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6 Things You Should Do When You’re Mentally Drained (Instead Of Resting On The Couch)

6 Things You Should Do When You’re Mentally Drained (Instead Of Resting On The Couch)

At one point or another, we all burn out. It wouldn’t be wrong to think that plopping yourself down on the couch for a few days would leave you feeling recharged. You may not know this, but physical fatigue can have more to do with mental exhaustion than the exercise you’re getting that day. Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to once in a while take a day, maybe even two and give your body some time to rest. However, it isn’t always the most effective approach when you’re feeling mentally drained. In fact, being a couch potato could actually result in you feeling more drained. Below I’ve listed some effective ways to recharge your mind when it starts feeling burned out.

Change up your routine

    It really can be hard to not fall into a routine. Every day you’re doing the same thing over and over, but breaking up that routine can be a really good way to kick that mental exhaustion. Make a point to challenge yourself to do something totally new once a week. I mean, if you’re feeling really enthusiastic, try doing something new once a day. It can be something really simple. Instead of taking your usual way to work, take a different one that may be more scenic. Think about activities that you enjoy that really feed your soul and start doing them. When your mind is opened to new ways of thinking and perceiving, you tend to be much happier overall.

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    Keep a journal

      Keeping a journal is a great way to relieve stress and get it all out on paper.[1] It can be really helpful down the road because it gives you the opportunity to look back and reflect on the progress you’ve made in your life. Journaling also jolts your creativity, builds confidence, boosts comprehension, and encourages you to follow through with goals. It shouldn’t be something that makes you put pressure on yourself, you don’t need to have an entry for every day either. Write down what comes to mind, you’ll feel such a release when you’ve finished. Make it a priority to write in your journal a few times a week. Eventually, you’ll find writing to be an outlet for recharging your brain.

      Meditate

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        You may have seen this one coming. There are so many articles and people out there who rant and rave about the benefits of meditation, but it truly works. Roughly 80 percent of doctor visits are for stress-related issues. A lot of money and time can be saved if you learn to practice self-care through meditation. It can reduce stress, boost immunity, improve sleep, and can quite possibly increase happiness. Five minutes a day is really all you need. Over time you may find meditating more than once a day for longer periods of time is even more beneficial for your mental well-being. As a side note, people who consistently meditate are usually more rational and feel less anxiety when they are confronted with challenges.[2]

        Re-evaluate your relationships

          Having relationships is very important, but it’s even more important to really be mindful of how healthy they are. You may find that you have a few toxic relationships in your life. It may seem difficult to end these relationships because often times you grow to be comfortable in them. Sadly, dysfunctional relationships may become a ‘normal’ part of life and you may not realize how mentally exhausting they can be.

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          Take time to be mindful of all your relationships. It’s crucial to once in a while reassess and decide whether they are adding value to your life and well-being. In toxic romantic relationships, you can become extremely mentally drained when you’re  putting energy into something that just may not be right. People who are mindful of their relationships typically tend to be more confident in their own judgment.

          Get some exercise

            Exercise isn’t just beneficial for your overall well-being, it’s helpful for when you’re feeling mentally drained as well. You don’t need to get a gym membership to get activity in. We’re all busy, I get it, but setting aside just 20 minutes a day can really make all the difference. Multiple studies have shown the value of exercise in boosting your concentration and mental focus.[3] With a daily 20-minute intense workout, blood flow to the brain increases and you improve your mood, creativity, and memory.

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            Ditch your ego, be mindful of your soul

              DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY.

              This can get confused with doing something that brings you a sense of achievement. That feeling of achievement won’t always necessarily bring you joy. Spending a few extra hours at work to get things done can be productive but powering through can really burn you out. Allow yourself to buy the shoes you’ve been wanting to buy for weeks, or take a spontaneous weekend trip with friends or your significant other. In the grand scheme of things, our time on earth really is short. Whatever it may be that you choose to do, do it because it truly brings genuine joy to your soul.

              Featured photo credit: girl in fitness clothingroutine quote, picture of a couplejournalwoman meditatinggood for your soul 

              Reference

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              Erica Wagner

              Freelance Writer

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              Last Updated on November 11, 2019

              How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

              How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

              Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

              To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

              Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

              1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

              Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

              Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

              To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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              2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

              Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

              If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

              Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

              3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

              Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

              Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

              4. Feed Your Brain

              Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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              This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

              Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

              Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

              5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

              According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

              Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

              Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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              6. Write it Down

              If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

              It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

              You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

              7. Listen to Music

              Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

              8. Visual Concepts

              In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

              Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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              Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

              9. Teach Someone Else

              Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

              Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

              10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

              Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

              So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

              Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

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              Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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