A definitive guide to relaxation for people with busy schedules Comments Off on A definitive guide to relaxation for people with busy schedules 35,416

You’re too busy to even think straight most days. With a calendar filled with meetings, appointments, and social events, you barely have time to sleep, let alone make time for yourself.

If that sounds familiar, you may be among the millions of people who fill their schedules to the max. So what should you do? It may seem like your only option is saving relaxation for long weekends and holidays, but you’ll quickly experience burnout and unneeded stress with this approach. Self-care should be an everyday priority, and your body will thank you in the long run if you make it one!

Prioritizing relaxation is one of the simplest ways to stay healthy. Relaxation can slow heart rate, increase blood flow, and reduce chronic pain. Of course, none of this matters if you don’t ever find time to de-stress. Setting aside time is often easier said than done, so we’ve created a guide that even the busiest people will be able to glean knowledge from. Ready to relax? Read on.

Start your day off right. When your alarm goes off in the morning, what do you do once you open your eyes? Maybe you check your cell phone notifications before getting out of bed or turn on the television as you prepare for the hours ahead.

There’s nothing wrong with staying informed, but what if you changed up your approach? Instead of your usual routine, take some time for self-reflection. How did you sleep, and how do you feel? What do you hope to accomplish today, and how will you do it? Once you get out of bed, take several deep breaths, and do some basic stretches. Drink a glass of water. The more refreshed you feel, the better equipped you are for the day ahead.

Take breaks. Did you know you’re actually more productive when you take breaks? Distraction isn’t the enemy––in fact, you’re even more likely to get distracted if you don’t step away from your desk. Whether it’s taking a walk around your building or putting in headphones to listen to calming music, use any free time you find while working to reenergize and refocus your energy. Not everyone has jobs where you can take an unscheduled break. If you fall into that category, take advantage of your lunch break and make sure you get away from your desk.

Utilize any free time you have. You have 1,446 minutes every day. Naturally, some of that time has to be used for sleeping, eating, and working, but what do you do with any time left over? Even the busiest people can likely find five minutes of unscheduled time on any given day. Once daily relaxation becomes a priority, you’ll be able to spot gaps in your schedule. It can be something as simple as downloading a meditation app on your cell phone and following its instructions when you have some time in your day.

If you don’t have any free time at all – not even a few minutes – this could be indicative of a larger problem. Never taking time to decompress will likely have a profound impact on your physical and mental health in the long run.

Keep a mood journal. This isn’t as corny as it may sound––it’s actually quite straightforward. At the end of each day, take a minute to log how you feel. What went well, and what could have improved? Did you take breaks? What about fitting in time for meditation?

You don’t need a physical journal to do this. Even the notes app on your phone will work in a pinch! You’ll likely begin to notice patterns quickly, especially on days you’ve made time for self-care. The journal will help you realize the benefits of self-care, as your mood is statistically likely to be better on days you make time for yourself.

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3 Podcasts We Can’t Get Over Comments Off on 3 Podcasts We Can’t Get Over 201,275

Podcasts are the way of the future. Think radio shows but being able to listen whenever and wherever you want. The best part about podcasts is that there’s a niche for everyone. Whether you’re into finance or the Bachelor, we’ve got you covered on the 3 podcasts we can’t get over. 

Finance is Fun!: The Financial Diet

The Financial Diet is the perfect mix of learning more about finances, different career paths and having fun. Each week Chelsea Fagan interviews a guest with an interesting job position. From Youtubers to publicists, you’re sure to feel like an insider after the episode. Chelsea pressures guests to reveal big financial numbers in their life. For some, it’s how much student debt their in while others discuss how much money they made off one Youtube video. If you’re interested in learning the finances behind different professions, check out this podcast on Spotify or Apple Podcasts! 

True Crime Crazed: Crime Junkie

If your ideal documentary is on serial killers, then Crime Junkie is the podcast for you. Crime Junkie features two true crime enthusiasts telling stories about the missing, captured, and murdered. Each episode captivates its listeners with a thrilling narration of true-crime from around the world. There are over one hundred episodes to binge, so start listening today! Another true-crime themed podcast that you have to hear is Serial. Serial started the genre of the crime podcasts and is still a true-crime favorite. The hit podcast has three seasons. Each season the hosts investigate a murder case in real-time. With new evidence pilling up each episode, it’ll be hard to pull away from this intense series. 

