Brand SpotlightYour Healthy Family


Your Healthy Family: Turning your brain from work to relax mode

Posted at 10:05 AM, May 18, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-18 15:07:29-04

Do you ever have trouble turning your brain from work mode to relax mode after a long work day? An expert who specializes in brain health has some tips to help you get your mind to relax.

"Burnout is the feeling of exhaustion. You can love what you do and still feel burned out. It's the feeling of I just can't do this anymore, or I don't feel like doing it anymore. I'm not getting the joy from it," Dr Marc Milstein, Author of "The Age Proof Brain," said.

He said to help your brain switch from work to chill mode, get work out of sight so it's out of mind.

"Our whole office can be in our phone or on our laptop, and also with the blurring of work-life balance, boundaries, it can feel like we need to be on all the time or be getting back to people all the time," he said,

He says with less boundaries, we're pulled in too many directions.

"If you've ever had that experience, you're like, 'I'm going to take a break, but I'm going to do some work emails or work texts.' It's not really a break for our brain," Dr. Milstein said. "Just the sight of your phone, just the sight of your computer can make it hard to completely detach and take that break."

He said studies prove this, so to truly take a break from work, put your devices away.

Dr. Milstein said another thing we can do is power down with a power nap.

"A power nap is something that is just 30 minutes or less. It keeps you in light sleep where you wake up feeling refreshed. Past 30 minutes, you go to deep sleep and you wake up in that kind of groggy, awful feeling," he said.

He said your brain can be like a computer.

"I tend to have a lot of windows open and then things don't work. And then I call it and the only advice they can give me is turn it off and turn it back on. Same thing with the brain," he said.

If you're someone who has trouble napping, he said just closing your eyes is enough.

"Getting that even that momentary feeling of sleep is enough to let the brain catch up, reset, feel energized, and we really need these little breaks," Dr. Milstein said.

His third tip is to microdose your vacation. He said to think about what your vacation mode is like, because you can trick your brain into going into that relaxation mode.

"If there's music you listen to while on vacation, bring it in for the end of the day. If you like to eat certain types of foods on vacation, you know what, tonight we're going to go out and we're going to get that type of food," he said.

He said this can trigger your brain to take a break.

"Taking even momentary vacations throughout the day for our brain, and tapping into what we love about our vacations is good, too," Dr. Milstein said.