Freshen up your outlook with these weekly and monthly reboot activities.
Thomas Edison once famously said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” If even a genius needed to start over occasionally, the rest of us should feel a lot better about needing to reboot every now and then. Here are a few ways to wipe your mind clean every week. And some other opportunities to take the world on with a fresh outlook each month.
Plan a workout schedule
Scientific research suggests that getting regular physical activity can help to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Mayo Clinic recommends planning about 30 minutes of aerobic activity like indoor cycling or walking on a treadmill on most days, with some strength training at least two days per week. Make your schedule easy to achieve by packing your workout bag beforehand and inviting a friend. And don’t forget to plan for a rest day to allow your muscles to recover.
Detox your diet
To optimize your health, plan a weekly menu that avoids canned or packaged food and includes fresh or frozen organic produce such as apples, strawberries, spinach and bell peppers. Limiting your exposure to toxic chemicals like pesticides, preservatives, BPA and phthalates may decrease your chances of suffering from health problems that range from headaches to cancer, according to Physicians for Social Responsibility. Use a meal planning app like Pepperplate to make eating and cooking healthy food each week easier.
Do something you really enjoy
Play a game, watch a funny movie or visit an art gallery. Regularly experiencing positive emotions like joy, interest, contentment, pride and love is important because it builds your internal strength and resilience to handle future challenges, according to research conducted by Barbara L. Fredrickson from the University of Michigan. If you prefer doing something socially, try a Meetup group.
Be affectionate to someone you love
Expressing physical affection such as hugging, holding hands or cuddling triggers the release of the hormone oxytocin, according to scientific research supported by the National Institutes of Health. Oxytocin helps to reduce stress, lower blood pressure and improve mood, not to mention it makes us feel good and increases our trust in others.
Wrap up your finances
To achieve peace of mind and regain your internal focus, spend some time each month investing in your financial well-being. Use a budget app like Mint to track your spending across bank accounts, credit cards and investments. Use this information to curb spending in trouble areas, avoid late or overdraft fees and make future plans. Managing your money will give you the flexibility to make choices that impact your happiness (such as planning a vacation), help you absorb financial shock, and keep you on track to meet important goals.
Clean out your closet
Psychologists agree that too much clutter inhibits productivity and relaxation and actually causes stress. Start organizing your life by auditing your closet every month. Outsource your mending (hemming pants, missing buttons, etc.) to a local sewing studio. Re-purpose stained, ripped or faded clothes into cleaning rags. Donate or recycle all items that don’t fit right or make you feel bad about yourself. Your trimmed-down closet will make getting dressed every day a much simpler and more rewarding process. It won’t always be a project that takes several hours. Once you’ve paired it down the first time, you’ll just need to maintain from month to month.
Set aside time for rest
Once a month take a day off work or claim some sick time to rest and recoup your sense of calm. If you’ve been staying late at work or sleeping irregular hours, you may need to reset your circadian biological clock, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Commit to ending screen time at least an hour before bed to trigger melatonin levels that promote sleep.
Clean like a fiend
An Indiana University study indicates a strong correlation between a clean home and more physical activity (aka, better health). Plus, a cleaner, more restorative home environment means less distractions and lower stress. Achieve this nirvana with a monthly deep clean, tackling one room at a time. Vacuum or dust blinds, lamp shades, baseboard and furniture. Wipe out cabinets and appliances and mop floors. Marie Kondo can give you most tips on that.
Clear the slate. It’s refreshing to start new and have your best week and month ever.
Photo credit: Thinkstock, iStock Julia_Sudnitskaya.