Memory issues, let me write that down

As I’m writing this I’m listening to Emma Forbes on the Gemma & Emma Podcast and she’s talking about being in her 50’s, memory issues, the need for lists and saying ‘let me write that down’.

I too seem to have reached the necessity of a notebook age. The days of buying pretty books and not writing in them have gone. Now they’re packed with weekly menus, event plans, reminders of what I’m doing and where I should be.

I’m not saying everyone is like this, but honestly. Once menopause sets in it seems the fabulous memory that remembers every kids schedule, everyone’s favourite food, best friend’s phone number plus a million other life appointments just seems to go out of the window.

In the past I’ve never kept a diary or specific calendar. With the birth of smart phones I started entering reminders for things, but really I just knew stuff, all stored in my brain… until now.

Now, if it’s not written down it’s not happening.

Although this is frustrating  there’s no need to panic, a lot of memory problems are common and age related. Like forgetting the day of the week or date, or a word or name. Even misplacing something but finding it later are quite normal.

Of course we believe one major change to the body that may cause normal forgetfulness is menopause. A reduction in the body’s hormone levels can cause occasional lapses in brain function, resulting in short-term memory issues. But what about stress?

The University of Rochester Medical Centre team found a link between complaints of forgetfulness and the way middle-aged stressed women learn or process new information. This doesn’t mean we’re are on the way to developing Alzheimer’s disease.

The University’s finding helps explain why women in their 50s frequently say they’re having memory problems: It’s possible that their changing moods and hectic lives make it harder to keep track of everything. Stress, another reason why women in their fifties are making changes to their lives.

Because stress can hurt your memory, it’s a good idea to try stress-reducing activities, such as:

  • meditation
  • yoga
  • relaxation techniques
  • tai chi
  • exercise

A 2012 study showed that taking Tai Chi three times a week can improve thinking skills and memory tests. This could be because we’ve taken the time to slow down and focus on one thing. So if you can make time for any activity that gives time just for you, it can benefit in more ways than you would imagine.

So about those notebooks, what did I buy?…… everything!

and do you know what….. I forget to write in them.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • I’m 53 and my memory is a bit fried – definitely menopausal. I’m with you on needing notebooks/reminders. And I’m a long term advocate of yoga- goodness knows what I’d be like if I hadn’t done so much yoga.

    • I love the look of Yoga but have never been able to do it.I have arthritis & the things that bother me are, not being able to do Yoga, or run, I think both those things are good for all your wellbeing. I have done Tai Chi though.

  • Great post Lorraine but I do worry as my memory is already quite bad. Sometimes I go upstairs and forget why I’ve gone up there. I have to come down to jog my memory – goodness knows what I’ll be like when the menopause hits! Great idea re: relaxing tips though x

    • Lauretta sometimes when i’m driving I find myself following my usual route when I should be going the opposite direction, haha. We’ve got no chance x

  • I’m convinced that my brain is leaking information sometimes. By the time it deals with the day job, blogs, novel work, family stuff, what’s for dinner I have problems remembering anything – at least that’s what I tell myself when I sit down with the glass of wine that I’ve forgotten I wasn’t going to be drinking. Visiting from #MLSTL

    • Hahahaha about the wine, that list just shows how much we are cramming in our brain to remember every day, it’s hard.

  • I can relate to this so much. I agree, if it isn’t written down it is not going to happen. I obsessively carry a notebook and pen with me everywhere now!

    • Me too, and I always used to be then asking who had a pen, now it’s always me. Thanks for reading Michele.

  • Yes you have described me to a T. I used to be a very capable multi-tasker who remembered everything! Now, I need lists and I have to write things down when I think of them or I know I will forget. I just need to remember to check my lists! lol 🙂

    • Haha, yes to forgetting to check the lists. I have to write down appointments, sometimes I get a shock when my phone pings a reminder and I had no idea of the next day’s appointment.I wonder if some of that is because I’m relying on the reminder.

  • I have so many lovely notebooks just waiting to be written in! I like to write myself notes and cross things off, which is a great feeling! I agree as we age we move into different areas and stress can impact many things going on in our bodies. This was an interesting and informative read, thanks! Visiting from #mlstl

    • Debbie the best part of all this is the excuse to buy lovely stationery, haha. I’m glad you found it interesting, thanks for reading.

  • My memory seems to be hanging in there quite well atm. When I was under all that work stress that I went through, I could definitely feel the impact it had on my thought processes and my poor brain struggled a lot more than it does now that I’m in a happier place. Menopause hasn’t impacted anything yet, but that doesn’t mean it won’t eventually get to me!
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

    • Thanks Leanne, I think it definitely affects us all differently. I don’t think menopause gave me any issues but I was happy to know that forgetting things doesn’t mean it’s the slippery slope to dementia.

  • Yes, as I get older I can tell that the memory is a bit fuzzy sometimes. I work on keeping fit, eating well and remaining aware of my spiritual health. It seems to help, but I still forget what I got up to do…! #MLSTL

    • Candi I’m so glad it’s not just me, there’s a bit of it in all of us. I think you sound like you’ve got a good plan for keeping it at bay though. Thanks for reading.

  • Hi Lorraine, I’m also experiencing this. Not so much that it’s worrying me – yet. But I know it’s coming and I’m afraid of what the future brings. I make sure I have paper and pen everywhere – I don’t have a smart phone so I do write everything down on paper. I’ve also found myself asking my husband, “Did I know that or is it new information?” sometimes when I get some information about something. I get a bit scared about that, but sometimes I really don’t know if I have a memory of something or not. I’m only 52, and wondering what the coming years will bring for me. Thanks for the useful information – it gives hope! Visiting from MLSTL. 🙂

    • Oh Cheryl if it’s worrying you maybe you can talk to someone for reassurance. My teen must have told me about 5 times he’s off on Friday & I kept asking him the same questions about work. I don’t know why I couldn’t hold the information that he’s not in on friday! I hope this can at least make you feel you’re not alone in this. x

  • Great post and I agree that stress can be a major factor affecting the memory. Being uptight and stressed out also means we just don’t have mental clarity because we are wound up so tightly. Lately my husband, who is 71 and myself almost 62 have definitely had memory issues. I do think though that we shouldn’t rush to the conclusion we are on the path to Alzheimers. Lovely to have you join us at #MLSTL with valuable information.

  • Hi Lorraine, I definitely write everything down. I always have. It helps my mind relax. I know that if I write it down I will make it happen. You make a good point how stress greatly influences our memory. You remind me of a mug I saw with the words “my brain is full.” I think that is often me. A great read:) Erica

  • Oh gosh how true this is. Im now in my 60’s and if it isn’t written down in stone then I don’t go don’t buy don’t read don’t see….etc…I do have a few chronic conditions that does make it a bit worse. So today I am buying myself a pretty notebook and hopefully I will remember to put it in my bag with a pen and write in it…thats if i can find it after I have purchased it lol