Brain Health as Part of Your Self-Care Practice

There is no doubt that 2020 was a year of adaptability and change for many. It has likely been tough for many of us for a variety of reasons. We are currently living history and sharing a collective experience across the world through a global pandemic. An incident that was once a drill that was planned for as a worst-case scenario, has been part of our daily lives since early March 2020.

How does your brain health fit into your wellness routine or self-care practice?

For many of us, our brain wellness might not be top of mind nor part of our regular self-care routine. Brain care is self-care. When is the last time you did something with the intention that it was for your brain care or wellness?

Throughout this year, I have had at least 100+ conversations with industry leaders and experts in their respective fields — mostly in healthcare and aging care services. A common thread throughout these conversations has been centered around what things will look like when we get back to the “new normal” respective of their industries.

I share this with you as there is some pushback about the notion of an “old normal” to return to post-pandemic for our daily lives. For many, there is a recognition that what was previously dubbed “normal” was unhealthy in many ways, particularly for our personal wellbeing. One of the positives of 2020 has been an opportunity to review aspects of life that were not serving us well.

I ask that you take a few moments to consider the following for your brain care and wellness as you enter 2021:

  • What aspects of your life would you like to return to post-COVID-19?
  • What aspects of your life would you like to reinvent, repurpose, and refold back into your life following the pandemic?

Now that you have taken some time to reflect on your personal brain care routine, I will offer three simple things that you can do daily for your brain care…

1. Connect with one person a day. Focus on exercises, activities, relationships and people you enjoy the most. Reach out to at least one person daily through various ways, such as a phone call, a card by post, a quick email, a safe visit, a shared meal, or grabbing a “virtual coffee.”

2. Exercise the brain and the body. Challenge your brain daily through a mentally stimulating exercise, a task you are not able to do without effort. Establish a routine for optimal brain fitness. Engage in a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate movement per week. Keep in mind that five minutes of movement can offer health benefits. Remember to make the brain and body “sweat” for optimal brain care.

3. Make your brain care a priority and not an option. Start simple. Purposefully make one decision each day that is better for your brain. Small changes can lead to lasting habits.

Our resilience, meaning our ability to bounce back from changes in our lives, will require patience, perseverance, and kindness toward ourselves and others as we enter 2021 during the third wave of COVID-19 across the United States. In a review of the year 2020, I hope that you may be able to find some positives, too. (Please share your positive things of  2020 in the comments below. It would be wonderful to hear about them!)

Despite the recommendations of remaining physically distant for safety, the year has provided an environment to connect with one another in different ways while gifting us an opportunity to go inward to connect deeper within ourselves or to reconnect with ourselves. May you make space to reconnect with people, things, rituals, activities, exercises or routines that bring you happiness and foster balance in your brain care. In our next blog, we will explore ways to achieve smart goals as a key foundation to your health and wellness.

May you and yours be safe and well during this changing time and holiday season. I am sending positive thoughts your way for mental resilience, good health and joy in all that you do. May you be surrounded with kindness for yourself and others as we navigate the interconnectedness of ourselves, our families and friends, and the world. Take care and be well. I look forward to sharing more about brain health in 2021 with you.

In brain health & wellness,
Krystal

 

**Written for “EngAGE Your Brain!” blog series for Northeast Ohio Boomer & Beyond Magazine. Read the original article post here.

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