Chances are you spend most of your day sitting and hunched over your computer—and that’s not good for your health, creativity or productivity.
When you hunch, says BJ Dowlen, founder and CEO of The BodyWorks Ball, you’re cutting off the oxygen to both lungs and brain. “Take little breaks, stretch and move,” she says, “You’re not just working your muscles, but also getting a dose of those natural feel-good hormones, endorphins. And a happy worker is more productive, less stressed and more grounded.”
Here are some of our thoughts for creating those little breaks. All are easy to do, whether at office or home.
- Got wall—or floor? Grab a ball or foam roller and get rid of those kinks
We love the Bodyworks Ball (www.bodyworksball.com). When you lean up against the wall to use it– oh, baby!
Foam rollers are especially great for aching and tight calves and want to give yourself a little ART (Active Resistance Technique.)
Treat your feet: High heels won’t just give you foot ailments like bunions and hammertoes, but they’ll throw your entire center of gravity off, explains “Toe Whisperer” Gary Williams. That hurts!
Massage your feet by rolling them over a ball. Gary Williams also recommends taking a few minutes to talk around with knees connected, as if they’re taped together, to give the lower extremities a boost.
- Indulge—in moderation! Sometimes you just need a moment to stop, smell and savor a treat. Dark, raw chocolate is yummy and healthy, full of flavanoids, antioxidants and nutrients. Just remember: Everything in moderation!
- The office “spa” Turn lunch time into a 45 or 50-minute yoga class; the deep breathing and movement will calm and rejuvenate—and you’ll be ready to go back and face the afternoon challenges.
The holidays are long gone, but we’re still smack in the depth of winter, complete with low sun, bare trees, short days, freezing temperatures, snowfall after snowfall, and colds, flu and sinus infections—all while we’re officially back to our busy, hectic live
Stay grounded by:
- Exercising: Swimming, aerobic dance, yoga, winter sports, and weight lifting boost energy levels and flood bodies with those natural feel-good substances, endorphins.
- Getting light therapy. Ever Heard of Seasonal Effective Disorder (SAD)? SAD occurs when people don’t get enough sunlight, and that leads to sleeping more, overeating, depression and low energy. Combat it with special fluorescent lights sold in health food—and some hardware– stores.
- Capture energy from foods and plants. Many foods, like greens, grow toward the sun, giving plants energy to grow, so YOU can also absorb that energy by eating them.
- Practicing self-care: Whether it’s a warm bubble bath, playing with the kids or pets, reading a good book, meditating or just sitting by the fire, be sure to take a little “me time.”
- Raising your vibration. Let yourself have a small treat, like a cookie or piece of candy. When you constantly deprive yourself and live in that place of “I should,” you’re actually lowering your vibration, which leads to more overeating, over sleeping, low energy and depression.
Yoga, meditating, clearing your chakras and keeping fresh flowers and plants around will also do it.
- Eating grounding foods. Anything that grows underground, like carrots, parsnips, beets and more, keep us warm and grounded. Beets, are also great liver detoxifiers, especially helpful if you’re feeling tired and in need of lightening up.
- Keeping your thermostat set at 68 to 72 degrees. When it’s too hot, our skin, eyes and nasal passages dry out, we get headaches and our sleep gets disrupted.
Here we go! For the next two weeks, most of us will be seeing a lot of family, and that can be pretty stressful and anxiety-provoking. In fact, almost everyone we know has experienced it. We even know one person, a yoga instructor, who got so stressed at a family dinner once that she actually went into another room to do a yoga squat to ground herself.
With a little humor, a LOT of patience and some shift in your thinking, you will survive!
First, remember that it really is pretty much up to you. After all, if someone has been saying the same thing over and over again for years, chances are they won’t change. That means you will have to.
Here are 5 simple ways to come out happy and healthy:
- Exercise before going anywhere. Always. There are certain yoga poses that help to alleviate stress and anxiety—or run or take an aerobic dance class; they’ll flood your body with endorphins, those natural, feel-good substances. Stretch, because your muscles are probably already tight, just thinking about the day.
- Employ humor. Sometimes there’s just nothing else to do but laugh and think, “It is what it is.”
- Use a buffer. A friend, family game or outing—even a pet—can cushion and distract.
- Shift your thinking. When someone makes an untactful remark, think, “how else can I look at this?” Practice some gratitude as well; after all, even the seemingly worst situation has something positive!
- Don’t be baited! Never allow yourself to be provoked into an argument. Sometimes the best way to win is to ignore. Walk into another room, stretch (or like our friend, go into a yoga pose that will help to ground you), take a deep breath, count to 10, do a short meditation.