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Mind Over Matter?

“Exercising the Mind” Critical for 2021

 Many Americans will start the New Year with a resolution to focus on their physical fitness. A South Florida psychiatrist feels strongly that mental fitness is equally important right now as a New Year’s resolution,  as we face the worst point in the Covid-19 pandemic. Foggy thinking and record-breaking levels of depression and suicide clearly demonstrate the need for this.

That’s why Coral Gables psychiatrist Arthur Bregman, M.D., believes that it’s critical that we incorporate mental fitness into our daily routine. He suggests taking these five simple steps:

  • Improving concentration through guided mindful meditation or virtual yoga.
  • Playing “brain” games like Luminosity and Elevate to sharpen the cognitive ability. Crossword puzzles and Sudoku have similar brain-boosting effects.
  • Nurturing another living thing. Whether you choose a dog, a cat, or even a plant to care for, there will be mental health benefits.
  • Following a healthy diet. Fatty fish, greens, nuts, beans, and various fruits are beneficial to the mind.
  • Making 2021 the year to seek support from a mental health professional if you think you need it.
  • al health professional if you think you need it.

mindAfter such a challenging and stressful year, many people are ready to say goodbye to 2020 for good. While the new year is typically a time to create a fresh start and assess areas of our lives for change and improvement, making a big New Year’s resolution during these chaotic times could be counterproductive.

Instead, mental health experts at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center recommend giving yourself a break and taking some time to reset in 2021. Sophie Lazarus, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist at OSUWMC, suggests these tips clear your head and move forward with a more positive outlook in the new year:

  • Shift your perspective– It’s easy to get caught up in what’s wrong in our lives and miss what’s positive or going well. Starting your day by reminding yourself of the good things in your life can help you keep a more balanced outlook in the face of the day’s challenges.


  • Unplug- Mindless scrolling on social media can increase stress and anxiety. Put the phone and computer aside and take a walk, cook a meal, or ask your family about their day.


  • Be kind to yourself– It’s easy to be overly critical of ourselves right now which only increases stress and makes things worse. Pause to take a deep breath, a bubble bath, a nap, whatever you need that day to help you remember that you’re important too. Just take care of yourself.

Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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