When I need to reclaim my focus, I do it in four words: extremely hilly bike ride. Drenched in sweat, taking in lungfuls of piney air, my mind somehow conjures its best ideas right after cycling. The brain boost allows me to organize my thoughts, and suddenly I know exactly how to solve all of the nagging problems stealing brain space. I might look dirty and tired on the outside, but inside, I feel fresh and new.
Related: 4 Ways to Declutter Your Mind
For the sake of your mental clarity, research advises against sitting still. A 2015 study measuring concentration in Dutch students found that moderate exercise improves cognitive abilities in a major way. Instead of tucking yourself away for a Netflix binge, try ditching your couch for an active day of rejuvenation.
- Take a podcast walk. Exercise and improve yourself at the same time. Tune into The School of Greatness or The Art of Charm podcast for a boost of inspiration.
- Play with a furry friend. If you don’t own one, borrow one. Or volunteer at an animal shelter.
- Strike a pose. A yoga pose, that is. Try a crescent or bridge pose for an easy start.
- Take a hike. Aim for the steepest trail you can manage. The view will be worth it.
- Build something life-size. EverBlock sells giant modular blocks that can be used to build almost anything. Or try playing a game of Jenga with giant blocks.
- Volunteer at your local recreation center. Take the focus off your life by putting it onto someone else’s. Plus, the closer you are to sports, the closer you are to play.
- Have a declutter day. It sounds like work, but tidying up can help center your thoughts as you move and arrange your space.
This article originally appeared in the December 2017 issue of SUCCESS magazine.