How’s your week going so far? Do you feel your schedule fits your available time as well as your personal needs? Or do you feel as if you’re packing a suitcase last minute, stuffing things in haphazardly and forgetting something here or there?
The speed of today’s business world is go go go, and if you aren’t keeping it up, it’s easy to feel your boat taking on water. It’s vital that you find time for activities outside of work, family, and social life to keep your mind agile.
Today, I’m going to offer a few different suggestions that have worked for me and my clients for getting your mind out of the office after work and keeping your mental edge for the next day.
Being physically active is truly the closest thing to a wonder drug we have. And it’s not just for marathoners or bodybuilders either. Simply getting your heart rate up for an extended period of time releases endorphins, our body’s naturally produced happy chemicals. If you do it today, you’ll feel a kind of euphoric relief for a time. If you make a habit of exercising, and do it several times a week, you’re likely to see a general boost in mood, creativity, and cognition.
Think about what kind of physical activity is the best fit for you. Do you feel like you never get a moment to yourself? Maybe a morning jog is the best way to get some quality solo time while charging up the brain for the day. Maybe you have bad knees and running is not the best option. Squash or tennis is a great way to get the blood flowing and be competitive at the same time. Maybe there’s someone you’d like to connect with who can be a partner for you. Anything that requires you to change clothes, sweat, and have an elevated heart rate is a great start.
Logic Puzzles / Brain Games
Maybe getting all sweaty and running around isn’t your bag and never has been. That’s fine. There are still great options for shaking your brain out of its office-induced stupor. Whether it’s a crossword, sudoku, or one of the many mobile apps now available, logic puzzles and brain games are good ways to give the mind a workout.
Similar to an actual workout, you want to change the areas of the brain that you work with. So if your job requires you to solve logical, numerical problems all day, sitting down with a tough sudoku puzzle isn’t going to bring you much additional benefit. Try to choose a tool that challenges the way you use your brain and you could experience improved memory and better concentration.
Even if you don’t have legs to run with or hands to fiddle on a smartphone with, you can participate in a spiritual practice. A spiritual practice can be any kind of experience that helps bring you closer to your Higher Power. If you’re part of an organized religion, maybe this means going to your place of worship one extra night, or maybe it means starting a prayer group among friends.
Meditation and yoga practices are extremely useful as well, whether you’re part of an existing religious group or not. There are numerous different schools and traditions to explore, but it can be as simple as sitting on the floor for 10 minutes a day, as quietly as possible. If you keep your mind and your body quiet for just that small amount of time, it’s amazing how much clarity you can begin to feel.
I hope these tips have been helpful to you and that one (or more) of these practices can find a way into your life. Do you have a practice that works especially well for you? I’d like to hear about it. Connect with me on LinkedIn or on Twitter @DoubledareCoach.