Mind the Body at Work
There are so many ways you can bring mindfulness into your workday. One of them is to be mindful about your body and feed it, move it, stretch it, and breathe in ways that support your energy, your productivity, and your emotional, mental, and physical well-being.
At a recent two day workshop the facilitators made sure our energy was high so we could stay focused and attentive to the information being shared. Besides the interactive techniques the facilitators used, they set guidelines at the very beginning that gave us permission to stand or pace instead of sit. We have been so conditioned to sit that we often feel like we need permission to stand.
You can stand instead of sit at meetings, while you’re talking on the phone, while you’re talking to your office mate, and even when you’re typing. You can get a standing work station or be creative and stack a bunch of books on a table and put your laptop on it. Of course, if you want to get really fancy you can buy a walking workstation. Granted, this option is a little more pricey, but well worth the money in terms of your health and well-being.
Research is demonstrating that “sitting is the new smoking” and that sitting 6 hours or more a day has serious health consequences. So stand instead of sit whenever you get the chance and take breaks throughout the day to walk for 5- 10 minutes or stretch and breathe. These small changes can bring new energy to your work and lift your mood.
What you feed your body also makes a tremendous difference in your energy level throughout the day. In my Eat for Life class this week we talked about the difference between “power” foods and “junk” foods. Power foods are foods that help you feel energized and keep your blood sugar leveled out. Junk foods are what the name implies. (It just occurred to me… why would anyone want to eat something called “junk?”). Anyway, junk foods drain your energy because you have a quick burst and then you’re down for the count. At the same workshop I talked about earlier, people commented how everyone became brain dead after eating the large cookies set out mid-afternoon. A snack likenuts, veggies and hummus, cheese with wholegrain crackers or an apple would be a better idea. Or you could choose to take a quick walk around the block and you might find that urge you had for a cookie disappears. Since this type of food is not always readily available at the workplace, bring in your own. Start a “food bowl” instead of a candy bowl.
For more tips for being mindful about your body at work, read the 22 ideas to lift your post-lunch spirits and energy in the workplace! It only takes a moment to incorporate some of these interesting ideas and change the way you feel.