Intellectual Wellbeing is Self-Care: 4 Strategies for Personal Growth
When we think about taking care of ourselves, we typically focus on eating nutritious foods, being physically active, hydrating, allowing our bodies to recover, and relaxing our minds. All these behaviors contribute to our physical and mental wellness, but self-care doesn’t stop there. Intellectual wellbeing, a form of brain health, should also play a role in a balanced self-care routine.
Intellectual wellbeing is determined by how well we attend to our natural need to learn through stimulation and challenges and how well we focus and concentrate. Our minds crave lifelong learning, and by keeping them active and engaged in things we are passionate about, we can stay happy and mentally healthy. Engaging in lifelong learning promotes clearer thinking, open-mindedness, improved concentration and memory, and improved cognition.
It’s easy to get into a routine once we have settled into a career. We become a master of our trade and don’t always provide our minds with new opportunities to learn and grow. However, our minds want to keep learning! Challenge your brain by exploring something with which you are unfamiliar. It could be something in your field or a topic completely out of your comfort zone. Doing so may help you advance in your career, or simply fulfill that desire to learn more. Let’s talk about four ways to get to started.
1. Take a Class Outside of Your Comfort Zone
If we are always in our comfort zone, there is no stimulation for the mind to expand its knowledge. Challenge your mind by taking a class of interest to you, inside or outside of your career field. Examples include courses on programming, writing, negotiation, art, or music. Courses such as these can be found by doing a simple internet search, or sometimes they are even offered by employers. Managers or fellow employees may also be able to suggest classes.
2. Learn Another Language
The thought of learning a new language may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! There are several apps available online and on your mobile device that allow you to learn a new language in a fun, manageable way. Different languages not only challenge our typical way of thinking but also help us learn about other cultures and places around the world.
3. Talk to Someone You Don’t Know
Talking to people in person, especially those that are different than you or that you’ve never met before, can support intellectual wellbeing by boosting confidence and improving real-life social skills. In a world of smartphones and social media, it can become tempting to hide behind our screens. Over time, we can become less social in the presence of real people.
4. Seek Out Seminars
If you are looking to learn with less time commitment, check out a seminar, webinar, or conference instead of taking a class. These opportunities are great for networking and broadening your mind. Ask around the office for upcoming events that you can attend or search for interest areas online.
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