Julie Wendt, MS, CNS, LDN | Jan 18, 2021
How to Reset Your Mind and Find Stillness
How are those resolutions going? Around here we are having mixed results as the energizing hope of the new year fade from focus and we realize that making change is a lot harder than it sounds. If that's happening in your world, you are in good company. Part of our goal in how we support your health and wellbeing this month is to help you do change differently. We can ditch the all-or-none mentality where we either go big or go home and replace it with a more sustainable approach centered around self-awareness and the reality of where we currently find ourselves. To really understand at a deep level what the best change is in the moment given our deepest hopes, we need to do the opposite of going all-in, we need to be still and listen.
Finding time for regular rejuvenation not only makes our bodies work better but also lets us step back and assess how things are going. Getting some rest and relaxation opens new pathways in our brains that help us see the same things in our lives, differently. We gain an invaluable perspective that helps us be more efficient and effective and this is critical when we are making changes. We need to reflect on what is going well, what is not, and what some viable solutions may be. Now might be a good time to take a pause, turn off the electronics and tune into what is going on inside as a way to illuminate your path forward.
Meditation is the perfect practice for when you are looking for rejuvenation. Sitting down, even for a few minutes, and consciously focusing on clearing your mind and breathing will help you feel relaxed and refreshed. Not only that, it changes how your brain works for the better! Research shows that meditation improves areas of the brain in charge of learning, memory, focus, perspective, and emotional regulation. It also shows that the amygdala, the area of the brain where our stress response originates, shrinks in size which is correlated with a reduction in stress levels. There are many ways to meditate, keep looking until you find your perfect fit!
Caffeine is a great way to help keep you going during the day; however, too much caffeine can have a really negative effect on your sense of calm. It can cause jitters, anxiety, increased heart rate, and sleep problems. It may give you the extra push you need but moderation is always key. Your body needs time to relax so it can perform to its best ability and over-use of caffeine can get in the way of this. If you are interested in learning more about caffeine intake related to your overall health, take this evaluation, and discover what habits you may need to modify.Caffeine Evaluation
Clear your mind with a shower. Sometimes we may just feel stuck and distracted, especially if we feel overwhelmed with all our responsibilities. Taking a shower is an easy way to reset and start fresh. Just as meditation triggers and opens new circuits in the brain, showering shifts your frame of mind and allows a different perspective. Not to mention, taking a relaxing shower will help relieve tension in your body and can help ground your mind so you can go onto the rest of your day with a fresh start.
Take a day off! Letting yourself have a day off from working towards your goal to rest can be just what you need to get back into that grind. Skipping one day at the gym or allowing yourself one day to sleep in when you have been making progress won't make you fall behind. Allowing yourself to relax and your body to recharge will help keep you from feeling burnt out.
Take time to do something that you enjoy! Accomplishing your goals doesn't mean neglecting things that you love. We tend to get so wrapped up in our to-do list, we don't prioritize our own enjoyment. Setting aside time for yourself to indulge in activities that help you recharge is important not only for avoiding burnout, but it is also important for your mental health. Go for a hike outdoors, watch a movie with your family, or make some plans with friends.