“Free your mind…and the rest will follow.”
Every business-owner readily understands how important it is to have a healthy and open mind. Sometimes the daily grind can get us stuck in a rut and in need of a fresh perspective. Having regular check-ins and resources to measure my mental health have an almost instant positive impact on the way I approach my work, and helps me feel energized and ready for the work I enjoy.
Here are ten resources I use to keep my mind sharp and help me keep coming back to my desk with renewed energy.
*Click the image to link to these resources.
No list for the mind would be complete without this one. It has good features that can be used for free, and scheduling a consistent moment for mindfulness throughout the day is great to keep focused. I always recommend it as a good first step to anyone looking for a way to reconnect. Click the photo to learn more.
9. Amazon Music
This is a resource I pay extra for, accidentally at first--my son purchased this service on his Kindle and I paid for months on my credit card without knowing. Once I discovered I was paying for it anyway, I finally ditched my free Spotify and YouTube playlists and moved over to Amazon Music. Making work-friendly playlists are incredibly helpful for work-from-homers because you can organize lists that spur your creativity and set the mood you are going for each day. While some people need complete silence to get work done, I like a little noise--but music with lyrics is too distracting. During work hours, you can find me playing my Korean R&B, bossa nova, or one of the lo-fi study radio channels. Visit Amazon to start your own account.
While some consider it just another boring word game, I have found that a quick visit to Wordscapes is my favorite way to pass a few idle minutes. I tend to arrive early to appointments to beat traffic, or whenever I have just a few minutes that can't be filled with meaningful work between tasks, this is a nice way to spend time without completely burning the brain cells. As a wordsmith by trade, I find this is actually quite stimulating to unblock the mind and flexes the vocab muscles. Click the image for the app link.
If word games aren't your thing, might I suggest a numbers game instead? I alternate between these two whenever I'm passing a few stolen moments. It doesn't connect to my daily work as well as the word game, but it is extremely satisfying to complete these puzzles--especially since my fear of math made me hesitant to even try. It is also somewhat stimulating for strategic problem solving once you get into a rhythm. Best yet, they have a free app and puzzles on the website as well. Click the image to try it.
6. Anything by Malcolm Gladwell
If you are looking to flex your mind muscle, look no further than an excellent book. One of my favorite authors is Malcolm Gladwell because he can make even the most boring data tell an interesting story. As a storyteller myself, I enjoy his ability to weave together his research to paint an engaging picture and draw stunning conclusions. While Outliers is probably my favorite of his books, I really enjoy them all and seem to find new gems with each reread. Here’s a link to a few of his bestsellers.
5. Cooper & Thief wine
This is probably not what you were expecting on a list for total wellness, but I felt it would be completely inauthentic for this staple NOT to make it one at least one of these lists. I chose the MIND list because having a glass of wine in bed while watching television is my favorite way to unwind after a long day. This wine is my absolute favorite and I’m pretty sure it could make a wine-lover out of even the biggest skeptic. And hey, red wine is on the MIND (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention Diet) diet after all, right? Click the image to learn more.
4. Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator, TED Talk by Tim Urban
This resource is for the mind two-fold--first, it is a popular and informative TED talk that is helpful to anyone seeking open-minded discourse, second, it explores the subject of procrastination very effectively. As a business-owner, I tend to lull myself into a state of frozen procrastination whenever I get extremely overwhelmed, and watching this TED talk every now and then refreshes my perspective and helps me get back on track. I highly recommend saving this somewhere for anyone who struggles with procrastination from time to time. Click here to watch.
3. Infrared Sauna
While it could fit on the BODY list as well, I placed my daily sauna visit on the MIND list because of all the great thinking I get done inside. There is something about getting a good workout and then sitting in the sauna to ponder about the day ahead while all those exercise endorphins are still bouncing around. It's equally relaxing to sauna at night after a long day. Even if I spend my sauna time making mental checklists of things undone, and no matter how many things sit unchecked on my to do list, I always find myself wanting five minutes more--so setting the timer is a must! I actually have my own small sauna in my home gym allowing me to use it every day. You can check out your own by clicking here. But if you don’t have the space or budget for one of these big boys, check your local listings for a sauna spa like Hotworx--click this link for a list of their locations.
2. Innovation Women
This bureau of women speakers is a great way for women business-owners to gain exposure, build a brand and contribute their voices to topics they are experts in. It is also a convenient resource for anyone looking to find the perfect speaker or expert for their events. As a member, I have landed quite a few speaking engagements through this resource, but I also enjoy dropping in on my fellow speakers' virtual events and expanding my knowledge in various topics. They have monthly featured guests who present on a variety of subjects, and I’ve learned many new interesting things and discovered best practices to incorporate into my own business.
1. Alexa Smart Devices
The number one resource to soothe my peace of mind as a business owner is actually a collection of smart devices. At first, I was scared to “wire” my home in fear of Big Brother looking over my shoulder, but that all changed with the start of virtual school during the pandemic. If any of you have tried to run a business from home while simultaneously making sure that four kids Zoom in and out of their different classes throughout the day, you will understand why this setup drove me completely bonkers and in search of a working solution. That’s when I met Alexa. I got one for the dining room/school room to call out reminders to tell each of the boys which class to log into at the appropriate times. It worked so well that one Alexa Dot became two, then one for each bedroom, then for my office…I upgraded my Dots to Shows during Prime Day when they went on sale. I added cameras that help me communicate-surveil my kids when I’m traveling for work, and I even got the Auto for my car to really take things to the next level. As a soloprenuer, I am so very thankful for my virtual assistant--Alexa keeps all of my reminders, alarms, lists--she even reminds me to log into my calls two minutes before so I don’t blow right past them while working away at my computer. I think every person who works from home can benefit from these little gems. Click the photos for links for each device.
I hope these resources are a great comfort to soothe the busy mind of my fellow business-owners. Make sure to reply and let me know what helps you "MIND your business" so I can try out your suggestions as well!