· 5 min read
Just Breathe! 3 Ways to Slow Down and Recharge
Feel like you’re running on empty? Try these three wellness exercises to pump up your energy in less than 25 minutes.
When was the last time you paused just to breathe? In the whirlwind of trying to balance work and family life, I often feel as if I’m on a treadmill. Some days, slowing down seems impossible.
Are there times when you feel down or lacking in focus or energy? Do you sometimes feel afraid or nervous in difficult situations?
So it was perfect timing for me when my NSF teammate Marcela Alarcón Rodarte coached a group of more than 40 of us marketers through a 25-minute wellness break. I found it a refreshing and enlightening experience. That moment of pausing helped me feel energized and lifted my spirits, and it prompted me to consider minor changes in my daily routine that might lead to even bigger benefits. I’m excited to see how far these take me in the days and months ahead.
“Practicing these exercises will allow you to use breathing as a tool to calm your mind and bring focus to what you need to do,” says Rodarte, Business Lead, Consulting, Training and Technical Services, LATAM. She recommends three ways to recharge (which you can do right at your desk):
Hang Out at the “Brain Gym”
Brain gym is a simple series of exercises that will boost your mood and memory and increase your attention span — plus it’s fun:
- Sit on a chair. Place your index finger and thumb on your ear.
- Massage the top of your ear and gradually come down to the auricle.
- Massage from the back to the top of your ear.
- Do this slowly 15 times.
Practice brain gym in the morning, after lunch or anytime during the day when you start to feel your energy slipping.
Take time to simply pause and breathe, inhaling and exhaling.
- Sit in a comfortable position with your knees bent.
- Relax your shoulders, head and neck.
- Put one hand on your upper chest and the other below your rib cage so you can feel the movement of your diaphragm.
- Inhale slowly through your nose so that your stomach presses against your hand.
- Keep the hand on your chest as still as possible.
- Engage your abdominal muscles as you exhale through pursed lips, still keeping your hand on your upper chest.
Emotional freedom technique (EFT) helps ease physical pain and emotional distress. Using fingertip tapping to apply pressure, this technique creates a balance of energy and treats pain points.
- Identify what’s upsetting you and/or where you’re feeling the pain.
- Rate the initial emotional or physical intensity from 0-10 (10 being the worst).
- Acknowledge the problem you’re facing and accept yourself in spite of it. For example, say to yourself, “Even though I have this [fear or problem], I deeply and completely accept myself.”
- Engage in the EFT tapping sequence, which involves repeating the above phrase while tapping several touchpoints on the body, including:
- Top of the head (TOH)
- Eyebrow (EB)
- Side of the eye (SE)
- Under the eye (UE)
- Under the nose (UN)
- Chin (Ch)
- Beginning of the collarbone (CB)
- Under the arm (UA)
- Rate the final intensity from 0-10 and see if you’re now feeling better.
“If we add up the time invested on these exercises and techniques, we are talking about 25 minutes a day to create mental wellness balance,” says Rodarte. “Twenty-five minutes is what we might spend on social media! So why not use that time for our wellness too?”
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