It seems as though these days, stress levels are skyrocketing through the roof. Am I right? No wonder that yoga, Pilates and meditation are a growing fad – the demand for their stress-busting abilities is increasing! For many who work in offices eight hours a day, or sit long hours staring at phone and computer screens, it seems as though there is little to be done about that lingering lack of clarity and balance that everyone so desperately needs. That is where the majority of people who suffer stress are sadly mistaken. Especially for those that have families, social obligations, or other activities that seem to pile up after work, why not try to incorporate some balance AT work? Sounds impossible, but it really isn’t.
Sitting at a desk doesn’t hinder anyone’s ability to force a little bit of tranquility into their lives. Bite Size Wellness has put together a list of breathing exercises and poses to do in any workplace that allow a little “me” time into a jam-packed schedule. A few minutes is all you need to stay relaxed!
Try these exercises and poses between e-mails, during your lunch break, or head to the office ten minutes early. If you don’t want to do this in front of anyone, head to a bathroom stall, a hallway, or somewhere where you can get five minutes of peace.
Breathe in for 2 seconds, out for 3 seconds
This is a form of yogic breathing that allows you to stay grounded and calm. Similar to when panic attacks occur, people experience a shortness of breath that increases adrenaline and causes us to become stressed, panicked and overwhelmed. Breathing in for two seconds and out for three combats these feelings. You can do this exercise through your nose or mouth, whichever is preferred. Allow your lungs to expand and your heart rate to feel slow and steady. You can increase the time once you developed successful deep breathing skills. Always make sure your exhale is longer than your inhale. Whether you are stressed or not, deep breathing is a great practice when working out, before sleeping or any time of the day. This kind of breathing massages the muscles and distributes oxygen to all parts of the body. The best part? This breathing exercise is both beneficial and low-key, no one will even notice!
Standing Forward Bend (Yoga Pose)
This yoga pose can be done virtually anywhere, including at the office. The standing forward bend, or uttanasana, uses gravity to gently stretch your back, legs and shoulders. Stand with your feet together and your hands by your sides. Bend your knees slightly and distribute your weight evenly between your heels and forefeet. Pull your abdomen in and bend forward at your hips and waist. Allow gravity to pull your upper body and arms toward the floor. Exhale, and allow your body to relax. Hold this position for 30 to 120 seconds. To come out of this pose, bend your knees, place your hands on your lower back and slowly stand up.
Under-desk Leg Extension
While sitting at your desk, raise one leg up at a time, fully extending through your foot. Make sure your foot is dorsi-flexed for optimum hamstring extension. This gets the blood flowing to your knees, calves, and ankles. Do this on each side 10 times. This is another low-key exercise that is unnoticeable. Doing this throughout the day adds a bit of movement into the body which is g great thing because physical activity is proven to lower stress!
Walk around the block
Take your lunch break, or 10 minutes after a long call or meeting to take a walk around the block. If there’s nowhere to go, walk around your office building for a few minutes. Walking around to take your mind off something allows us to focus on something besides work. It provides a refresher so when we get back to the office; we have a clear head to begin working. This is especially great for when stuck on a project as well. Use those 10 minutes to listen to music and get creative juices flowing.
De-stressing your life at work is simple. Between breathing exercises and actual exercises, we can allow balance back into our life.
How do you get rid of stress in your office or workplace?