March is the month of the brain for many organizations and foundations as they aim to raise awareness for teen mental health, Downs syndrome, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis to name a few. This week, March 15-21, is global Brain Awareness Week.
This time fosters public enthusiasm and support for brain science while spreading the word about the importance of brain health and its critical role in helping us live healthier, more productive lives. A wide variety of organizations from medical centers, universities, schools, and community-based settings dedicate this week to honor the impact our brains have on our daily lives through hosting a variety of imaginative activities from virtual lectures to interactive sessions.
How do you celebrate your brain?
We may not think to celebrate our brain but this is the time to keep our brains top of mind.
3 Simple Ways to Celebrate Your Brain
1) Honor your brain & body. Listen to your body’s clock and honor the subtle time change. We just moved our clocks forward one hour for Daylight Savings Time, which can take some time to adjust to, due to our internal clock. Our circadian rhythm is our body’s natural rhythm, which regulates our sleep/wake cycle among other biological processes.
As we are adjusting to the new daylight hours, we can leverage the light of day to provide a perk and make 15-minute interval adjustments to our sleep cycle to help with the one-hour overall shift if we are experiencing disturbances to our sleep/wake cycle. Example: Go to bed 15 minutes earlier each night to help with the time-change over four days rather than one day. Avoid long naps and limit caffeine consumption after 2 pm to aid in a restful evening routine. Listen to your brain and body.
2) Lighten up & relax. There are many reasons and benefits for incorporating fun in our daily lives, including reduced stress, an energy boost, and positive health patterns, including better sleep for some key highlights. Use Brain Awareness Week as a time to tinker in a new event, dabble with a new concept, or try something new, fun and relaxing! Relax. Be playful. And remember to smile and laugh along the way!
3) Tell your brain it’s awesome… among other things. Say it out loud and say it proud or make a list of all the simply amazing things about your brain. Get a picture of the brain (or sketch an outline of one) and write, draw or doodle all the various things that contribute to the essence of you and your brain. Either way, take time to genuinely acknowledge the magnificent wonders of the brain and the positive pieces of your magnificent brain and acknowledge them.
For some additional brainwork, allocate a few minutes and look up some brainy facts. Can you spot a brain myth from a brain fact? I suggest trying these challenging questions to test your knowledge from AARP or the Dana Foundation, the creators and host of Brain Awareness Week. You and your brain are awesome in so many ways. Share a fact that you know or find interesting in the comments below.
Brain Awareness week is a reminder to celebrate your brain and recalibrate your healthy living.
I am grateful for this weeklong dedication to all things brain health and for the opportunity for this blog to address various areas of health, wellness and the brain throughout the year. Last March brought an abrupt change to our daily lives and we are still living through the global impact of our first pandemic. My next blog will address COVID-19 and the brain, a current synopsis of what we know and what we can do today to optimize our brain wellness.
The brain health challenge for March is to celebrate your amazing brain and all its wonders. May Brain Awareness Week, March 15-21, be a time to acknowledge our brains and bodies for all that they do for us. My hope is that we may use this dedicated week to intentionally support, strengthen and protect our minds and bodies while honoring what they may need at this time.
In brain health & wellness,
P.S.- If you are actively looking for a way to support your brain health, here is an open invitation to join the Virtual Brain Health Center’s brainy celebration with fun, free events this week (March 15-21) at 11 am, 2 pm, or 7 pm EST.