Thinking about the future can be daunting for many. Making health a priority is important to avoid the anxiety and burnout that can occur when making plans. The saying “Healthy body, healthy mind” could not ring more true, especially when it comes to planning. We want to ensure that our bodies are taken care of so that we have the best mental clarity to plan what lies ahead.
Here are our favorite simple self-care tools to add to your routine on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis to help you stay focused.
Hydrate – Drinking water is key when it comes to mental clarity. When our bodies are dehydrated, it can affect our overall mood and concentration. Be sure that you are drinking plenty of water throughout the day to stay focused and think clearly.
Exercise – We know that there are plenty of benefits to exercise. In terms of mental health, exercise produces endorphins, which are chemicals in the brain that can help reduce stress. Attending a HIIT class, going for a run, and doing yoga are great ways to incorporate exercise into your daily routine, but if that’s too much for you, take the stairs instead of the elevator, go for a walk during lunch, or do some light stretches at your desk. There are many different ways to move your body every day.
Choose brain-healthy foods – What we put into our bodies can directly affect the way we think, and studies have shown that certain foods can boost our brain health. Foods that are high in omega-3s (walnuts, flaxseeds, and fatty fish), anti-inflammatory compounds (turmeric, berries, and leafy greens), and antioxidants (pumpkin seeds, broccoli, and grapes) are all great options for improving mental clarity.
Start a gratitude journal – Because plans can always get off track, it’s great to get in the habit of writing down what you are grateful for. This helps shift your brain to focusing on what’s going right in your life rather than what’s going wrong. Start each week on a positive note by listing 10 things you are grateful for in a journal every Monday morning.
Give yourself a social media break – The curated feeds on social media often lead us to compare ourselves to others. Looking at another person’s progress can make us question our own. Take a break from scrolling a few hours every week to focus on yourself and be in the moment.
Meal prep – Preparing meals for the week not only will save time but also help incorporate some consistent planning in your life. Having grains, beans, leafy greens, etc., already cooked will allow you to stay on track with eating healthy while alleviating the stress of having to cook every night during the week.
Create a vision board – When thinking about plans for the future, it’s helpful to create a vision board with things you’d like to accomplish in the month ahead. Using inspiring quotes, photos, and color schemes is a fun way to visualize your plans and keep you motivated throughout the month.
Find your community – Good relationships are vital for our well-being. It is important to find like-minded individuals who will continuously inspire and support you. Surround yourself with loved ones who will be there during the celebrations and hardships of your life.
Try something new – Attending a new fitness class or working on a new passion project is a great way to keep yourself on your toes and avoid getting into a routine rut. Keep things interesting by pursuing something new every month to consistently challenge your mind and body.