The Bachelor Nation’s Favorites: The Viall Files

The Bachelor is the show that keeps on giving. Between The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, and Bachelor in Paradise, ABC produces a season full of love and drama – but mostly drama. Nick Viall, the bachelor in season 21, recaps each episode on his podcast The Viall Files. Bachelor Happy Hour is another amazing podcast where co-hosts and past Bachelor contestants Rachel Lindsay and Becca Kufrindives dive into each juicy episode. 

Podcasts are great for long car rides, getting ready in the morning, or winding down at night. There are thousands of podcasts to choose from, so you’re sure to find one you like. We hope you’ll love these podcasts just as much as us! 

How a simple detox can boost brainpower Comments Off on How a simple detox can boost brainpower 193,490

Girl drinking berry smoothie

 

You know that one person who’s always talking about the latest cleanse or trendy detox and how “life-changing” it is. It’s almost guaranteed that within a few days, they’ll be on to the next one. Who doesn’t want to lose weight, improve endurance, and purge toxins? It’s not surprising to see short term physical benefits from detox, but often not mentioned are the mental health and cognitive performance benefits also gained from a proper detox. Mental health and brainpower benefits are significant.

Anxiety. Insomnia. Depression. Dementia. Eating disorders. Even Alzheimer’s is on the rise. While going on a short term cleanse or detox to help treat any disorder might seem counterintuitive, restoring your body to health both mentally and physically can drastically boost your mood and overall disposition. The glow of positivity from improved self-image helps interpersonal relationships as well.

Girl hiking outside
Is a detox right for me?

Grow new brain cells

  • Most detox diets are significantly low in calories which may help boost Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). This chemical signal in the brain promotes new cellular growth.
  • As a result, it may lead to a number of mental health benefits including improved brain health and functioning, as well as to help stave off mental illnesses. There are some great BDNF studies available online.

Enhance focus and concentration

  • Another benefit one can attain from slightly restricting calories during a detox is the increase in focus. This is thought to come from a mechanism known as “food-seeking behavior.”
  • The mechanism involved has to do with a rise in hormone production. Dopamine, adrenaline, and cortisol boost focus and reduce distractions. Along with helping to block out distractions, a detox can also help keep your mind focused on tasks. This can help boost productivity in an academic setting or in the workplace, as well as helping to accomplish tasks at home that require efficiency and critical thinking. Additionally, it also may help improve focus and intensity during sports and other physical activities.
  • Certain supplements called nootropics help boost brain function even further by promoting increased blood circulation, stimulation of the central nervous system, and stimulating new brain pathways.

Increase blood flow to the brain

  • Detox diets can boost brainpower through PGC-1-Alpha. This multi-faceted signal assists in a wide range of bodily functions including increased blood flow to the brain improved blood circulation and supplied nutrients and oxygen.
  • This effect is quite beneficial to cognitive health.

Boost mood and good vibes

  • High levels of vitamins and minerals consumed in certain detox treatments boost mood and good vibes by producing serotonin and dopamine.
  • Processed foods, refined sugar, and other food-like products may cause mood swings, feelings of lethargy, energy crashes, and other unpleasant symptoms that may lead to malnutrition.
  • Nutrient deficiencies should be addressed in order to promote overall healthy body function.
Girl hiking outside jumping
No more brain fog!

Improve brainpower, cognitive function, and problem-solving skills

  • This should come as no surprise. High-nutrient, low-calorie foods can greatly improve cognitive functioning.
  • Eliminating nutrient-deficient foods will lift “brain fog” caused by poor diets.
  • Clearer thought processes and faster decision-making skills may be felt almost immediately after commencing a detox.

Improve brain-signaling

  • Hydration is always important. And increasing water intake is usually an aspect of many detox plans. Proper hydration enhances overall health, and greater hydration levels can lead to improved brain-signaling.
  • It goes without saying that water is important for all living things, and it’s especially true for living organisms that are made up of mostly water. In the human body, 73% of the heart and brain is water. This is why dehydration has a direct effect on cognitive performance.

Prevent mental illness

  • Aside from boosting mood and good vibes, assisting in the growth of new brain cells, and improving cognitive performance, a detox can also help prevent mental illness.
  • Brain matter growth can help prevent illnesses like depression or bipolar disorder from developing.
  • An increase in nutrients can help reduce anger and may help prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. With the rise of mental illnesses, it’s worth trying different methods every now and then to see what works best for you.

Prevent cellular breakdown

  • A detox diet can help reduce inflammation in the body. This helps prevent cellular breakdown and promote healthy cells (which, obviously, helps overall health). This is true for all the body’s cells, including those in the brain.
  • Implementing a regular detox may not only help promote the growth of new brain cells but also help protect the cells you have, which can preserve and further boost brain function.

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