5 Exercises That Will Keep Your Brain Active During the Day
How many times have you found yourself going from meeting to meeting to checking email to multitasking during your lunch hour? It isn’t uncommon for many professionals to forget to take a mental health break in their busy days. Breaks are essential because they prevent “decision fatigue,” motivate you, and, contrary to belief, help with productivity. There are different practices you can do throughout the day to stimulate your mind and avoid burnout. Start with shutting off unnecessary notifications, and create a time slot where you can enjoy watching a funny YouTube video.
Additionally, you’ll want to add these five exercises to your day to avoid burnout and keep your mind sharp.
The go-go-go mentality can negatively affect your work unless you stop and take a minute or two to relax your mind. Meditation dates eons ago to improve health and well-being, and the concept holds true to this day. Schools are encouraging teachers to set time aside for their students to meditate, and employers are encouraging it as well to prevent burnout. Meditate before work as a way to prepare you mentally for the day by quieting your mind instead of focusing on your to-do list. When you are in-tune with what your body and mind are telling you, you’ll know when you need to stop a project to get some reprieve before making any mistakes.
You may not be studying for big exams anymore, but as a professional, it is crucial to keep your memory sharp. You’ll be a much more likable salesperson if you can remember names and facts about your clients to better build a report with them. Stimulate your memory with crossword or jigsaw puzzles. You can also recruit some of your coworkers at lunch to play the suitcase game, where each person declares they are packing an item in a suitcase. The next person has to remember that item and then add their own, and so on. If anything at all, it will give you a good chuckle and a break from the day.
Learn something new
You may love your job and the lessons you learn each day, but expanding your knowledge beyond what you do weekly is healthy for your mind. Learning a new language is a popular choice where you can do it at work or at home. USA Today has a full list of free online sites where you can learn a new language. These sites and apps use games, mp3 downloads, and online communities that all guide you in the process. Having an understanding of a different language could benefit you in your career. If you are looking for something outside the office to keep your mind busy, pick up a hobby where you learn as you go. You can learn gardening, bird watching, knitting, and woodworking via YouTube, books, and in community organizations. Having a hobby encourages taking breaks too, something else that will help with brain activity and avoiding burnout.
Use your nondominant hand
A simple yet difficult task to give your brain a workout is to use your opposite hand. Neurobiologist Lawrence Katz says that because using your opposite hand is very challenging, it increases the brain’s activity. If you are right-handed, you may not want to write those reports with your left hand. Instead, try eating your lunch or brushing your teeth with your nondominant hand. It may seem like no big deal, but it is these kinds of exercises that challenge your brain the most.
It should come to no surprise that reading is an exercise that will keep your brain active throughout the day. There is no evidence to suggest that reading nonfiction is better than reading fiction when it comes to keeping your mind busy during the day. Try reading one of each to give yourself some variety. If you lose interest in one for a while, you have another in progress to enjoy. If you are looking for some book recommendations, Iris Reading has plenty of blog posts with book suggestions for you!
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