Learn how to press pause on your day
The art of relaxation isn't a skill limited to planning nights out or long weekends and holidays. It also involves the ability to pause frequently throughout the day. This video suggests an exercise to help you press pause on your day.
Are you one of the many busy people who can't kick the habit of always being on the go? You are not alone. Do you find yourself on the go all the time unable to slow down when there is a lull or a break. Symptoms include bouncing from one meeting to another, cancelling exercise or social engagements, gobbling down food at your desk and attempting to multi-task yet never seeming to make progress. This is the road to burnout. If you practice pausing, you can prevent yourself being caught in this trap.
Pausing can clear your mind, reduce some of your habitual tensions and help you make more efficient use of your time and energy. Pauses can be taken anywhere and need last only a few seconds.
Try 3 | 4 | 5 breathing. Suggested by Dr Rangan Chatterjee who is physician, author, television presenter and podcaster, 3,4,5 breathing can be done anytime and anywhere. Make a conscious effort to have plenty of these pauses throughout the day.
You can do this sitting or standing. Make sure that your feet flat on the floor and relax your hands in your lap or by your side.
- Breathe in slowly and deeply to the count of three, expanding your abdomen as you do so.
- Hold the breath to the count of four.
- Then breathe out slowly to the count of five, maintaining the spinal stretch that happened as you breathed in.
- Let your breathing become natural and get on with the next task at hand.
Try to fit at least three pauses into the most active part of your day. You will find it easier to summon the energy for the next phase of work and your life outside work, and easier to get to sleep at night. The last of these might seem surprising, but short relaxation pauses during the day prevents the over stimulation of your system that can lead to insomnia.
You may also like to read my longer article which suggests a range of strategies to help recover the lost art of everyday relaxation: