In my last post, we talked about the issues with chronic siting. And now, here are some specific, quick and easy strategies to turn the afternoon coffee break into a mind-body reset!
Step 1: Notice how you are sitting
Create a movement diary and take inventory on a typical workday of the total hours spent sitting, from the moment you get out of bed in the morning until you go to sleep. This includes time spent at the dining table, watching tv, your commute, etc.
Remember to approach this self-assessment with honest and kind curiosity; no judgment or trying to fix anything.
Step 2: If possible, find a quiet place to reset
If you are at the workplace and are in a cubicle, see if a meeting room is available and setup for some Constructive Rest:
- Lie down on the floor with knees bent, feet on the floor
- Support your head and neck with a folded blanket, beach towel or pillow. The head and neck should be supported in such a way that the sides of the neck feel long, yet comfortable, and the chin is drawing down slightly towards the collar-bones
- Walk your feet out to either side and bring the knees to touch
- Place your hands on your belly and close down the eyes to help turn your attention inwards
- Take 2 – 5 minutes to focus on your body’s natural inhale and exhale pattern
- Play with equal ratio (1:1) breathing, where the inhale and exhale are of the same duration/count (this breath practice helps to balance the nervous system)
Step 3: Reclaim your seat
Once you have spent some time in Constructive Rest, you are ready to return to your desk with a calm mind and relaxed musculature. Use that body awareness to reclaim your seat with intention:
- Find your sitting bones, the two bony protrusions on either cheek just above the hamstrings
- As you bend your knees, shift your hips back and sit on the edge of your chair, on your sitting bones as opposed to sitting on your sacrum
- Rather than forcing your spine upright, wedge a pillow between the back of your chair and your spine for support or…
- Shift your hips back until your spine is supported by the back of your chair (you should still be sitting on your sitting bones)
If you are looking for more strategies on creating optimal well-being in and out of the office for yourself, co-workers or staff, consider scheduling a Define Me Workplace Wellness workshop (such as this one) for your next company event or Lunch n Learn.