Start the countdown…120 seconds isn’t long but it is long enough to refresh your body and mind and return to work with a more positive and productivity-oriented perspective. Stress on the job usually centers around the concept of too much work, too little time, and while there may be various parties responsible for creating this quandary, only you can extract yourself and ensure you keep your sanity along with your job. The reason I choose two minutes is because it is just long enough to refresh, but not long enough to detract from your flow. Many people find it hard to stop when they are on a roll; when they are in the zone and don’t want to stop but find themselves slightly ripping at the seams. This is not a healthy way to operate, and sooner or later, it will take its toll. Instead take two minutes and try:
- Walking to the water fountain: get your blood circulating, your body moving for a second and finish it off with a little hydration.
- Putting on your favorite song, dancing a little jig, even if it just means looking silly in your chair: this is enormously rewarding and relaxing.
- Chewing gum or something crunchy (like an apple): the sound and rhythm of chewing has a relaxing effect.
- De-cluttering your desk
- Just looking away from the sreen
- Closing your eyes and breathing deeply: take full diaphragmatic breaths that saturate your cells with oxygen.
This isn’t about finding your happy place, it’s about keeping you mentally balanced and resilient in the face of stress. Letting stress pile on until the cow’s come home is a great way to feel spun out at the end of the day, and if you are living like this it may be time to pay a visit to your Park Slope chiropractor. We practice natural healing modalities including acupuncture and chiropractic adjustment to help regulate the nervous system and restore your musculoskeletal balance and we follow up with massage that dispels tension and promotes relaxation, improving your relationship with pain.
Dr. Karen Thomas, D.C., L.Ac.
…Well, maybe not just like it. But it is important to remember to stretch on the go. As you pass through each phase of your daily waking life, it is important to remember to keep your muscles moving so that tension does not accumulate. Tension of the muscles and stress/anxiety are inextricably linked in both directions so managing one will help you manage the other. When it comes to adding more stretching into your life, the key is repetition. Instill the thirst for stretching and your body and brain will reward you.
Those of us who spend significant portions of the day in an office chair are the most at risk for energy stangation, muscle tension and spinal degradation. Fight back against this damaging cycle by setting a timer for the top of every hour and taking a break from the chair to stretch it out: you don’t even have to get up.
Step 1: Shake your shoulders out. Feel how tightly wound you were after 2 hours of intense computer work? This is how much tension immediately leaves your body when you shake your shoulders.
Step 2: Treat your neck to a bit of flexion and extension, moving your chin down toward chest and up toward the sky. Gently move your ears down to each shoulder until you feel a decent stretch in the opposing side of the neck.
Step 3: Reach for the sky with all your might. Clasp your hands together with palms facing outward and extend your arms upward. Repeat this stretch in front of yourself.
Step 4: Place one leg over the other and gently twist your body in the opposing direction.
Together, these stretches take under 3 minutes out of a work hour. The reward in productivity should be enough to convince your boss. The more you can remember to do them, the better the reward. At your Park Slope Chiropractor, we are all about combatting tension. Call our office to find out ways to break the cycles of stagnation that we all inevitably fall victim to.
Dr. Karen Thomas, D.C., L.Ac.