Jean- Michel, our soon to be CEO, is a health and wellbeing advocate and has shared with us his favourite stretches and exercises to do from your desk while we’re still WFH.
*As a little disclaimer, Jean-Michel is not a qualified practitioner but has been practising the art of yoga and meditation over the last 25 years.
While we work, due to bad posture and the concentration on work itself, we tend to accumulate a few different tensions, physical and mental. Here are some tips and exercises that can help release them…
With less, or no tensions, we free ourselves of unnecessary worries. We feel better and are ultimately more efficient too! If you only practice these exercises when you feel strained, you’ll get some benefit from it but if you build them as a routine in your day… In little time you’ll feel constantly better! Let’s start!
Our eyes are constantly working, moving often from one screen to another. They accumulate a lot of tension…
– Take your glasses off if you wear some. Close your eyes and take a big breath.
– Now open them and WITHOUT moving your head: Look up as you inhale and down as you exhale. (It is important to link the movement with the breath!)
– Do the same sideways. Stretch your eyes as far as you can go.
– Now right up to left down and feft up to right down: Remember to breathe with the movement.
– You can now enjoy a circular movement: Circle from the right then from the left.
– When you have done this rub the palm of your hands until they are warm. Put them on your eyes.
All these should take you no more than 45 seconds. Try to do it twice in the morning and twice in the afternoon.
Another key part of the body that accumulates tension
– Sit straight as if a wire is pulling you up! It is often better to sit on the edge of you chair to achieve that.
– Raise your arms up, keeping your shoulders loose… Stretch up as you inhale and exhale coming down in a nice circle!
– Now move your shoulder up (Inhaling) and down (exhaling)
– Let move our shoulders up and back in a circular motion and down (Stretch!!!) and back up… Do it the other way around… Down, back and up and down (Still in a circular motion)
Gently, as the neck is very sensitive. Close your eyes as you do this one!
– Move your head right, inhale, back centre, exhale.
– Same left and up and down
– And in a circular motion very slowly and breathing too
An issue? Some stress related to an issue?
Close your eyes and try to visualise what the cause may be. Open your hands and put this stress in the palm of your hands. Close your hands in a tight fist as you inhale deeply, closing the stress in. Now throw what is in your hands as strongly as you can on the floor as you exhale (loudly) and shake your hands as if to clean it straight off!
Try it now. How do you feel? This one really works wonders for me!
Neurosciences have proven that concentrating fully on some work is the best way to get results: It is called deep work.
When you have something important to do, disconnect your Wifi, put your phone on airplane mode so you cannot be distracted or disturbed. Work, concentrating only on the work in hand for 20 minutes. Just that one particular project. Give it a go! I used to think I was soooo efficient working with music and the TV and… I tried and… It worked! Actually, It’s exactly what I have had to do as I write this blog post!
What works wonders as well is to sequence the day with minute breaks… Between meetings or tasks, isolate yourself (The bathroom is always available for that!)
– Close your eyes. You can sit upright or be standing. Count 1 and inhale and exhale softly, count 2 and again inhale and exhale softly again…
-Do it ten times
– Try as you count and breathe not to think of anything else but feeling the air at the tip of your nose coming in and out… And if you have thoughts coming, look at them with a distance and re-concentrate on your counting / Breathing…
Stress is the answer to external or internal factors. It may not be the budget, the colleague, the partner, the children, the situations we face at work that stress us, we typically cause ourselves more stress! Understanding this is crucial.
The next time something or someone creates stress, ask yourself this: “Is this stress the best answer to this situation? What could I do differently and positively for myself?” The way we live our lives does not depend on what happens in our lives, It depends on the choices we make to live it the best way for ourselves.
So here are some basics. I hope you find these little snippets even the smallest bit helpful and If you build them in your daily routine you should see some real benefits quickly in the way you focus, think positive and live today looking up. Smile at yourself and to the world around you! We have so much to be grateful for.