As I sit here composing this post, my brain is tired. It’s been a long week as I’ve finished up the end of the semester. I realized today how mentally tired I was when it was pointed out I had submitted the midterm grades rather than final grades. Thankfully all was adjusted and should be ok. Nonetheless, it is an example that my mind needs a break and what I consider “brain candy.”
Our brains can not be at 100 percent capacity all of the time. Students cramming for exams eventually reach a point where they are saturation with information and can obtain no more. Employees pushing towards deadlines can only provide so much output until the work begins to suffer.
As counselor, I am the constant recipient of multiple stories over the week from my clients and from my students and sometimes from my friends. I must be honest that there are times when I come home and I can take in no more serious information. That is when I make sure I allow myself some form of what I coined brain candy.
Brain candy is information that is truly fluff and bears no bad news long lasting effects. For years my brain candy has always been watching E! News. It’s nice to spend time listening to the latest celebrity gossip, regarding who is dating who, what someone wore or didn’t wear and (sadly) the latest on the Kardashians. At other times, my brain candy has been a marathon of House Hunters and occasionally I’ve found myself watching one of the Real Housewives (I prefer the original).
Many years ago, I began to suggest to my clients to set aside time for brain candy. This was especially helpful for clients who were grieving and felt overwhelmed with estate responsibilities and their own emotions. During times of stress I have had clients who loved to read but found they could not focus. However, they could flip through the weekly People or US weekly magazine or perhaps InStyle.
Of course, as with all candy, brain candy needs to be done in moderation. It can be in small amounts of time each night or a weekend afternoon of a few hours. Taking the time to rest your brain from stressful situations is necessary and can (believe it or not) make you healthier.
Other examples of brain candy can include:
- Playing a game on your phone computer (Candy Crush, solitaire)
- Watching sports (I know some wouldn’t feel this way but it is an escape)
- Watching a favorite movie (again this is an escape from the present)
- I’ve mentioned celebrity magazine for myself but it can truly be any magazine where you don’t have to put much thought into things.
What are your thoughts on brain candy? This weekend give yourself time to let your brain rest.
Do you allow yourself to have brain candy in your life?
What is your brain candy and how often do you allow yourself this treat?
Self Care Saturday is a weekly series sharing tips and suggestions for self care on a daily basis