There are so many lifestyle habits that provide benefits to body, mind and spirit. Why do we have such a hard time incorporating self-care practices into our lives? Scientific research backs up the connections between taking care of ourselves physically to stay heart strong, but also for brain protection. Exercising, eating nutritionally and getting sufficient sleep are steps that will ensure a cognitively-intact long life. Who wants to set themselves up for a long life with chronic illnesses, such as diabetes or dementia?
Sleep improves learning, memory and mood, plus reduces stress. Given those benefits, how many people can afford to curtail sleep routinely? What is your optimal sleep schedule? Try for consistency, rather than using weekends to catch up on workweek sleep deprivation. Figure out one thing you can do to improve your sleep, whether it’s setting up a bedtime routine or powering down electronics to get into a relaxed state of mind.
Even if you’re not attending school, September is a good time to reflect on goals, so take a moment to write some things you’d like to accomplish in the next four months. Figure out what you want to do and outline steps to achieve your goals. Of those, what are your top priorities? By saying yes to these, what will you say no to? You need to approach goals knowing that saying yes to one goal often means saying no to others.in planning your day, schedule hard things first. How will you reward yourself? Not unlike exercise, goals require a balance between exertion and recovery. Figure out your optimal amount of time to focus before taking a break. At the end of the week or perhaps on Sunday as you look ahead, review accomplishments and goals and adjust tasks for the upcoming week.
Have a growth mindset and learn new things. Take calculated risks and try something novel. If it doesn’t turn out the way you hoped, what did you learn? Invest time in relationships and fun. Find someone to stay in touch with. Engage intellectually and socially.
You choose. Invest now with healthy habits or pay later.
© Joan S Grey, 10 Sep 2016
IndexCardCure™: time to take a nap