Healthy Mind Platter

I think most of us have past experiences about a food pyramid or recommendations on how a healthy and nutritious meal should look like. But how many of us have heard about the healthy mind platter*? This was completely new for me until I discovered the concept/framework a few years ago. And what a discovery! I use this on a daily basis in my life.

It helps you to optimize your brain matter and create well-being. Initially you can use it as a gap analysis, do you get enough of the seven essential mental activities in your life?

*developed by Dan Siegel and David Rock.

The essential areas are:

  1. Focus time – When we closely focus on tasks in a goal-oriented way, we take on challenges that make deep connections in the brain.
  2. Play Time – When we allow ourselves to be spontaneous or creative, playfully enjoying novel experiences, we help make new connections in the brain.
  3. Connecting Time – When we connect with other people, ideally in person, and when we take time to appreciate our connection to the natural world around us, we activate and reinforce the brain’s relational circuitry
  4. Physical Time – When we move our bodies, aerobically if medically possible, we strengthen the brain in many ways.
  5. Time In – When we quietly reflect internally, focusing on sensations, images, feelings and thoughts, we help to better integrate the brain.
  6. Down Time – When we are non-focused, without any specific goal, and let our mind wander or simply relax, we help the brain recharge.
  7. Sleep Time –
When we give the brain the rest it needs, we consolidate learning and recover from the experiences of the day.

When I introduced this framework into my life, I realized that I did not allow myself any play time. I had totally forgotten how to have fun, to be spontaneous. Everything had become way too serious. Another thing that was missing in my platter was the down time. The time with no specific goal, where I just let my brain wander and relax. For me, introducing this framework has changed my life. It is so easy yet so powerful

I was never enough – the stress collapse was inevitable.

The sun was shining and I heard my mother´s words from when I was a little girl ringing in my head, “Jessica, the sun is shining, out you go”  But no matter how much I tried my body did not move and my legs did not carry me. July of 2017 was one of the warmest summer months in Sweden for a long time but that did not matter, I could not force myself to do anything. I was 46 years old and had lost control of it all. My body, my mind and my being were totally drained. My battery was totally and completely empty. I had worked so hard for years and this by itself was enough to drain anyone, but I was determined to make things happen. And in addition to this I had gone through some difficult personal things – got divorced, my son had gotten himself into some difficulties and had gotten myself into a conflict with my father, all of which just tipped the scales. It was too much to handle.

The breakdown was the result of the high levels of stress that I had exposed myself to for such a long time, finally leading to exhaustion, depression and anxiety. I had no other choice that to start over. I had no idea of how, I had lost contact with me, what I liked, what I enjoyed doing and I was stuck in just doing things without any connection with me. I had forgotten how to look after me, to do things for me. I had to reset and start all over again. I was a beginner and had no idea how to live life. I started to do nothing, to drink coffee holding the cup with two hands, I was being in stillness, walking slowly in nature, meditating and training on being mindful. To be present in the moment. One thing I found relaxing and mindful was doing the ironing. This was something I had hated before, but now I found stillness in it. The steam from the iron, the smell of the detergent and wrinkles in the clothes becoming smooth.

The recovery and rediscovery of myself and a new balanced life took time. I worked daily with journaling, meditation, yoga and I also had a coach that helped me. My coach, Mandy she is still crucial in my life and three years later I am so grateful that I made that investment in me!

Do I need to tell you that I believe that everyone needs a coach? We all have everything we need within us and sometimes we just need someone else to help us to see this. And for me the time to recover and get well was so much quicker and healthier with a coach by my side.

Thanks to the coaching process I have done some deep work with my belief system, including my limiting beliefs, my habits and behaviors that “took me down the ditch”. Do you need someone to help you get out of the ditch? Please reach out and book your free exploration session with me. Email: or send me a message via my contact form on the web site