This tip is for those days when we are absolutely running, mentally, emotionally, or physically (perhaps all three!) all day. We've all had those days: marathon exams at school, huge presentations, clients in for all day meetings and then dinner and social events with them at night. These are the days when we feel pushed to our limits: we have to perform at extremely high levels and we can't give up on the energy output regardless of how we feel inside. You know about these days, don't you?
On days like this we may not even be able to string together ten minutes of alone time and, yet, we need it. Badly. The trick to keep your stamina up and to be able to proceed through your day with verve and clarity is to make sure you take mental breaks.
It doesn't matter if you have 5 minutes, the key is to just allow it to happen. Here's how:
- Separate yourself from the crowd.
- Find silence if possible, or plug in earphones and listen to soothing music (this is especially useful if you find that you have a mind that won't quit jumping from thought to thought).
- Squeeze and release muscles by starting with your feet and working your way up, muscle group by muscle group. So you would squeeze and release your feet, calf muscles, thighs, hips, butt, low back and abdomen, upper back and chest, hands, shoulders and arms, throat, face, and finally, mind. Squeeze for about 4-5 seconds, then release. You will be amazed at how much tension you are holding throughout your body. This simple yet powerful exercise will help you move some of that out.
- Breathe deeply. Take some deep belly breaths, maybe 10 to 15.
- Be grateful for your ability to take care of yourself. Thank your body and mind for the hard work they do for you.
This process is one I use a lot. I love it because it not only allows me to take care of myself, but it becomes a process of gratitude.
Give it a try, you will like it.
Check out the first five in this series of twenty: