Are You Over It? Use The Holidays to Recharge and Reframe

We’ve seen many acts of bravery, courage, and taking on the impossible over the past year. Many professionals are managing the pandemic, returning to the office, getting their kids back into a school routine all while facing the unknown. We’ve all earned some new stripes, but may be feeling stressed, exhausted and simply put, over it.

Did you know that by taking the time to do a few enjoyable things, you can develop the ability to adapt more quickly, stay positive, and become less anxious in the longer term — all of which will help you cope better? It’s called neuroplasticity and it’s completely backed by brain science. You can train your mind to become more flexible and more hopeful by regularly doing a few fun and painless exercises. I learned about this concept from my neuroscience coaching school BEabove Leadership, which developed seven keys to neuroplasticity.

So I hope that if you have some time off during the holidays, you’ll use it to recharge and reframe your mind by trying out a few of these neuroplasticity-shaping practices:

  1. Rest. This is a key component to being able to stay in a positive mindset and face any situation with an optimistic perspective. In fact, being tired brings you down and causes a negative view of the world. Our brain needs time off to process and reflect on learnings, and to recover energy. This has been proven by science over and over. We can function clearly and efficiently only when we are rested. So, during this holiday, no matter how much entertainment you’re getting, make sure you are also including some time to rest and recover.

  2. Another key to creating neuroplasticity is entertainment and fun. Don’t forget to plan a good amount of those around your family celebrations! Because being playful puts your brain in an open state for learning and developing yourself.

  3. One really important key is relationships. We learn and change best in safe, supportive relationships. Feeling socially connected diminishes stress and reduces inflammation. Being heard and understood increases our cognitive functions, as it increases connective neural fibers in our brains. So, include some nice social connection time, and avoid those creating stress — go for the loving ones!

  4. The last key to neuroplasticity that I find relevant in any vacation time is novelty. New experiences stimulate neuronal connections. Our right hemisphere will be stimulated and overjoyed with new experiences and release norepinephrine, a form of adrenalin, which helps focus and prepare the brain and body for action.

With that, you have all it takes to organize your mind in the best possible way, and allow you to recharge and ground yourself, ready to restart 2022 on a high note.

Photo by Kaylah Matthews

I wish you and your loved ones a Happy Holiday Season and may 2022 bring you much joy, health, love and neuroplasticity!

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