Circulation is life. Stagnation is death.
This is one of the very first things I learned as a healer back in the early ‘90’s. For the masses of humans who spend countless workday hours sitting at desks and staring at screens, our essential need for movement greatly suffers. Before we realize it, the clock has ticked away and chipped away at our physical and mental vitality.
In this high-speed era we’re all living in, it’s easy to justify the excuse of ‘not enough time’ when it comes to nurturing ourselves. But in reality, there are lots of really quick, simple strategies for taking care of #1. Incorporating more movement and circulation into your workday is a good start for counteracting the negative effects of a sedentary work-life.
Taking short 5-minute breaks to move, refresh and revitalize can work wonders. This short break can relieve stress, improve productivity and efficiency, level up your emotional attitude and mental perspective, and help maintain inner and outer wellbeing if those minutes are effectively used. And movement can happen in all kinds of ways, not just with physical exercise.
Here are five easy ways to combat those grueling stagnant hours at your desk, staring at your screen that get you up and moving in the right direction. So, go ahead and give yourself permission to take 5! Your body and mind definitely deserve it and will reward you in spades.
This is much easier than you think! You can do this right at your desk, or you can head to the restroom, break room or empty conference room and just make circles with every moveable part of your body. Remember to BREATHE while doing so. Start with your eyes, actually… especially your eyes! They’ve been assaulted by that screen light for hours on end. If you want to hold on to what you still have of your good eyesight, be absolutely certain to circulate your eyeballs! First in one direction, then the other. Ten times each way. Then diagonals and crosses.
Then move your head in circles… around to the left, around to the right, ten times each. Breathe. Do the same all the way down your body – shoulders, arms, wrists, rib cage. For your hips and knees, you’ll need to stand up (mega-important for lower back health!). Finally circle your ankles. You can do that standing or sitting multiple times during the day. When you’re finished, give yourself a good shake from head to toe…feel your whole body tingle with delight!
We all sub-ventilate to our unconscious detriment. Oxygen makes our cells move about and do their thing on the inside with vitality and energy. Here’s how to get more O2 pumping through your system: Place your hand just below your navel. Now inhale so you can feel your belly (and hand) push out, then move that air up to expand the rib cage and up into the chest and shoulders. As soon as you’re filled all the way up, let the breath just drop out, all at once, completely relaxing your exhale, relieving any stress and tension you’ve been unconsciously holding on to. Just let it gooooo. Without pausing, breathe all the way in again, from the bottom to the top. Circulate your breath like this 10 or more times until you feel a wave of refreshed energy wash over you.
Since ancient times, it has been known that there are reflex or pressure points in the hands and feet that correspond to all the glands, organs and parts of the body. Stimulating these reflexes (reflexology) with the pressure of your fingertips sends an energetic impulse through energy pathways, helping the body to balance, or achieve homeostasis.
A few minutes of reflexology is a simple and effective way to get blood moving, nerves firing, oxygen pumping and energy flowing. Just push the tips of your thumb and fingers deeply into the tissue and between the bones of your hands, and/or feet if possible. Et voila, you’ve got movement just by pressing a few buttons 😉
Move your mind away from work stuff and turn it off…or at least down a few notches. Change the channel and refresh your mental browser. Move your eyes off the screen. Look out the window into the distance and stimulate your far vision. Now, close your eyes and intentionally move your energy down from your head space, 12 inches south into the heart space. Stop there and feel your heart for a minute or two.
Then, move your attention down into your belly stopping an inch or two below your navel. Breathe into your hara, the center of your body, and feel the calm that resides there for several moments. Finally, move your mind down to your feet and the Earth below you. Feel your feet on the ground and connect with the energy of Mother Earth. Breathe her energy up into your body and exhale with a sigh. Allow your mind to sink into the Earth energy and hang out there for a minute. This little mental road trip will refresh you beyond proportion.
One song = approximately 3-5 minutes. Crank up your favorite funk tunes (or whatever you prefer) and wake and shake those cells, bones and muscles by having a morning dance session in your bathroom (or wherever!). Do the same as soon as you shut that front door behind you at the end of the day… Quick, before you flop into the cozy couch with remote in hand. Get your boogie on and move to the music once or twice a day. It’s the medicine that will keep you young and vibrant and the corners of your mouth turned up.
For more helpful tips on staying active during the workday from coach Carol Piro, or any of our other awesome providers, call or book a 1-on-1 live video call today.