Maintaining Me Week 3 >>>

Mental Wellness

Welcome to Week 3 of Maintaining Me where the focus is on mental wellness.

Hopefully Week 2 went well and you’re continuing with your physical activity and improved nutrition each day.

Dave McCabe has provided a physical fitness routine for Week 3 which is available on sharepoint. Click the button below.

For Week 3 you’re challenged to focus on your mental wellness.

What do we mean by mental wellness?

Mental wellness refers to active participation in scholastic, cultural, and community activities and intellectual well-being occurs when we use our intellectual abilities in meaningful and satisfying ways. It includes the pursuit of intellectually stimulating and challenging activities throughout life. This includes things like learning, creativity, communicating, critical thinking, problem-solving and the pursuit of understanding and wisdom. The use of memory, imagination and other cognitive faculties to communicate, solve problems, create new ideas, and think critically enhances well-being.

Healthy intellectual well-being can look like many things depending on the individual. You may be the kind of person who is inspired by creative pursuits. You may have an interest in science and mathematics or be interested in the human condition. Music may colour your life. Finding out what you are passionate about in life and weaving this into your life is likely to encourage and sustain your motivation, attention, and concentration-and keep your intellectual well-being healthy in the process. Also, listening to and learning from others and respecting different perspectives is a sign of intellectual wellness.

There can be a circular relationship between intellectual well-being and experiences of distress, including an anxious or low mood. When you are not challenged or stimulated by life you may begin to think that you are “stuck in a rut”, and feel apathetic about life. This may impact negatively on your mood, behaviour or feelings of self-worth.

Some tips for looking after your mental wellness:

  • Try something new. Neuroplasticity is the brain’s capacity to continue growing and evolving in response to life experiences. Historically, scientists believed that
    the brain stopped growing after childhood. But current research shows that the brain can continue growing and changing throughout the lifespan. Your brain can change and adapt through stimulation, stress, and experiences.
  • Read for fun. Reading, especially something you enjoy, can improve your intellect by stretching your mind to think about things you normally don’t think about. And if you don’t like reading maybe try an audiobook. Audible offers a free trial.
  • Learn a foreign language. When learning different ways to communicate, your mind expands. This not only helps with being receptive to new knowledge, but also helps broaden information already learned.
  • Play or learn to play a musical instrument. Playing a musical instrument can increase intellectual wellness by learning how to create sounds, make patterns, and emote through music.
  • Play a game. Board games and cards are popularly known as leisure activities. These activities can also help with your intellectual wellness.
  • Do puzzles. Crosswords and Sudoku are leisure activities that have proved to increase intellectual wellness. Working through puzzles or finding words in patterns uses a great amount of brain power. Increasing your ability to work through these activities can maintain and build your intellectual wellness.
  • Keep a journal. Taking the time to write down thoughts or journal frequently can help those who struggle with expressing their feelings or in general for anyone who is trying to make sense of what they are feeling inside. Being able to identify your feelings and understanding yourself more and your actions increase intellectual wellness by exposing your mind to deeper thinking.
  • Listen to podcasts. Strive to be open to new experiences and ideas in all areas of your life and podcasts are a great way of being introduced to new ideas.
  • Expand your ability to create, develop, analyze, critique, concentrate, understand, evaluate, problem solve, predict, comprehend, etc.
  • Exercise. Not only is exercise good for your heart and body, but it can also help improve another major muscle, your brain. Studies show that aerobic exercise stimulates the release of the substance known as a brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which supports the growth of new connections in your brain. Ultimately,
    exercise enhances your learning, sharpens your memory, and helps you feel better overall.
  • Eat well. The food you eat fuels not just your body but your brain. In fact, your brain consumes about 20% of your daily calories. Some great food sources for brain health include antioxidants in blueberries, micronutrients such as magnesium and zinc in pumpkin seeds, vitamin K, folate, and beta carotene in green leafy vegetables,
    flavonoids in chocolate, lutein, and the healthy fats and compounds in nuts, specifically walnuts.
  • Stay hydrated. The human brain is composed of over 75% water, with some studies suggesting that the number is closer to 85%. What do you think happens
    when we are dehydrated? You guessed it—the cells in your brain are dehydrated too, and you experience brain fog, loss of focus, memory as well as headaches, and emotional issues like moodiness and fatigue. Aim to drink at least 8 glasses of water daily. 
  • Get good sleep. Sleep is restorative.

So, what will you commit do doing over the next 7 days to grow your intellectual well-being?

IMPORTANT: It’s always advisable to check with your GP before starting any new fitness activities. Depending on your fitness levels you may need to start slowly. Please take care and avoid injuries.

Remember to always check that any advice you come across online or in podcasts or books comes from qualified reputable sources before you follow it. Just because it’s online or in print doesn’t mean it’s true.

Resources you might find useful:

Jim Kwik YouTube Channel

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Jim Kwik is the founder of Kwik Learning and a widely recognized world expert in speed-reading, memory improvement, brain performance, and accelerated learning. For two decades, he has served as the mental coach to students, seniors, entrepreneurs, and educators, and as advisor to many of the world’s leading CEOs and celebrities. Jim is the Host of the podcast Kwik Brain which has over 2 million downloads and is consistently a Top 10 Podcast in the world in the Education category.

The Duolingo App

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Learn a new language with the world’s most-downloaded education app! Duolingo is the fun, free app for learning 35+ languages through quick, bite-sized lessons. Practice speaking, reading, listening, and writing to build your vocabulary and grammar skills.

Designed by language experts and loved by hundreds of millions of learners worldwide, Duolingo helps you prepare for real conversations in Spanish, French, Chinese, Italian, German, English, and more.

The Minimalists Podcast

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In a world obsessed with having more, we all feel a pull to live with less. This podcast is a really great insight into how we should aim to exist with less, rely on less and declutter not just our lifestyles but our mindsets.

The 99% Invisible Podcast

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Ever wonder how inflatable men came to be regular fixtures in used car lots? Curious about the origin of the fortune cookie? Want to know why Sigmund Freud opted for a couch over an armchair? 99% Invisible is about all the thought that goes into the things we don’t think about – the unnoticed architecture and design that shape our world. Wonderfully entertaining and insightful.

The Sound Bites Podcast

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Join neuroscientist, philosopher, and best-selling author Sam Harris as he explores important and controversial questions about the human mind, society, and current events through his podcast, Waking Up. Always thought-provoking, reliably exciting and unmissable.

The TED App

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Feed your curiosity and expand your world with TED Talks. Explore more than 3,000 TED Talks from remarkable people, by topic and mood, from tech and science to the surprises of your own psychology. Find the app in your app store.

The Zigler Show Podcast

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With over 45 million downloads, the Ziglar Show is one of the most listened to podcasts in the self development space. The podcast covers everything business, sales, professional performance, and the Zig Ziglar legacy of, “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”