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Fitness for the Mind

It’s no secret that exercise does a body good. But when’s the last time you gave your brain a good workout?

Our daily lives are filled with emailing, texting, Tweeting, blogging, DVR-ing, updating our Facebook status and searching the Internet for the latest information on the latest trends. In a world where we can easily suffer from sensory overload, I offer this fitness challenge for your mind: disconnect and re-boot.

Today is Wednesday. That means it’s no-TV night. You read correctly – every Wednesday, the TV stays off after work. No news, no “Sex & the City” re-runs, no Food Network…zip. Instead, after dinner, my husband and I decide what game to play. Whether it’s Gin Rummy, Backgammon, Monopoly, Uno or Scrabble, we focus on the game, focus on each other and leave all other distractions aside. That includes ignoring our text messages and any other electronic alerts.  Sometimes there are no games, and we’ll just sit and talk or maybe look through old photo albums and laugh. It’s amazing what some good conversation and laughter can do for your overall well-being.

Depending on our schedules, these weekly “dates” may only be filled with an hour of two or no-TV activity, but it’s enough time to remember that we were interesting people before we ever started stressing over what witty status update or Tweet we would post next.

I realize every household is different, with everyone on different schedules juggling different responsibilities. Establishing a weekly time to get together may not be realistic, but perhaps every two weeks could work. Maybe it only involves an hour of time together while walking around the neighborhood, cleaning out a closet or finding a fun card or board game that two or more people can play. If you live alone, it’s no different. Your mind could use a break from all the gizmos and gadgets that bombard you all day long, too.

The bottom line is this: despite our demanding schedules, many of us make a conscious effort to fit exercise into our lives to take care of our physical health.  So, why wouldn’t we make an effort to carve out some quality downtime to take care of our mental health, too?

Never underestimate the power of your mind.  It plays a huge role in your ability to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

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