When was the last time you took a real mental fitness break from work? When was the last time you allowed yourself to put thoughts about work, or projects, or other peoples demands in a “mental drawer” only to be opened later?​

Saturday a friend cranked up his 1922 Ford Model T & took me for a cup of hand churned ice cream. We allowed the wind to mess our hair, the noise to cause us to shout just to be heard, the bumpy road to bring us to giggles. People surrounded us when we parked & we chatted & laughed & let the kids honk the horn. For 3 hours I allowed myself to feel & enjoy the afternoon like a child on a field trip.​ What has this to do with “work?” Nothing, except when the day was done, I felt refreshed & de-stressed. And from that mental fitness break I was open, even eager to check off some things on my business “to-do” list.​

Mental fitness is like physical fitness – you have to give yourself permission to go to the gym & take time to do your reps. You also need to give yourself permission to go to a place or state of joy &/or contentment in order to build positive neuro pathways to overcome stress & negativity.​ Try it! Give yourself a mental fitness break. It may not be in a Model T or take an afternoon. I once had a client who gave herself permission to step away from her desk for at least 30 minutes 3 times per week to have lunch. She later grudgingly admitted she was more productive in the afternoons when she did that.​

Your break need not be long or complicated. It may be simply to write a handwritten note to a friend; stopping to pet the cat that’s trying to sit on your computer; or doing a few deep breaths to clear your mind. It’s your mental fitness. Give yourself permission to do what it takes to be “fit.” #mentalfitness, #wellness, #mindfulnesspractice