Our brain is an important muscle, one that requires training, activity and downtime just like the rest of our body. Fitting in time for mental health is as important as our physical fitness. This month, in honour of UBC Thrive, we offer tips and suggestions for keeping your brain fit.
Week 1: Train your brain to be mindful
In as little as 10 minutes per day, you can actually train your brain to be more focused and attentive. This creates much-needed mental space and can improve stress management, productivity and interpersonal relationships. Learn more about the benefits of mindfulness or sign up for UBC’s free 30-Day Online Mindfulness Challenge.
Week 2: Dial down the screen time
Whether it’s for five minutes at the dinner table or a whole day, taking time away from electronic devices is key to maintaining a happy and rested brain. Try Psychology Today’s 5 Ways to Do a Digital Detox or discover some free tools to save your eyes from digital eye strain (Greatist.com).
Week 3: Take time to smell the roses
Try pausing for five-minutes in one of the many serene spaces and places on campus. Ideas include Wreck Beach, Flagpole Plaza, the Vancouver Art Gallery steps and UBCO Campus Walking Trails. Check out these other hidden gems and thriving spaces on the Vancouver campus.
Week 4: Strengthen your neural pathways
Activities that engage both hemispheres of the brain help promote new and existing neural pathways. This phenomenon is called neuroplasticity. Want to practice? Try this Ear and Nose Brain Break or these brain exercises to boost memory.
Interested in learning more? Read Scientific American’s Why Your Brain Needs More Downtime
Photo Credit: Tirthankar Gupta (Flickr)