Your brain needs a break.
Let me set up a scenario for you:
Alarm goes off
You grab your phone and scroll through email and text messages
During breakfast you read the paper or scrolll news headlines
Then work, staring at a screen, or in meetings, all day. For a 'break' you might look at Instagram.
Post work kids homework, making dinner WHILE doing homework and by the time your head hits the pillow you have not stopped all day.
Fact: Your brain thrives on downtime. Not just sleep, but awake time where you are no actively focused on or engaging with the outside world.
Can you imagine just sitting and letting your mind wander?
In a survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 83 percent of respondents said they spent no time during the day relaxing or thinking. "People treat themselves like machines," says Matthew Edlund, M.D., the author of The Power of Rest: Why Sleep Alone Is Not Enough. "They consistently overschedule, overwork, and overdo."
However, this 'go go go' mentality is hindering your mood, your performance and could ultimately hinder your health.
Here are 3 ways to get the mental refresh you need every day:
Find mindless tasks: Washing dishes, gardening, going for a walk, painting a room—these are all great activities that do not require a lot of external engagement. I know tht sitting on the couch day dreaming is not going to happen because heloo #life! However, if you can find some non-demanding tasks to complete while letting your mind wander, this will act as a gerat mental refresh!
Put down your phone: Do you pull out your phone when you are in traffic? or in line at the grocery? or ALL THE TIME? This habit (which you probably aren't even aware of) is taking away precious mental downtime. Put your phone at the bottom of the bag when you are in line at the store. Set up 'downtime' on your phone so you can only get phone calls for 2 hours a day. It might be uncomfortable first, but over time it will get easier!
Get Outside: Getting outside every day (especially as the weather is nicer) is the best medicine! Studies have shown being outdoors lowered levels of cortisol, a hormone that's a marker for stress. Getting a boost of vitamin D. You can improve your health just by soaking up the sun. Vitamin D is essential for bone growth, regulates your immune system, and can help battle depression. Get outside and let your mind wander.
Can you commit to doing one, two or all three of these things every day this week? Or 5 days this week? Reach out to me email@example.com for many more ideas!