“Should we go to Spain this summer? For two weeks? You promised we will go this year for more than one week” my wife asked me not long ago. And while I walk through the nordic winter, I imagine the warm sun and the breathe of the ocean on my skin. Yes I am ready to go. For 2 weeks. For four. For a year!
Everyone knows these moments. Everyone has them. Everyone who runs their daily tasks. Just to pause for a moment and give your body and mind a break for recharge.
In fact, we should not wait until summer, and we don’t have to save up a lot of money in order to get ourself recovered. There is something we can and should do before the summer comes.
Researches show that it is important and vital to allow your brain and body a break. As former Director of Primary Care at the University of Chicago, Alex Lickerman points out, taking breaks enhances the development of strength. “Muscles grow and become stronger in response to stress (that is, working out) as long as the stress is followed by adequate rest.” When the brain stress is followed by rest, neurons become more resistant to diseases like migraines, epilepsy, and even dementia.
But what exactly stresses the brain? Thinking. Problem solving. Juggling tasks.
Vacations can help us escaping from stressful environments. But they come infrequently and typically hold different type of stress caused by activities such as booking flights and hotels, traveling, or getting yourself and your family ready to leave.
Thats why we need to make sure to recover ourselves every day in a manageable way. We need to give our brain and body the chance to take care for itself, reload and move on, refreshed and with new energy. Here are 5 activities that help.
A good book
A good book can drag you into another world. Reading helps stimulating your imagination. Read a book during a short break and you will find yourself re-focused and fresh just like after a short nap.
Heidi Godman from the Harvard Health Letter explains that regular exercise helps the brain to improve memory and thinking skills. It affects the health of brain cells, the growth of new blood vessels in the brain, improves mood and sleep, and reduces stress and anxiety.
Similar to a book, a hobby can take you to another world. A world where you are in full control. Where you learn new skills, set your creativity free and gain experiences you can share with friends and family.
Sauna or Shower
Jannie Lai, head of UX, Light says “Many of my design ideas and strategies came from my showers or evening walks.”
Taking a shower or sitting in the sauna makes us feel great and relaxed and improves our dopamine flow. But it is not only for relaxing. In fact, scientist call it the “incubation period” for your ideas. The subconscious mind has been working hard to solve the problems you face and now that you let your mind wander, it can surface and plant those ideas into your conscious mind.
“Cooking is a great destresser because it serves as a creative outlet” Debbie Mandel, author of “Addicted to Stress” told the New York Daily News. While stress can numb your senses, cooking activates them and focuses your mind. You experience present-awareness and a sense of reward and accomplishment when you finish the meal. It is a sensory experience with aroma, taste, visual pleasure and even crackling sound.
So, do the planning for your summer vacations, but make sure to maintain a daily activity to keep yourself fresh. What is your favorite way is to relief stress and recharge your mind? Let us know in the comments.