I recently I read about the concept of the “Healthy Mind Platter” created by Dr. Daniel Siegel and Dr. David Rock. This concept discusses the components of an integrated lifestyle as the product of a balance of time within seven different areas. The image of a “platter” in the Healthy Mind Platter is supposed to invoke similarity to the food groups from the Canada food guide that we should base our diets around.
As our time in quarantine has led to drastic changes in our schedules and priorities it may be an interesting opportunity to assess our pre-COVID, current, and ideal disbursement of time within these seven categories and ask ourselves if any changes are needed.
Here are each of the seven domains that Siegel and Rock present as important components to a healthy lifestyle:
This domain is filled with goal-oriented tasks that provide challenge and lead to the development of deep connections in the brain. This category is likely filled with professional, educational and achievement related tasks.
Playtime is something that perhaps has changed a lot since quarantine. This is time dedicated to exploring creative, fun and new activities. Siegel and Rock discuss this time as being important for the development of new connections in the brain. Whether it be painting, making puzzles or playing board games it is all play time.
By spending time socializing and connecting with those around us we activate and reinforce the relational circuitry in our brain. Calling or Zooming with loved ones are both included in Connecting Time.
Physical Time is any time where we engage our bodies in physical activity and exercise. Dancing, workouts, walks and runs are all part of this category.
Time In is the domain allocated for activities of self reflection, meditation and mindful awareness of our personal sensations and experience. In this category we are connecting to our internal selves.
Down Time is when we allow ourselves to relax and decompress. During this time we allow our brains to not focus on any specific tasks or goals. This is the time that we need to refuel ourselves after a long day and simply enjoy some TV on the couch.
Simply sleeping is necessary to consolidate learning and memory, recharge our bodies and rest. Many of us could likely benefit from more sleep.
After learning about these seven different categories I thought about which domains I spend most of my time in. This led to the realization that I need to spend more of my day participating in Time In activities. I hypothesize that many of us participate in more Down Time rather than Time In activities, or simply lump these two categories together in our brains. However, Time In is active reflection and awareness whereas Down Time is passive relaxation. Perhaps if I spent more of my day in Time In activities I would feel more refuelled than if I had spent that time watching Netflix.
You do not need to spend your time equally in each of these domains, it is obvious that most of us spend more of our day in Focus Time than in Play Time. But each domain has value. What is important rather is that we chose our time spent in each domain with thought and intention so that it is aligned with our values and goals.
Where do you spend most of your time? Are there any of the seven categories that you feel you should be giving more attention to?
Let us know in the comments below or on our social platforms.
If you would like to read more about the Healthy Mind Platter CLICK HERE.
Image used under Creative Commons license. CLICK HERE for the source. Image: time by Sean MacEntee. See side panel for further copyright information.
The current pandemic is something that no one asked for or chose. Naturally, it feels easy to lament about the freedoms that we have lost and the negative impact of isolation on our wellbeing. And that is fair, we have lost a lot, and these frustrations and feelings of grief are valid. But today I am choosing to focus on any positive aspects taken from this challenging experience, be it lessons, insights or gratitudes.
Here are five things that I have gained from quarantine:
What have you gained from quarantine? Are there any lessons that you have learned or gratitudes that you no longer take for granted? Let us know on our Wellness Wednesday Twitter and Instagram platforms or in the comments below.
Image used under Creative Commons license. CLICK HERE for the source.
Psychologist Christine Padesky, author of Mind Over Mood, has posted a new Youtube video on her channel that discusses activity scheduling and its relevance now for all individuals, not just those with clinical depression. Activity scheduling is a practice of behavioural activation, originating from cognitive behavioural therapy, that helps to re-engage individuals with pleasurable activities. The premise behind this technique being that re-engagement with previously enjoyed activities may help to stop the repeating a depressive cycle of depressed mood, lethargy and staying in bed.
In this video Dr. Padesky discusses three categories of activities to consider planning into your quarantine routine, either in specific time slots or more generally into a to-do list.
A reminder that Dr. Padesky highlighted in the video is the importance of preparing for obstacles and barriers that may hinder one’s ability to follow through with the activities that you plan for yourself. Not only is this an essential component of successful activity scheduling but also the key to success in all habit creation and goal attainment. Neglecting to take some time to consider potential roadblocks in advance may lead to being surprised by obstacles and giving up later on.
If you would like to watch Dr. Padesky’s youtube video check it out at:
Image used under Creative Commons license. CLICK HERE for the source. Image: activity by Mike Cohen of creditscoregeek.com. See side panel for further copyright information.
Getting through quarantine has truly felt like a journey. Some day's it feels easy and relaxing and other days it can feel truly overwhelming. The emotional journey is bound to continue throughout the remainder of this unique time but overall I have found that there are a few things that have helped push me through the challenges and help me maintain wellbeing. Here are my five tips to getting through quarantine.
What has helped you get through quarantine?
Let us know in the comments below or on our social media channels.
The initial image used with this post was used under Creative Commons, but has since become an invalid link and is thus removed. See side panel for further copyright information.
Jessica is a member of the clinical wellness and learning support team at FLEX Psychology. Jessica started Wellness Wednesday out of a desire to provide further opportunities for her clients to extend their wellness journey to all avenues of their life. You can learn more about Jessica by clicking here or by learning more about her and the clinical team at FLEX Psychology by clicking here.
Wellness Wednesday uses a combination of original, licensed images, and images used through non-revocable creative commons license.
While Wellness Wednesday is a non-profit project, we restrict use to Creative Commons licenses that allow sharing, modification, and commercial use under the terms of Attribution (providing appropriate credit), this license, and notification of any changes made.
Images are reviewed twice yearly to determine if sources have been removed. While the agreed upon license provided irrevocable rights to use, we chose to remove these photos to avoid any possible misattribution and confusion regarding the nature of the initial license agreement.
You can read more about Creative Commons licenses by CLICKING HERE.