Just as regular exercise improves your heart health, regular brain exercises improve your mental health. Here's a list of options to help you get your brain revved up:
• If you are right handed, try using your left to do everyday tasks like brushing your teeth, cutting up food, throwing the ball for your dog, writing out your grocery list, etc. Left handers, switch too.
• Rotate the type of music you listen to.
• Switch out that novel for a biography
• Join a book club
• Take up a new hobby
• Sign up for an adult education class
• Sign up for a retreat like the ones offered at wwwEsalen.org My chiropractor loved his week of learning about song writing which was totally out of his comfort zone.
• Sign yourself up for that activity you have always wanted to but never got around to
• Sign up for an on-line watercolor painting class (or some variation thereof)
• Enroll in a creative writing class
• The list is endless - brainstorm this with your spouse, partners and team to uncover their interests and passions.
Stretching your brain away from the office will help improve your performance in the office. Encourage your team to do the same. You can set the tone for this by including a five-minute brain game at the beginning of a staff meeting. Many institutions of higher learning encourage lengthy sabbaticals every 10 years of service. You might not be able to give your team four to six months off, but you could allocate $100 per employee per year to take a class outside of their professional development. All this will serve to enrich your life and those around you. Equally important, it will add to the bottom line of your organization. Burned out brains in the workplace are very expensive.