I recently had a house guest (which was wonderful), but the evening after she left I found myself yawning at 8pm. I was tired.
It occurred to me that I had experienced the “mental stimulation” that I wrote about with my dogs. It also struck me that part of the tiredness came from being out of a routine that was ingrained in me far more than I realized.
You don’t really realize how much of a routine you are in until you are out of that routine. Just as you don’t realize how you have an accent or have become part of your culture until you experience life in a different setting.
I think it does everyone good to alter their daily habits and schedule every now and then. You see things you have taken for granted and you become much more conscious of your ways.
But build a little nap time in when you shake things up as exploration requires far more energy than rote.