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Back to…A Healthy Mind

The “lazy days” of summer are over, vacations are done, the kids are back to school, and it’s time to get back to routine. As a mom of four, believe me that I understand the stress of September and how parents can easily lose themselves with the focus on getting the kids back to a manageable routine. So, this September, we wanted to provide a series of ideas and strategies to make sure you are going “back to school” while also getting “back to you!”

Our “back to you” focus this week is “back to a healthy mind”. It is known that our thoughts control our feelings and actions, so naturally the mind is the best place to start! And there is no better way to get there then to take some much needed “you time”. Here are some tips and pointers to help get your mind back on track for the fall:

1.   Start small and gradually build on the time you take for yourself. Develop a new routine that adds some time into your schedule for
thinking, reflecting, being grateful and being present. Add it to your calendar! Start with 10-15 minutes and build on this to get you to an hour
if you can.

2.   Don’t work through lunch: Cognitive focus improves when we take small breaks during the day to turn our attention elsewhere. Combine
the cognitive rest and renewed physical energy by taking a walk, exercising or stretching on your lunch break.

3.   Join a class: Have you always wanted to join the gym, learn to knit, sing, play an instrument, learn to draw, try yoga, martial arts, ballet?
There are some great introductory offers in September for you to challenge your mind and body to something new. By joining a class or signing
up for a series of lessons, you are more likely to commit and give that new something time to become a new staple in your life!

4.   Power down: Turn off the television, smart phone, tablet or distracting electronics. Facebook can wait. Pick up a good book, take a hot bath,
meditate, and enjoy some technology-free time.

5.    Express Yourself: If you’re looking for inspiration for you time, pick up some paper and draw, journal, write poetry or music, or just doodle.
Being creative sparks cognition and will help you to balance all of your demands while reducing stress and improving mood.

Are you ready to commit? Put it in writing! Tell your friends, family, even children what you are going to do for yourself. And fill us in…what change are you making to get “back to a healthy mind” this fall?

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