Today’s post looks at The Healthy Mind Platter, a resource developed by David Rock and Dr. Daniel Siegel. They are seven essential activities that Rock and Siegel believe help to improve general mental wellbeing.
The Platter was developed in response to optimising physical health, and acknowledging that it is just as important to keep the mind healthy. The seven daily activities help to reduce stress and clear your mind. This is important for everyone, particularly students who have to split their time between study, work and fun – it is easy to become caught up too much in one area and neglect the others.
Our mind, embodied in our extended neural circuitry and embedded in our connections to others and even the way we relate to our planet, is also in need of careful attention to establish and maintain mental health. – Dr. Siegel.
The activities include:
- Focus time – focusing closely on tasks and taking on challenges
- Play time – being creative, spontaneous and playful; taking part in activities we enjoy, which helps create new connections in the brain.
- Connecting time – being social and spending time with people whose company we enjoy (ideally in person), as well going outside and taking time to connect with the ‘natural world’.
- Physical time – going for a walk or run, going to the gym or playing sport; regular exercise “can help lift mood, improve sleep, increase energy levels, help block negative thoughts and/or distract people from daily worries, increase opportunities to socialise, and generally increase wellbeing”.
- Time in – can range from activities like meditation or progressive muscle relaxation, to those as simple as going for a walk outside or listening to music.
- Down time – “if we consciously choose to spend down time, we might find a comfortable chair, in the comfort of our living room or in the shadow of a tree, and disconnect from an intentional, linear focus on our environment” – the opposite of focus time.
- Sleep time – the student lifestyle is not often associated with good sleeping habits, but sleep is essential for maintaining good mental and physical health.
The Platter gives an excellent example of what Health Yourself Out is trying to promote. Over the next several posts, I will go in-depth about each of these activities, and others, and discuss simple, everyday ways to improve mental health.
What do you think of the Healthy Mind Platter? Is it a manageable approach for people who want to improve and maintain their mental health?