where they've parked, at least once. If this is you and it's happened more than one time, taking a picture of where you've parked and immediately texting yourself can actually be pretty effective. The reason why is because, if you happen to forget where you parked in the first place, there's a good chance that you will read at least one text while you're out. Seeing a text to yourself will remind you of why you sent yourself one and that can get you to your car so much quicker.
9. Put "It" on a Handle
Say that you travel a lot and you are notorious for leaving your phone charger. Something that can help you out is to put your suitcase by an outlet that is close to the door. Then wrap your charger around its handle. Hey, it's hard to forget something if you've gotta yank it out of the wall in order for you and your suitcase to get out of the door.
10. Explain It to Someone Else
This particular hack, I can totally vouch for because, how can you truly remember something that you don't fully understand and how do you know whether or not you understand it unless you can thoroughly explain it? One of my friends will call me often if she has a presentation and she's concerned that she won't retain all of the facts. After explaining it to me about three times, her confidence goes way up because it's clear to her which makes it easier to keep in her head, long-term.
11. Watch Something on the Topic
Speaking of presentations, do you have one that you need to give on a particular topic, you want to include some extra details yet you're already struggling with the data that you're currently trying to memorize? Try watching a documentary about it. It can be more entertaining than just reading and you'd be amazed how some of the little tidbits that were in the doc will remain in your brain.
12. Put Something on Your Pillows
One more thing. If once you get home from work, you know that there is something that you need to do, either before turning in or in preparation for the next day, put something like a book on top of one of the pillows on your bed. Since that's not where the book belongs and it is literally in the way of you getting the rest that you need, seeing it as you return for the night will help to trigger your memory so that you can complete the task.
That way, you can go to sleep soundly, knowing that you accomplished everything that you needed to do that day. Sweet.
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
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For over a decade, Harlem’s Fashion Row has served as a safe space for creatives of color to shine bright without fear of being dimmed. This week, HFR celebrated its 16th year of providing business solutions to retailers committed to equity for Black and Latin-X design talent. This beacon has served as a bridge between retailers and designers of color through collaborations, experiential marketing, pipeline programs, and brand strategy.
Set against the backdrop of the historic Apollo Theater in Harlem, the night was nothing short of amazing as a Black hip-hop orchestra serenaded the crowd with legendary tunes from “Big Poppa” to “Moment 4 Life.” It was pure magic as the scene was set to begin the Style Awards.
Tim Weatherspoon surprised his wife, Kelly Rowland, with a heartfelt speech as he presented her with the Fashion Icon of the Year Award. “I couldn’t pass up this moment to tell you that you’ve always been my icon,” the talent manager said. He went on to share that he scoured social media to pull some compliments from the toughest of critics. Weatherspoon said, “My assumption is that these are good ‘Kelly eats the girls every time. Fire emoji, fire emoji, fire emoji.’’’
As the Destiny’s Child alum accepted her award, she proclaimed her love for “that Black man.” Rowland was full of joy and adoration as she accepted the award, reminiscing on the days when she was a little girl from Texas in a group of country girls where stylists were not jumping at the opportunity to dress them. “Tina took matters into her own hands, and she dressed us. We learned what it felt like to start a trend. I remember what it felt like — the pride in it. I also know that ‘we’ start the trends and ‘we’ make what’s cool, cool. Fashion should be grateful for us.”
L-R: Tamron Hall, Stella Jean, and Brandice Daniel
Then, the incomparable styling duo, Wayman and Micah, took to the stage to receive the Stylist of The Year Award. These two best friends were honored for their creative styling on the likes of Regina King, Tessa Thompson, Taraji P. Henson, Jodie Turner, and so many more. The partners in style applauded HFR’s founder, Brandice Daniel, for creating a table for us. “The table is marble and custom,” Micah exclaimed.
The fashion heavy hitters were absolutely in the building. Gabriela Karefa-Johnson, a New York-based stylist and VOGUE Global Contributing Fashion Editor-at-Large renowned for her eye for emerging designers and her narrative-driven approach to diversifying representation in fashion, accepted the Editor of the Year Award.
Tamron Hall sang the praises of the Designer of the Year recipient, Stella Jean, for being a visionary who not only creates whimsical pieces but takes a stand for what she believes in. “During this pivotal moment, one designer made a courageous and impactful decision. Stella Jean, an Italian-Haitian fashion visionary, took a stand in a bold and powerful move. Stella Jean pledged to return to the runway only when she would no longer be the sole Black designer on the Milan schedule.”
Johnny Nunez, the culture’s #1 photographer, reminded us of the importance of perseverance in the face of rejection while accepting the Photographer of the Year award. Just before his speech, Valeisha Butterfield, Google's Vice President of Partnerships & Engagement, gave Nunez his flowers for always making her feel seen and appreciated, which gave her the determination to be herself and take up space.
A$AP Rocky lit up the historic Apollo stage with his undeniable charm and intrinsic style. Dressed in a cardigan, Louis Vuitton tie, and a voluminous kilt while his head was adorned with embellished hair clips, he was walking proof that he’s a fashion, music, and culture innovator just like the name of the award he was receiving, the Virgil Abloh Award. For this Harlem native, it was a full circle moment as Abloh helped the rapper with his start in the industry years ago when he helped design his first album cover.
Designers Megan Renee, Nicole Benefiled Portfolio, and A. Potts showcased their transformational designs, which varied in style, texture, and color. Megan Renee's designs were inspired by unapologetic femininity. Nicole Benefiled Portfolio's designs were more geometric and modern, with a focus on clean lines and bright colors. A. Potts' designs were eclectic and playful, with a focus on mixed patterns and bold colors. All three designers created unique and eye-catching pieces that turned heads.
The show concluded with a beautiful tribute to hip-hop by the legendary Doug E. Fresh. The entire show was a celebration of all that is good about fashion, and it was a reminder of why the culture continues to inspire and influence people all over the world. HFR’s New York Fashion Week kickoff was a love letter to the culture, and it was delivered with nothing but style, care, and love.
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