As a physical, occupational or speech therapist, you know more than most about how to tell when you’re pushing your body just enough — or too much.
But are you as good at determining when your mental well being is being compromised? Our society pushes all of us today like never before. We’re asked to do more faster. We have an incredible amount of information constantly coming at us via TV, Internet, social media, texts, email, and more. Our attention is scattered because we’re being overwhelmed with information!
Yet we really don’t have reliable information on how to maintain good mental habits in this time of unprecedented overload. In fact, our employers may treat our mental effort as something that never wanes — it’s inexhaustible! — and this can help far too many of us feel overwhelmed too often without really knowing why. We may think we’re weak willed, lazy, “just” easily distracted (“I need to buckle down and focus!”).
Physicians Daniel Siegel and David Rock have put together a list of seven activities we all can do to every day to help us improve our mental well being. They are:
1) Focus on the task at hand. Away with the multitasking! Focusing on one thing at a time helps us create strong connections in our brain.
2) Take time to play. Go ahead, do something goofy. Play games. Play hopscotch. Go dancing. Ride a horse. Do something spur of the moment. Draw a picture. Write a poem. Getting creative also helps our neurons connect.
3) Quit being a lone wolf. Get out there and connect and interact with others. This also helps us build connections in our brain.
4) Take time each day for simple reflection. Turn inward for a few minutes each day and just muse on your day, watch the feelings that come as you reflect.
5) Engage in physical activity every day. Even walking a few times around the block counts. Running, swimming, dancing, playing hopscotch (as mentioned above), all help to keep your mental health…healthy.
6) Relax. Just let your mind wander for a few moments. Daydream. Dream big. Just let your mind take you where it will.
7) Get enough sleep. Seven to eight hours usually is best for most people. You know your need for sleep best. Just be sure you give yourself that gift.
If you’re a speech, physical or occupational therapist and looking for your next position helping individuals, contact Centra Healthcare Solutions. We offer temporary, direct-hire and even traveling assignments at rehab therapy sites all over the country. We look forward to hearing from you.