Routines for your brain, especially those proven by science, can really boost how you feel and perform on a daily basis. You need the perfect amount to keep you healthy and happy. Not too much, not too little.
My summer routine was wonderful, for a time. Evenings of porch-sitting and wine-sipping. Late night movies and sleeping in until we naturally awoke. Obviously, with school-age kids in the house this felt luxurious as first. But then it persisted and I felt as if I was never getting anywhere. Now as summer comes to a close I am eager for my routine that includes more productivity and structure while keeping my brain relaxed, focused, and feeling great. Your family can highly benefit from these routines too. Don’t underestimate them.
Routines are Important For Your Brain
Science shows that simple routines can keep your brain healthier in the short and long run. Why is that important? It is important because it keeps you feeling and performing your best right now and increases the chances of you being healthy and sharp as you age. Neuroscience proves this works and it feels so good to the brain and soul when implemented consistently. Check out each daily routine and why it is good for your brain.
Drink Water – Routines for Your Brain #1
First thing you should do each day is drink a full glass of water. It gets your system going and hydrates your brain which is mainly made up of water. I drink a RepairVite and ClearVite drink filled with vitamins, minerals, and enzymes to get my system ready for the day. Then I make Coffee…I am only human and refuse to deny myself human pleasures, especially coffee.
Up 30 Minutes before You Have to Do Anything – Routines for Your Brain #2
This allows my brain to shift from Delta to Theta to Alpha to Beta states. If you remember your brain speeds it is Extra Slow to Slow, to Medium, to Fast speed, over the course of a half hour, not instantly. I make coffee and quietly sit on my couch by myself. It is so lovely. Ease into your day, it feels great. During that time I meditate, give thanks for another beautiful (albeit busy) day, and enjoy the quiet before the chaos of getting five kids ready for school. Give your brain time to warm up for the day.
Work While Your Fresh / Organize Your Brain First – Routines for Your Brain #3
Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE to work. It is my favorite thing to do. It is funny how we are conditioned. I have always proclaimed, even when I was young, that “organizing my brain” is my favorite thing to do. Well, it still is. I organize my work time before I engage in it. I sit for a few minutes, quietly, and figure out what I want to accomplish in the time I have for the day. I make it REALISTIC and tangible. The reason I emphasize this is because not always did I make it realistic. I would make a list of 1000 things to be done in the next 3 hours. Failure, of course. Now I set myself up for success. I pick the 3 most important things to get done and everything else is gravy! Success.
Organizing starts to speed your brain up little by little so its performance can be optimized. When you jump in you go from 0 to 60 and it can feel frantic and disorganized. Easing in and out is better than hard shifting.
Life is a Marathon, Not A Sprint. Remember that While Living It!
Get up Every Hour and do the 20-20-20 – Routines for Your Brain #4
While I am working I get up every hour and stretch and move my body. I also make sure I get away from my screens during that time. The 20-20-20 means that every 20 minutes you look at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This can help reduce eye strain and a tired brain (it will shift you out of Beta for a minute or so which will prevent you from getting stuck there). Refreshing the system is important to keep it working well with longevity. Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Remember that while living it.
Exercise Whether you Need to or Not – Routines for your Brain #5
I go for a run every day whether my body needs it or not. Just kidding. It clearly always needs it. Instead of reaching for afternoon coffee or worse, sugar. I hit the pavement every day. It shifts my brain out of Beta (fast speed) where it has been working all morning and into Alpha, when it can recover, integrate what I just worked on and keep me healthy and moving forward.
Some people might think I run for my body, and of course that is important. I am running for my dear brain. I want it to be healthy when I am 75 so I give it blood and oxygen each day in a run, and I keep it from burning out by staying in Beta too long. If you stay in Beta too long, you can’t sleep, you feel stressed, and you NEVER stop thinking. The trick is you MUST stop thinking at times during each day to be the best thinker you can. A paradox of sorts.
Wind Down at Night – Routines for Your Brain #6
Off the electronics 1 hour before bed. DO NOT check your texts, emails etc. until the morning. If you cannot trust yourself, set the Do Not Disturb setting on your phone. Trust me, this will save your brain. If I am chilling with the hubs we will watch mindless TV for 30 minutes or so. We love movies so sometimes we watch a little bit of a funny movie, or HGTV, or Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee (it is so slow it lulls me to sleep).
No working, no Facebook watching the news, or anything too intense. This will keep you in beta all night and prevent you from moving down the speeds into Delta for restorative sleep. The same goes for your kids. Help them to wind down by getting off Instagram and chilling with a book.
The Brain Takeaway…
Move through your days by regulating the on (Beta) and off (Alpha, Theta) settings of your brain. Don’t stay in just one for your best life. Move between them throughout your day. Settle into a routine that helps you be and stay your best.
If your brain is stuck and you are having difficulty controlling it. Your brain controlling you? Check out our office’s website at Leigh Brain & Spine to see how Neurofeedback Therapy can help you can gain control of your brain to rock out the life of your dreams.
Want to read a great book? Check out author Charles Duhigg and How Habits Work to really learn about the power.