Happy New Year! I hope your year is off to a great start so far!
For a lot of us the New Year can bring excitement of getting to hit the refresh button and start a new year over, but sometimes that can come with lofty goals that add a little extra stress and concern of not knowing how we can get it all done.
One of the best gifts we can give ourselves is taking care of ourselves in order to not only be the best version of ourselves, but also to be able to have the energy and brainpower in order to get through what needs to be done.
Unfortunately, we have to spend hours at our desk all day long and with that comes exhaustion, stress and distractions. As a “stress relief” speaker, I wanted to share with you all a couple of the things that I teach.
I’m sure you’ve all been hearing for a while now how “sitting is the new smoking” and “we’re dying at our desks” and all of those horrible statistics. If you’ve been lucky enough to miss those horrible headings, I’ll give you the cliffs notes version: We increase our risk of heart disease, breast cancer, high blood pressure, depression and type 2 diabetes by 60-125% depending on the amount of hours we sit each day. And, we lose 20 minutes off of our lives for every hour that we sit.
Plus, after sitting for a while, we get distracted and our productivity greatly declines.
Did you know that on average when we get distracted it takes 23 minutes to get back on task? My buddy and distraction speaker, Curt Steinhorst talks about this in his speeches and it is a pretty scary statistic, but luckily there are things we can do to keep this from happening.
Did you know that when we get triggered (think anxious, upset, angry, super stressed) it can take us up to 18 minutes to be able to calm down to where we can think clearly again? As an accredited trainer in Emotional Intelligence I learned a lot of interesting, yet frightening facts from the Institute for Health and Human Potential. One being that we also can loose up to 75% of our working memory when we are really triggered, which is why we sometimes get to the point to where we can’t even respond to people and shut down or even worse, lash out and say something we regret later.
So, what can we do to manage our emotions and stress during business hours to be at our best and more productive?
One of the best gifts we can give ourselves is to take scheduled breaks. Even just a couple of minutes of getting up and walking around, stretching or taking time to BREATHE can turn things around in an instant to help us be more productive, creative and less stressed.
When we take time just to breathe, it sends signals to our brain that everything is ok.
If you are not quite sure what stretches you could do, I’ve got a library of 100 videos with breathing, stretching and coaching tips to help on my free YouTube Channel – Daily Reset Break. You can click on the Daily Reset Break logo above to find the YouTube link for the videos.
Another suggestion I always like to make is to do yoga. You can expect to release a lot of that pent up stress that you’ve been holding onto by being able to stretch out the places that store your stress the most. I know some intimidation can come up for some around doing yoga, but I always encourage my students not to worry about what anyone else is doing, but to just be grateful to have the opportunity to be able to give your mind and body such a great gift!
Just in case you are not familiar with the benefits of yoga, here are some of them:
- Increases clarity, focus, concentration, productivity and energy
- Relieves fatigue, stress, insomnia, depression, irritability and anxiety
- Reduces office drama
- Fosters creativity
- Leads to happier employees
- Promotes a healthier environment
- Increased energy, strength, flexibility and balance (men, that goes for you too and it could even help your golf or tennis game or any other activities you might do!)
- Heightened sense of lightness, joy and freedom
- Aides in the focus on breathing that can also benefit you in everyday life – relieve stress and lower blood pressure
- Fosters detoxification, pain relief, injury prevention, improved circulation, increased muscle tone and weight loss
And, if you are worried that you are not flexible enough or can’t touch your toes, IT DOESN’T MATTER! The whole point is to do yoga to become more flexible so we can age more gracefully and be more mobile as time goes on so our bodies don’t have to decline over time. And please DON’T say “I can’t do yoga” because I will always disagree with you. I teach my 87-year-old neighbor yoga once a week, so I’m pretty sure you can do it too 🙂
If yoga is not your thing, here are a couple of good breathing exercises to help you get started on a short break during your workday (in addition to the stretches and breathing you can find on the Daily Reset Break channel). If your boss busts you and gets upset, just explain that by taking a short break that in the end they will be the ones to benefit because you can stay focused and be more productive. Otherwise, remember, we might be looking at 23 minutes of distracted time when you get off task. And that could happen multiple times a day!
(These exercises are to be done breathing in and out through your nose.)
RELAXING BREATH: Inhale 4, hold 1, exhale 8, hold 4
ENERGIZING BREATH: Inhale 6, hold 4, exhale 6, hold 1
Happy happy New Year and I hope you find ways to commit to doing more things that relieve stress for yourself so you can be the best version of you!