How Getting Out Of Your Comfort Zone Benefits Your Health
Spring brings with it themes of renewal and rebirth, which makes it the perfect time to start new, shed old skin, and do something you’ve always been reluctant to try. Why?
Because stepping out of your comfort zone in a safe way can be good for you.
Sure, routine is comfortable, but does it push you to become a better and healthier version of yourself?
If something doesn’t challenge you, it won't change you. Changing things up is good for your brain. For example, if you challenge yourself to learn a new skill, your brain cells form new connections. The new skill literally changes your brain and helps prevent cognitive decline. Learning something new isn’t the only thing that helps the brain, so does social engagement.
Now’s the time to give your brain a healthy challenge. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, you can find ways to get outside your comfort zone and expand your horizons while staying safe.
Here are a few ideas to consider:
Set a Lofty Goal
If you set a goal that’s too easy to attain, you’re not capturing your true potential. You’re settling. It’s better to set a hard-to-reach (but still attainable) goal and push yourself further. If you come close to accomplishing it but fall short, you still made progress.
This year, don’t be afraid to set a goal that intimidates you. Imagine how proud you’ll be if/when you succeed? You’ll feel like anything is possible.
Change Up Your Exercise Routine
Ever heard of an exercise plateau? Just as your brain gets complacent with routine, so does your body. If you don’t safely push your body further and harder during workouts, you won’t improve; you’ll grow stagnant. If you do the same workout forever, your body will get bored.
This year, consider adding more challenge to your current workout. Incorporate new moves, change the length of your routine, or try a new type of exercise altogether. For example, if you’re usually a runner, try incorporating high-intensity-interval-training (HIIT) into your runs. Every 5 to 10 minutes, stop running and do body weight exercises like lunges, squats, burpees, or push-ups. You’ll fire up different muscles and work areas of your body that running typically doesn’t.
Try an Adventurous Activity
Trying a new, adventurous activity not only takes you out of your comfort zone, it can also help you accomplish a lofty goal. Depending on the activity you choose, it can push your body to a new level physically, too!
Despite the social distancing recommended during the pandemic, you can still take advantage of adventurous outdoor activities in a safe way like stand-up paddleboarding, rowing, rock climbing, hiking, skiing, or snowboarding.
Some indoor activities are still doable while maintaining a safe 6-foot distance from others. Try some of these unique workouts.
As a nurse, you already give so much of yourself to your patients. But there’s something to be said about volunteering your time, talents, and energy to a needy cause and receiving nothing in return. It’s the most selfless act you can do, and you’re sure to expand your horizons when you try something new. Many volunteer opportunities offer the chance for social and cognitive engagement, which we all need in these times of increased isolation and stress.
Not sure what to try? Consider:
- Donate or volunteer at a local charity
- Donate blood
- Explore the benefits of nurse mentorship
Plan Something Phenomenal
What have you always wanted to do? Whatever it is, now is the perfect time to start planning for “someday.”
Becoming a Better You
You’re already amazing, but your mind and body deserve to continue to improve. And if getting out of your comfort zone benefits your physical, mental, and emotional health, why not give it a try this year? Your well-being is worth it.
How do you plan to expand your horizons in the coming year? We’d love to hear. Tell us in the comments section to the right.
Missed the previous blogs in the #healthynurse Mental Health blog series, powered by Capella University? Read them with the links below:
Ways to Use Journaling to Unwind & De-Stress
Explore the Benefits of Nurse Mentorship
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This content is brought to you by
Capella University honors the work nurses and health care professionals do every day, which often includes providing mental health care for others.
Continue to advance care, and expand your knowledge, with an online degree. Earn your BSN, MSN or DNP in Capella’s groundbreaking FlexPath learning format. FlexPath lets you set your own deadlines, control your costs and leverage your nursing experience to move forward at your pace.
Learn more here.
Capella University honors the work nurses and health care professionals do every day, which often includes providing mental health care for others. Continue to advance care, and expand your knowledge, with an online degree. Earn your BSN, MSN or DNP in Capella’s groundbreaking FlexPath learning format. FlexPath lets you set your own deadlines, control your costs and leverage your nursing experience to move forward at your pace. Learn more here.