As the holiday season approaches, so does the busy season for finance and accounting professionals. Switching from having multiple days off to long work hours can be mentally taxing. Here are some tips for a mental tune-up as the season approaches.
An important activity for keeping your brain alert is challenging yourself to think critically regularly. Most people spend their holidays watching mindless TV on the couch. While you have certainly earned some relaxing, it is important to stay engaged. After all, you wouldn’t want to run a marathon without training, so why go into the busy season without training your brain? Brain games are an excellent way to stimulate your mind. Harvard Health says more:
“Brain games are defined as any activity that stimulates your thinking. That includes word puzzles like crosswords and scrabble, but also traditional games like chess, Sudoku, and bridge. It also includes creative outlets like painting, playing an instrument, or learning a language.”
Don’t Worry, Think Happy
Easier said than done. But, research shows that stress can do more than just ruin your day. It has been linked to a higher risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia, as well as other cognitive problems. Additionally, stress has been shown to reduce focus and contribute to underperformance. The holiday season is inherently stressful, so make sure you take time for yourself to right your mind.
Meditation has been proven to reduce stress and help bolster cognition. Even taking five minutes to be still can help you find a calmer state of mind. Another proven way to reduce stress is exercise. You don’t have to spend hours at the gym to get the mental benefits, either. Taking a run, walking up a flight of stairs or doing a couple of push-ups before bed is an easy way to help set your mind right.
Treat Your Body Right
No matter how much stress detox you do or brain games you play, sleep is the most important factor in keeping your mind sharp. There have been many studies that link focus, stress reduction, alertness and many other functions to getting a full night of sleep. So when in doubt, sleep it out.
Beyond sleep, eating right is another way to take care of your brain. Maintaining a healthy intake of fruits and vegetables has been proven to help improve mental cognition. Even when you are swamped, take time to eat. Skipping meals can lead to not only a distracting gurgle but can affect your job performance. Make sure to keep your brain fueled and happy!
A Healthy Brain Is A Productive Brain
Taking all of these steps into account, create habits to keep your brain healthy. Getting enough sleep, making sure you eat well and challenging yourself are only part of the battle. If you don’t continue to do these steps, you will regress to where you started. Don’t sleep on brain health this winter season. Make sure you stay on top of your game with these tips and any other personal relaxation methods that work for you.
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