Pausing to Think About Mental Fitness
Some days of social distancing seem longer than others...
Now that most families I know are also trying to juggle the online schooling component of the new (hopefully very temporary) reality, I suspect things will get more challenging. Maybe not every day, but a lot of days. As you look for ways to give yourself a break from all the stress, one of my goals is to make sure we all remember that physical activity is an excellent choice for keeping your sanity, helping you focus and boost your overall mood, keeping your sanity, getting a good night’s sleep, and keeping your sanity.
Exercise helps us:
Fight off anxiety and depression
Physical activity adds endorphins to the mix that help you improve day to day mood, but also helps keep anxiety and depression at bay.
Increased heart rates stimulate
neurohormones that clear your head in times of stress. Exercise engages your central nervous system which also helps fight stress. Plus just burning energy helps settle your mind and body.
Get better sleep
Exercise helps you feel more tired and ready for sleep, and aids in more regular circadian rhythms. Getting enough sleep, in turn, adds to clearer thinking and a better ability to handle thinking and coping.
Exercise, especially cardiovascular activity, increases oxygen to the brain and can spark new cell generation. It can also lead to better memory, more mental energy and increased creativity.
Regular exercise can trigger improvements in physical appearance and ability, which can lead to more confidence.
Spend time together that’s not adversarial or task driven
You’re spending a lot of time together. Like, in many cases, a LOT of time together. And a lot of that time is probably very specifically directed and outcome oriented. Taking short brain breaks or longer exercises breaks can also go a long way toward helping everyone continue to get along and be more productive overall.
It’s an unprecedented time. But one part of life that remains the same is that exercise is good for your body AND mind!