It’s four o’clock in the afternoon, and you find yourself nodding off at your desk. You muster up what little energy you have left and make your way to the break room in search of an antidote. Your mind and body on auto pilot, directing you towards “something sweet” and a cup of coffee.
Or perhaps you’ve been working at the computer for hours when suddenly your vision begins to blur. Realizing you’re on the verge of a tension headache, you down three Tylenol® (the recommended dose stopped working a few months ago) and get back to work.
Don’t feel too bad if either of these scenarios seems familiar; it probably means you’ve been working very hard. The real issue lies in your choice of solutions. Next time you find yourself without energy, or on the verge of a headache, try doing a little office yoga.
Yoga, a practice which combines exercise with relaxation and breathing, is something that can be done in the privacy of your own office, often while sitting in your chair. Here are a few simple stretches that are sure to help:
For low energy and fatigue – Sit near the edge of your chair, holding onto the sides of your seat. Gently stretch your chest forward and up. Tilt your head back, and breathe deeply in and out through your nose. Relax into the stretch while allowing oxygen to pass through your body.
While standing, raise both arms above your head and grab your left wrist with your right hand. Gently stretch to the right while breathing through your nose. Switch sides and repeat.
For headaches and eye strain – Place your index fingers directly above the middle of your eyebrows. Press with your fingers and hold. Close your eyes and breathe deeply through your nose.
If you’re working at the computer, try to refocus your eyes every ten minutes by looking out the window. Once an hour, take a moment to close your eyes and allow your face to soften. Slowly roll your eyes in a circle. Take a few breaths and return to action.
Practice these techniques, and before long you’ll be replacing caffeine and acetaminophen with good ol’ oxygen and streching.