It's been a couple of years now. We are all old hands at this 'living-thru-a-pandemic' thing and I thought it was about time I touched base again.
So, we know work life has changed a bit and so many of us have shifted to working more from home. (Get out of your pj’s – put some clothes on, brush your teeth for goodness sake.) And hopefully all our home set-ups are much better thanks to having a few goes of figuring out what does and doesn't work.
We all know by now that we SHOULD be getting up from our computers regularly, SHOULD be avoiding sitting on the couch with our laptops on our laps and SHOULD be trying to have regular breaks from our phones and computers (...all those things you actually probably knew pre-pandemic...)
Yet still, we know that so many injuries come from our bodies being stagnant and from not moving enough. And we know you perhaps still aren’t moving as much as you usually would.
SO, here are some new (maybe slightly unorthodox) tips to try:
Ø Take off your mask (in the case of being in your office). Whether at work or at home - go stand on the balcony (safely), in the garden, on the front door mat and take 3 nice DEEEP breaths.
Ø In through the nose for the count of 4.
Ø Then hold your breath and count to 4.
Ø Now breathe out slowly and steadily through the mouth (in a safe zone – don’t breathe on anyone) for the count of 4.
Ø Repeat this 3 times around.
This is magic. We don’t realise how important breathing is (it is HUGELY important – not just for the obvious reasons). This has the power to transform how you and your body feels. Trust me.
So maybe you're a bit used to hanging around home now. The novelty of leaving the house for an outing (aka freedom) or working out in a gym with a mask on has worn off. So here's a lazy option for you.
Go into your bathroom or the spare room (or even just in your living room if you have no qualms). Shut the door. Tune in to the music in your head or pump some tunes and just. dance. Move your body and shake it and twist it and fling your arms around and wiggle your hips and move around like a gyrating worm. Again – trust me. This is a game changer. I do this in the mornings when I wake up (in the bathroom, on my own, because I look ridiculous) and it’s amazing the difference it makes.
GET UPSIDE DOWN
This may be a bit unorthodox. And I uhmed and ahhed about sharing it – because – well, people can be silly and get carried away and if you hurt yourself doing this and we can't fit you in well.. do this at your OWN RISK. And only if you feel comfortable.
Find a wall, grab a pillow and pop yourself up into a headstand or handstand. Or even just a cheeky little downward dog position. Get that blood flowing to your head. My dad taught me this trick when I was at uni (and didn’t drink coffee) and told me that he used to do this whenever he needed a break and an energy boost whilst he was studying. I have definitely found it works. The blood flow to the head for one thing. But the fun in trying to get up and into position and hold it and breathe and you inevitably end up falling over a bit. Then you’ll try again – you’re playing. Like a kid. And once again – I know I’m claiming to change the game a lot here – but, just don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it mmkay?
And finally, the best tip. It is soooooo easy with everything going on to be so serious and get caught up in all the woes of the world (rightly so) and what will be happening next and all we have to do and UGHHHH why-do-I-still-have-to-wear-this-stupid-mask. I am definitely guilty of this – of being go go go and feeling the need to control everything I can and be organised and not let anything slip to the wayside. Luckily, I have a partner that is like a little kid and will frequently attempt to wrestle and tickle and ‘attack’ me until we’re both convulsing and breathless from laughing or trying not to laugh too loud to wake the baby. I have noticed how much this can help me de-stress and relax and help that tension in my body just eke away.
So LAUGH. Chase the dog around the house with a toy. Get into a dancing and laughing fit with the kids. Tickle attack your partner. Play some card games and get competitive and have fun. One of the best ways to de-stress is to laugh.
Ta da - Go forth and be joyful and kid-like.
And that’s it for now. A check in to make sure that you're still taking a bit of time for yourself. Some unorthodox things to try in some unorthodox times. Get off your phone. Move. Breathe. Laugh. Be Kind.
Hang (upside down) in there and we’ll see you all on the flipside.