Working at your computer for long stretches and pushing yourself mentally to meet your writing goals can be tiring — and sometimes stressful. Sometimes there just isn’t as much variety and energizing activity in our workday as there could or should be. But there are some fast and easy ways to recharge yourself so you can get the most from your writing time. Here are a few that might prove helpful as you start your work week:
Simple exercises: Even just getting up and moving briefly can help bring oxygen to your brain and the rest of your body — and produce endorphins that can soothe and uplift you. One fitness expert suggests keeping a jump rope in your work area and pulling it out for a few minutes when you feel yourself getting tired or tight. A few sets of jumping jacks or sit-ups can be equally effective — and so are yoga stretches.
Heart Opening: Stress expert Wendy Duncan offers an intriguing breathing technique that’s designed to synchronize your heart and mind; it was developed in the 1970s to help heart-transplant patients. Using it can reduce stress and restore calmness and clarity. There are three simple steps: First, place your left hand over your heart and imagine your breath flowing through your heart. Second, breathe in for four counts and then out for four counts. Third, imagine feelings of peace, love, joy or compassion radiating out of your heart like beams of light.
Visualizing: Closing your eyes while sitting up or lying down and then focusing in your mind’s eye on a calming image — a beach or spring meadow — can also be very relaxing. Or you can imagine a lavender-colored healing light moving through your body — and releasing any pain or stress you feel.
Aromatherapy: Using essential oils is another simple, but powerful way to bring a touch of healing calm to your day. Popular oils are lavender and rose to relieve anxiety, peppermint to energize, and marjoram to encourage relaxation. Here’s an easy technique: put a couple drops of oil on the first three fingertips of both hands. Next, place your hands under your nose in the prayer position, index fingers resting against your lips, and slowly and deeply breathe in the soothing scent. You can also put a bit of the oil on the underside of your wrists and then rub them together. I keep a a small bottle of peppermint oil near my desk for a quick pick-me-up. Why not try it?