When we think about taking care of ourselves, we often picture a nice soak in the bath after a long day, an early night, eating healthy, etc etc. These methods of self-care are often geared towards caring for our exterior rather than our interior. Unintentionally, we overlook the parts of our body that we can’t see – out of sight, out of mind, right?
As I’ve aged and gained more and more responsibilities, I’ve come to realise the importance of taking care of my brain. In my case, its safe to say that the poor little guy takes a beating everyday! Its only fair that I show him some love once in a while to nurse him back to health, just like we would with a wound on finger. Here are some of the best ways to nourish your brain and reawaken your mind after a tough week.
Home Is Where The Heart Is
Home sweet home! There is nothing more comforting than being in your own home, on your own sofa, eating from your own dining room table, and sleeping in your own bed. Bliss! Your brain will enjoy this too. For most of us, our home is our safe haven. There is very little to worry about at home when your lounging around and enjoying your own company. This means that your brain can relax and recharge for a little while before the start of the next day.
Home is my favourite place. When I’ve had a busy week and i’m not feeling quit myself, I like to lock myself away in my room for a few hours (or a day!) and enjoy being alone in my own space. This will often involve me lounging around in bed, blogging, or surfing Youtube for pointless cat videos. This may sound like a waste of valuable time to some, just doing nothing and whittling away the day, but in the famous words of John Lennon “Time you enjoyed wasting was not wasted”. Home is good for the soul, and the brain! That’s what matters.
An Intense Workout
This might seem crazy to some people, but again, trust me on this one! Have you ever come away from the gym, after a hard, intense workout, feeling super positive and accomplished? Yes? Good! Research has shown that working out actually makes you happy! Endorphin’s, that help your body fight stress, are produced by the bucket load when you workout and are what help to lift your mood after a workout. Prolonged periods of high stress can be detrimental to your overall mental and physical health, so by working out once in a while, your helping to keep your brain and your body happy. Yay for health!
Social Media Detox
Being mentally alone, as well as physically alone, can be just as beneficial for our worn-down brains. I can sense the panic you felt as your imagined yourself apart from your phone for more than 5 minutes, unable to refresh your Facebook feed or scroll through your favourite Instagrammer’s pics. But trust me on this one; its all in aid of a good cause.
We can often get lost in the world of social media, losing ourselves by spending too much time viewing the depiction of somebody else’s life (which I can guarantee is nowhere near as glamorous as they portray). This concept is even worse for bloggers who rely heavily on social media as a platform for promoting their work. When your career depends on it, its very hard to let it go, even if it is only for a few hours.
What we need to remember is that our social media accounts will still be there when we decide to pick them back up again. They aren’t going to disappear into the ether and your followings aren’t going to up sticks and move along the bus. We’re humans at the end of the day, we need down time and people understand that. Dropping social media for a few hours and being with yourself can be the best motivator for your work and for producing content that your proud of.
Taking A Walk
Sometimes its the littlest things in life that can have the biggest impact. Whenever my brain is a mess from all of the pressure and stress I am under, I like head outside for a few hours and get some fresh air. Taking a walk in nature really helps me to reground and regulate my thoughts after they’ve been stretched to the limit. I will turn off my phone, leave my headphones behind, and just listen to the sounds around me. This is often enough to bring me back to reality and help me to feel calm again.
Taking walks outside has its physical benefits too. Research has shown that just simply being in nature can help to boost our immune system and keep us from developing chronic illnesses in later life. And this includes chronic illnesses of the brain too. If that’s not a good enough reason to get outside then I don’t know what is!
Whenever I feel like I cannot gain control of my thoughts due to high levels of stress or anxiety, I will simply get out a pen and paper and begin to write. Writing helps to give me something to focus on, so that all of the unnecessary thoughts that I’m having just float away. They aren’t important to the task that I”m focusing on, therefore they aren’t needed. It doesn’t matter what you write about, as long as you are writing and thinking about your process of writing, then it should work in your favour. This is a great strategy if you suffer with mild anxiety and struggle to gain control of the millions of thoughts racing around your head.
If you read my ‘About Me’ section, you’ll find that I started this blog as mental aid to ease my anxiety. Back in January, I was suffering terribly with anxiety and struggled to keep a tight reign on my thought to stop me overthinking and panicking. By writing this blog, Its enabled me to regain my focus and help to keep my anxious and intrusive thoughts at bay. So, its helping to keep my brain happy and psychologically healthy – perfect!
Now that you’ve read my favourite ways of taking care of my brain, let me know in the comments section what yours are – I’d love to hear them