Spring is here. Take a deep breath of fresh air and then take a deep look into your life. Spring cleaning isn’t only for the home. Are there areas you want to make changes? Maybe you go to the gym three times a week, walk daily, or take up yoga? Maybe you want to read daily and do puzzle games to challenge your mind? Just make sure you have a balance between mind, body, and spirit.
Many adults haven’t picked up a book since they were in school. Most of us read online and while many articles are educational, many are also a waste of time! Keeping the mind young and the brain fit, requires a bit more effort. So definitely start reading, but also incorporate some other activities that challenge your brain. Aging is inevitable, so keeping our brains active and sharp can make a world of difference! Harvard.Edu says”Building and preserving brain connections is an ongoing process, so make lifelong learning a priority.”
Try these activities:
- Buy a sudoku, crossword, or word search book and do one for ten or more minutes a day.
- Take a course at a local adult education center or college.
- Take online courses in a field you find interesting or toward an online degree.
- Download brain game apps.
- Take time to turn the thoughts down and meditate.
- Right-handed? Try using your left hand for one morning a week to brush your teeth, put on makeup, or pour your coffee.
- Get a 500+ piece puzzle to work on daily.
- Join a book club.
- Play games with your kids, or spouse or friends- especially thinking games like chess and card games.
We all have the same hours in a day, so how can some people spend one to three on exercise? They make it a priority! If you hear yourself saying “I don’t have time to exercise,” try to listen like you someone else is saying it. Is it true or an excuse? Did you know that squeezing in exercise even in several small 10-15 minute increments is effective too? You don’t always need an hour straight if you can’t find one.
Try these activities:
- Strap the little one into a stroller and take a brisk 15-minute walk around the neighborhood. It’s good for both of you! Fresh air and exercise do wonders for mood.
- Lunch break at work? Take 10 minutes for a fast walk. You can head outdoors, go up and down the stairs, or walk around the parking lot. Alternately, close the doors and take 10-15 for squats, lunges, and stretching.
- Set the alarm a mere 10 minutes earlier so you can have a few extra minutes in the morning. Try parking further from work and walking in or doing squats, push ups, or yoga in your bedroom.
- Join a gym. Often when we pay for something, we feel obligated to use that membership and go. If you enroll with a friend, there’s accountability right there!
- Sign up for classes. If you don’t want a membership, there are many barre or yoga studios that offer classes.
- Watch TV or sit at a computer a lot? Make sure you stand up for five minutes every 30 minutes. Stretch, squat, and walk in place-it all adds up.
We can work on our brains and body, but what about the essence of who we really are? What about the fun part? The inner child? The part that makes us feel alive and passionate and find our purpose?
Nurturing your spirit is important. Often moms put themselves last. As the kids get older, we have more time for ourselves and can reconnect with the things that bring joy to our spirit. Raising kids brings us joy, of course. I’m talking about taking care of ourselves in the form of those things that make us forget time. They transport us to feeling rather than thinking.
What makes you feel alive, passionate and lose track of time?
- Get creative in the form of art. Consider painting, drawing, singing, gardening, or playing an instrument.
- Get out in nature and look for awe-inspiring moments: sunrises, sunsets, hiking mountains, diving into the waves at the ocean, or floating in the tranquil lake.
- Volunteer. There is nothing like helping other people (or animals) at your church, a local animal shelter, or school. Volunteering puts the focus on giving while expecting nothing in return.
- Travel more. Go on those dream vacations now. If that is not possible, take single day trips. See new people, new climates, new cities, eat new foods, and explore with the eyes of a child.
For 2019, and beyond, try to take time to nurture your mind, body, and spirit for a balance that can only add happiness to your life! Which area do you need to focus on more?