During our regular working week we’re invariably stretched or fatigued due to work stress, family life, or personal commitments.
As a consequent our empathy, creativity, and productivity levels are negatively impacted. In turn, this depletes our energy, resilience, wellbeing, and overall effectiveness.
Ultimately, as a result our ability to cope, perceive, and regulate our emotions, becomes impaired causing us to become more reactive to the environment around us.
Below are some practical ways that will help you to mindfully counteract the debilitating effects of cognitive overload. This will in turn empower you to skilfully enjoy a far more harmonious life.
Firstly take a listen to Brady Wilson where he explores: ‘How to fix the exhausted brain’.
Strategies in 3 life domains, to help brain recovery?
Firstly, considering emotions drive feelings, which drive expression, we need to learn to read the neurological signals of brain fatigue.
The following recovery strategies and restorative techniques offer long term mental fitness improvement. Remember, make recovery breaks your social norm – they are not “nice to haves” but “have to haves”.
Do not feel like you are letting others down, or not working hard enough because you take a break. In fact, you’re productivity levels will only improve.
Firstly, learn how to tune into the signals that you are in need of a break. Recognize and reward your courage when you listen to what your body, or brain, is telling you, and make space for recovery rather than pushing on mindlessly.
Improving your sleep habits
- Get sunlight during the day.
- Maintain regular sleeping times (eg: 9:30pm – 6:30am).
- Relax for an hour before going to bed.
- Do not spend too long in bed.
- Naps during the afternoon/evening will negatively affect your nightly sleep.
Creating positive social connections – Human beings are inherently social creatures, therefore:
- Immerse yourself in the Arts (galleries, theatre, concerts etc) – as this will offer you an intellectually stimulating environment.
- Physical activity – whether social or as part of a structured club, any form of interactive, physical activity with other people positively promotes social connection.
- Undertake a course of study – whether face-to-face or online, joining a group of people with common interests is ideal for effortlessly developing social connections.
- Community volunteering (local area clean-up, forest regeneration, sporting events, homeless shelter) – an ideal platform to promote not only social connections but also positive happiness.
Laura Berrera-Hernández describes connectedness to nature as, “being aware of the interrelation and dependence between ourselves and nature, appreciating all of the nuances of nature, and feeling a part of it“.
Her research identified a significant correlation between connectedness to nature, sustainable behaviours, and happiness.
Try this activity:
- During your workday, or if you are feeling a little flat at home, go for a 5-20-minute walk in nature with your mobile phone. Take three close-up shots of what you identify as ‘beauty’ and send your favourite image to a friend or family member.
This activity has been reliably proven to increase the cognitive functioning of the brain (micro-burst), which is an ideal recovery strategy.