Focus-Improvement Activities

Carla Roberts, Staff Reporter

           As we surpass the stage of netflix marathons and stress-eating, quarantine has become a time to evolve ourselves. Honing new skills; practicing more effective work or school schedules; maintaining and strengthening our bonds with family and friends who we no longer get to see–all are familiar aspects of our new reality.  We have tons of time at our disposal, and the larger issue is learning to utilize the resources we do have to make the most of these circumstances. Sound mental health and an ability to focus are paramount to maintaining productivity, and the most steadfast way to achieve those is through exercise. 

          You all know the deal with endorphins–they increase dopamine, and are most commonly released through exercise. However, what you may not know is that they also help to balance mental health and increase focus. Taking as little as two minutes to exercise can improve your productivity, and thus alter the course of your day.  Some exercises that have been proven effective include stretching, which helps lift mood despite lacking that endorphin-infused kick. Think lotus-pose, Warrior I or II, and sun salutations for a yoga-infused stretch. Cardio, which can be achieved through jump squats, a few brief sprints, or running in place, provides that endorphin rush with minimum time input. 

          Increased oxygen circulation in your body and to your brain increase focus and help to prevent disorders such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease or memory loss. Physical activity also helps to stimulate new neuronal connections, or synapses. Additionally, taking a few short minutes to get in some exercise can improve cognitive function and slows down the aging process. So next time you hit your morning or midday-slump, take a few moments (or longer, if you have the time) to improve your focus and overall health.