When was the last time you challenged yourself out of your comfort zone? For me, it was a recent half marathon. I knew I hadn’t run as many miles leading up to the event. So I followed a plan that included heart rate and a minute-per-mile goal to bring me to the finish line. I am also brought out of my comfort zone when our JMHS mental health professionals send us “brain teasers.” They often challenge us to think through a problem or test our knowledge on a subject – think Sudoku, Wordle, etc. Any activity that challenges your mind and requires you to learn new information or skills is also considered an exercise. Here are some examples of good exercises to challenge your brain: Learn a new language, play crossword puzzles, read, start a new hobby, learn to play an instrument, and take classes that interest you.
Presenting ourselves with various challenges also helps us build our confidence to take on the unexpected. While I do not recommend nor encourage anyone to do a half marathon without a training plan, it is good to set goals and challenge yourself to a new activity. You never know what you can do until you try it!
Kris Jacobson, LNHA, LALD, MBA