Working from home? Here are some simple but effective ways to take care of yourself.
Simple self-care techniques that the Tickled Pink team share in both our workshops and individual coaching.
Don't stay sitting for too long
If you're working at home during the lockdown, don't spend any longer than 40 minutes without standing up. Staying a typical sitting position is bad news for our backs and necks (and can exacerbate other health risks). It also dulls our brain and suppresses creativity.
So get off the chair and go for a walk around the house, into the garden. Straighten your spine. Get your body moving. Try some gentle stretches, explore the ways that your body can twist and bend. Set an alarm or ask someone you're sharing lockdown with to remind you.
Refocus through your breath
As anxieties rise, it gets more difficult to keep a clear head and focus. The same worries and concerns keep revisiting our mind. If that's happening to you, take a break. Find a place where you can sit quietly. Close your eyes. Let your arms and hands relax in your lap. Take your attention to your breathing. Just your breathing. If you find your breaths are coming quickly and shallowly, slow the pace down with this technique. Count to yourself. 1-2-3-4-5 as you breathe in. Then repeat as you breathe out. Make the counting the only thing that your mind is focused on. Next, as you breathe in, count of five, try holding that full breath for a count of 1-2-3. Repeat after you exhale.
As you do this and your attention shifts, you'll also feel your body relax physically.
Do this exercise for a minimum of three minutes. But longer is even better!
Connect to the ground and breathe
This is a way of combining the above ideas. Un-kink the body after sitting and refocus away from negative thoughts. Get up from wherever you are and find a quiet place to stand. Outside in the garden or on your deck is perfect. Stand still with your legs hip-width apart and feet parallel. Relax your knees and draw your spine up. Relax your shoulders and neck but don't droop. Let your hands hang loosely by your sides - but turn your palms to face the front. This opens up your chest to breathe more fully.
Now as you breathe slowly, rock gently on your feet. Feel your balance shift from your big toes to the balls of your feet to your heels as you breathe and rock. How this transfers up to your legs to your hips. Feel your connection to the ground under your feet, reassuring and solid. You're in what's called "the Embodied Stance". Stay here relaxed and soft for a minimum of 10 breaths. Afterwards, your head will be clear and your body will feel energized and relieved.
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