When you feel pressured and stressed by work, life and all the nitty gritty details clamoring for attention, your nervous system and brain move into survival, perfect for putting out fires but hopeless for calming you down. Don’t keep pushing through the stress. One of the best things you can do for self care at work is to stop and take a rest to recharge your brain.
A lot of people get used to feeling stressed and easily burdened by everything they think they need to do. Stress becomes the norm, and change is merely variations to the levels of stress they feel moment to moment. The tragic side to this is that their intuitive wisdom and natural brilliance is trapped inside their stress response.
If this is you, here are three steps you can take for self care at work.
When you de-stress, you release yourself from reacting to the stressful nature of your situation so you can calmly respond with wisdom.
- Acknowledge how you feel.
It is amazing but when you articulate what is happening and how you feel even if it’s just to yourself, you create some space around your experience for you to see a way to deal with it differently.
- Notice what is happening in your body.
Just as you acknowledge your thoughts, you notice what is happening to you physically. How is your breathing? Is it shallow? Do you feel tight in your stomach or ribs around your solar plexus? Is your heart open or closed?
- Take a rest.
If you are feeling stressed and pressured, even anxious, you may be running a lot of adrenaline, which has a flip side—feeling drained and weary. You might think you don’t have the time to lie down or sit for a while doing nothing. Yet, if you rest even for five or ten minutes you’ll recharge your brain and have a new lease of energy. If you rest for twenty minutes, you’ll notice the difference even more.
It is easier to lie down and take a rest when you work from home. If you are at the office, take a ten minute break. Go somewhere where you can close your eyes, in the car, outside on a bench or in a spare conference room.
Here is a way to take a rest for self care at work that is very nurturing:
Lie down if you can, otherwise sit in a comfortable chair . Close your eyes and take at least three deep breaths. Breathe into your belly, hold for a moment or two, then breathe out. Make sure your out breath is longer than your in breath. After taking the three deep breaths, let your breath find its natural rhythm. Notice how much easier and fuller your breathing is. It is as if your breath is breathing you, soothing you, guiding you back to your center.
As you rest, put one hand on your heart’s energy center (also known as heart chakra), which is in the center of your chest, above your physical heart. Place your other hand on your belly. Be aware of the rise and fall of your breath. If you want, you can imagine that you are lying in a hammock on a warm day with the sound of the waves rolling onto the shore—or whatever floats your boat.
When you are ready to get up, do so very slowly. Maybe roll over onto your side first, or open your eyes for a minute before stirring the rest of your body.
Now, notice what is different. In what way do you feel better?
When you notice the positive effects of a short rest, you will feel motivated to continue with this new healthy habit.
Observe how your mind works differently and if your body feels more relaxed. Does your brain feel more alert? Are you able to see a problem or situation in a new light?
Let me know about your experience with taking a short rest each day. I’d love to hear how it works for you and also what you find difficult about it.
Nicola Walker has been an inner freedom coach and hypnotherapist for nearly 20 years. She is the author of the upcoming book, Joy in the Middle of the Mess: An Evolutionary Quest From Self Doubt to Success. She has developed her own method for connecting with intuitive wisdom to get clarity on challenges and decisions. Nicola works with entrepreneurs and leaders who want to increase confidence and belief in themselves, as they explore solutions to the pressures and stresses of success. She guides her clients to true success, freeing them to love their life and be successful.
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