The Mental Muscle Marathon - Challenge #1: CHALLENGE YOURSELF

Challenge #1. Challenge Yourself.

We’re not going to ease into this. Today is the day to learn something new or take on a challenge to meet a goal (that’s right – I have set you a challenge to set yourself a challenge. Insert wicked laughter).

Regardless of age, culture, gender or if you are studying, working or retired, using our minds in a way that it is not used to is a great strategy for taking care of your mental wellbeing. Doing something new can boost self-confidence and self-esteem, help build a sense of purpose, and help us connect with others. Research shows that learning throughout life is associated with greater satisfaction and optimism, and improved ability to get the most from life. People who carry on learning after childhood report higher wellbeing and a greater ability to cope with stress. They also report more feelings of self-esteem, hope and purpose. Also, it has been found to be possibly the best thing we can do to protect ourselves from certain types of dementia.

So today is the day to flex our mental muscles, break up the monotony and try and do something we haven’t done before.

Stuck for ideas?

Here’s a list I prepared earlier.

  • Learn to cook a favourite dish that you’ve never eaten at home.
  • Visit a gallery or museum and learn about a person or period in history that interests you.
  • Take on a new responsibility at work, such as learning to use an IT system or understanding the monthly reports.
  • Fix that broken bike or garden gate. Once you’ve done that, how about setting yourself a bigger DIY project? There are lots of free video tutorials online.
  • Sign up for a course you’ve been meaning to do at a local night school. You might learn a new language, or try something practical, such as plumbing.
  • Rediscover an old hobby that challenges you, whether it's making model aeroplanes, writing stories, sewing or knitting.
  • Watch a doco on Netflix.

It is up to you Hope Street Marathoners! Give your mind a flex today by learning something new.

We'd love to see what you learn or how you find the exercise. Share the love on instagram or comment on FB - #mentalmusclemarathon

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