I tote a lot of advice and promotion to physical health and well-being, but rarely touch on the topic of mental health. Perhaps because I think of myself as a little mentally unstable, I don’t think I’m qualified to share on the subject. But fear not, while I remain mostly crazy, I do have thoughts on getting mentally fit as well as physically. And yes, it revolves around having fun and saving the earth.
Getting in shape and meeting our fitness goals is great, but we also need to take time to keep our brain engaged and stimulated as well. Enrichment in our fitness program is fantastic. Making your own workout equipment. Getting outdoors. Playing games. Working out with a buddy (human or otherwise). But these still focus around keeping physically healthy.
How does ZooFit maintain mental health? Well, honestly, in the same exact manner as you approach your physical fitness.
If you have tried many different methods of exercise to find the best one which suits you, try the same thing with mentally stimulating activities. Go to a play. Start a blog. Join a book club. Just remember to start small and try one activity at a time. Overwhelming your brain with too much too soon can have the same effect as overwhelming your body with too many exercise activities.
For me, my great mental enrichment activity is Toastmasters. I love Toastmasters. I attended a meeting my first month moving to the island, and I think I’ve missed maybe three meetings in the two years I’ve been a member. It is delightful, fun, and stimulating.
I don’t even have to be giving a speech to get something out of Toastmasters. Whether I’m evaluating a speech, presenting Table Topics, or running the meeting as the Toastmaster for the evening, I feel a little better each time I go. I refine my methods, I improve on my presentation, I decrease my use of filler words.
When I’m not speaking, I am taking notes from other speakers. So I am not just improving my speaking skills, but my listening and critique skills. Toastmasters keeps me engaged in ways I never thought possible.
I have found a fantastic way to even connect Toastmasters to conservation. It’s more personal, in that I always give a speech on conservation or ZooFit in some capacity, but I am teaching my friends how to connect to the earth in a healthy way.
There are dozens of ways to get mentally fit. Hundreds of ways. Reading. Puzzles. Learning a new language. Art.
Find your invigorating activity for your brain and practice it daily. Yeah, I don’t practice Toastmasters DAILY, but I have reaped the benefits outside of the meetings. I am a more comfortable speaker. I am confident when I have to give a speech or presentation. At the writers conference, I gave amazing pitches and felt good about how I presented myself to agents and editors. It reinforced my training I want to continue with Toastmasters and how I can move forward with my goals.
What kinds of activities do you find mentally stimulating? How can you begin to incorporate them into your life to reinforce a healthy lifestyle, and to keep you engaged? Find your groove. And be the best version of yourself, the ZooFit way.