For most of us this time of the year is a chance to rejuvenate.  With the sun warmer, the days longer and colour blooming all around us, we can almost feel the holiday spirit move in us.

It’s also a time we want to look, feel and be thinking our best. We need all the energy we can get to enjoy each day to the fullest and cope more easily with the added tasks and stressors that often find us at this time.  

To help you become the best version of yourself here are five tips for a sharper mind and body.

1. Exercise

No, you can’t get out of this one! The benefits of exercise are massive, not only does it give us extra energy and make us feel great (who doesn’t love that feeling after exercise?), it also helps us to stay fit and healthy and keep disease and sickness away. 

But exercising your mind is just as important as exercising your body. Fill your mind with knowledge and keep it sharp through puzzles and brainteasers. Better yet combine them both at the same time by watching a TED Talk while you are on the treadmill or listening to a podcast while you train.

2. Keep it positive

There is endless research on how our thoughts and words can impact our outlook, health and wellbeing. In the same way you feed your body good food, feed your mind good thoughts. 

Stop with the ‘shoulds’, ‘can’ts’, ‘I’ll trys’ and ‘what ifs’. Let go of the guilt, the put-downs and regrets. Surround yourself with people who are positive and don’t let the past hold your future ransom.

3. Own your strengths

How often do we focus on our weaknesses and not our strengths? And how much time to we devote to improving our weaknesses?  Could you imagine if we spent that time developing our strengths and passions instead of doing things we didn’t like or weren’t good at – how much happier and productive would we be? 

We also have a nasty habit of dimming our light within because we are afraid that we will seem arrogant, egotistical, or boastful. You have a purpose and you were given your strengths and talents for a reason – so use them! 

Give yourself permission to own that you are good at something and have the confidence to pursue it. Don’t let your doubt or anyone else’s doubt get in the way of believing in yourself. 

4. Keep learning

Once you have owned your talents focus on sharpening them. Commit yourself to never ending improvement and learning. Read books, attend workshops, watch talks, take courses and look at different perspectives.

Keep your mind open and alert. Examine new opinions and welcome the opportunity for others to challenge your beliefs and truths. How else will you know what you stand for?

5. Sleep

In our fast-paced, busy lifestyles we often treat sleep as an optional extra, but we need it as much as the food and water our bodies crave. After a restful night of sleep we feel better, our mind is sharper, our mood is happier and our bodies function better. 

Make sure you prioritise your sleep. Other tasks and responsibilities can wait. Often after a good night’s sleep you will be more effective and efficient and get through tasks faster than when you are looking through sleepy eyes.

How do you keep a sharp mind and body?