Healthy Habits for a Healthy Mind

Healthy Habits for a Healthy Mind

17 April 2022 • Words by Erica Marcus 2 mins

We all know that we can have healthy and unhealthy habits. Some habits we develop intentionally, while other habits are mindless ones that we pay little or no attention to. If we don’t pause every now and then to evaluate what we are doing as we move through our day, we might miss out on establishing some healthy habits that can stimulate our minds, enhance our mental well-being and make our lives richer.


While we can form habits around nearly anything, in this post we are going to zero in on habits that help create a healthy mind. According to Dr. Daniel Siegel of the Mindsight Institute and Dr. David Rock of the NeuroLeadership Institute, there are seven dimensions you can reflect on when evaluating your own habits. They refer to this framework as the “Healthy Mind Platter,” and they believe it is essential to create time every day for each of these things to support a healthy mind. We can also create family habits that help support each aspect of our healthy minds. The more we practice these habits, the more established they become.


Sleep Time

Having a consistent bedtime and bedtime routine can make sleep much easier to come by. What habits can you incorporate into your evening to help everyone settle down? My family has recently added listening to Moshi Stories while we do some quiet drawing, which helps calm our collective nerves.


Physical Time

What are some fun physical routines you can add to your family calendar? Perhaps explore a new local park or playground every Saturday, host a weekly neighborhood game of soccer in the backyard or play a yoga video for you all to do together.


Focus Time

You might consider working on a puzzle together in the early evening or playing a game that requires some strategy or maybe having a set time and space for homework.


Time In

Time for inward reflection is important, and one way our family does this is by incorporating “Rose, Bud, and Thorn” into dinner routines. Each family member shares a highlight of their day, something they are looking forward to, and something about their day that was challenging. Another way to turn inward is to use mindfulness practice, like many of the Moshi Moments and Meditations. Perhaps you opt to listen to one together on the way to school each morning.


Downtime

Downtime has become increasingly hard to build in as we fill our schedules to the brim. Try to set aside some time each day just to relax and do nothing in particular, even for just a few minutes, and encourage your family to do the same.


Playtime

Kids are great for inviting us into their play, from art projects to imaginary scenes to building towers. Getting away from our to-do list and engaging in play with our kids can provide us with a reprieve and refresh our minds.


Connecting Time

Ideally, all of the above are opportunities to connect with family and friends. And just as important as spending time outdoors and connecting with the natural world.




It’s okay to start small. Talk with your family and choose one activity you would like to focus on. Try to be as specific as possible by considering who will be involved, when and where it will happen, and for how long. Then, enjoy building a new healthy habit and a healthy mind!

  • Erica Marcus

    Erica Marcus, MAT, founded Wise Minds. Big Hearts. in 2015 to bring mindfulness programming to students, families, and schools around New England. She now has the honor of applying that breadth of experience to her work with WholeSchool Mindfulness, working towards systemic change within a single educational institution. You can read more about her work at http://www.wiseminds-bighearts.com/ She is the author of two books: Attention Hijacked: Using Mindfulness to Reclaim Your Brain from Tech Daily Mindful Minis: Tiny Mindfulness Practices for the Fourth Trimester