Thursday, December 5, 2013

Mental Fitness

I have been really sick lately like pass out after a flight of stairs sick. Aside from the nose blowing and other unpleasantness that comes with the winter plague my memory seems to have suffered as well. For example...putting all of my must be frozen groceries into the refrigerator, locking myself out of the car, losing my Kroger card (and panicking because I thought it was my debit card), and we can't forget telling the mailman "no thank you" when he asked which apartment number was mine.

Working out doesn't go so well when you have a hard time breathing in your sleep much less while you are trying to work up a sweat at the gym. Most people get something every year that signals the change of a season, and mine always is when the weather gets really really cold. I realize yesterday was 60 but I am convinced this thing is lingering for so long in order to make things miserable in the single digit temps next week. Basically I am convinced that my body rejects blisteringly cold weather and some days rain.

As someone who never forgets, loses, misplaces, can't recall anything, this absent mindedness is really cramping my style. Oddly enough as I was cringing about how awkwardly I treated the mail man the other day, I kept seeing all of these articles about mental fitness.

side note...I always wonder if things just pop out to you more that you are thinking about them or if the Internet somehow magically knows what is on your mind that would interest you to read about. Like when someone you just randomly ran into after years of not seeing them pops up on your news has to be some combination of both.

We spend so much time working on physical fitness (or thinking about how we should work on it), that our poor brains get left in the dust. A healthy brain doesn't look good in a bikini after all. If anything this sick spell was a wake-up call to start thinking about brain health. I was feeling another ridiculous lapse in consciousness coming on so here are a few things that I know helped my brain get it together.

1. Yoga focus: I tried yoga, but instead of hitting all of the deepest poses as intensely as possible I halfsied the pose, put my knee down on lunges, dropped my hand down for support etc. And for the first time in a long time focused on how it felt to merely relax your mind instead of stretching your body to the limits. Which not surprisingly ended up being a serious workout. To avoid thinking about all of the things you need to do when you leave, to wish time would go faster, and to purely think about what was happening right there was exactly what was needed.

2. Black Tea: I have never been a fan of taking tons of different medicines, so tea was a great alternative. Because we all know how weird things can get on the Dayquil diet. Black Tea has stimulating effects that enhance your focus, and when has holding a warm cup of tea made anyone feel distracted...that's right never! The tea not only helps the gruesome sickness symptoms on the inside but helps settle your mind.

3. Downsizing: When things aren't feeling so great cutting back helps. Once you start mixing the refrigerator and the freezer up it's time to cut back on the external craziness. Cutting the clutter from your day lets your body deal with making things better.  Netflix is basically the miracle drug.

4. Do work on the procrastination: When you are feeling 100% your procrastination is at the top of it's game. Excessively going out to dinner, Pinteresting, Instagramming, are all the traditional signs of a healthy procrastinator. When you are sick and bed ridden you have no choice but to think about the multiple things you have probably been avoiding. 

5. Double time the vitamins: I don't care what anyone says it can never hurt to increase the vitamin intake. When your insides are feeling like murky trash day sewer water a little extra B-6 never hurt anyone. Vitamins that are immune system boosting are key...obviously.

6. Read:..something you actually want to read. Reading keeps your brain going when your body can't. You will love opening something besides a mystery stained rented textbook that probably would reinfect you on account of being 100 years old and touched by hundreds of people.