We often spend a great deal of time hunched over our desks, sometimes eating lunch while working and not even paying any attention to what we are actually eating. Do you ever reach for that last piece of cookie and are surprised it’s no longer there – you’ve already eaten it! We think that by working away and not taking any breaks that we are getting things done, but over time this affects our health. Here are some tips to Stay Alert and be more effective:
1. Take at least 2 – 20 minute breaks during the day, one between 3.00-4.00PM. We are programmed to be naturally active for 90-120 minutes at a time, but then require a 20 minute break to balance the glandular, immune, and nervous systems. When we are stressed and expected to perform beyond our capacity for prolonged periods of time these rhythms are disrupted. The lowest time of day for many people is between 3.00-4.00pm. At this time our cycles overlap in their low phases, causing a drop in energy and function. There is also a decrease in adrenal hormone cortisol during this period.
2. Support your Adrenal Glands by eating regular meals and healthy snacks between meals to stabilize cortisol levels. Avoid sugar, reduce caffeine and high glycemic carbohydrates that cause a spike and then a drop in cortisol.
3. Breathe – if you need some energy do Right Nostril Breathing which stimulates the Left Side of the Brain. Block off the left nostril with the left thumb and inhale and exhale through the Right Nostril. Or try the 4 part breath – sniff in one breath but in 4 parts through both nostrils and one long exhale through the nose – continue for 3 minutes.
4. Colour Therapy – Wear something Yellow or have a bright Yellow Cup or Item on your desk. The colour is cheery but it also stimulates your Navel Chakra associated with Mental Intelligence. Try sipping Ginger or Fennel Tea or add some lemon to your water. Rosemary Oil strengthens the nervous system, stabilizes emotions and is great to use while studying and problem solving.
5. Take a walk and clear your mind – this is often when intuitive thoughts come and problems get solved. If this isn`t possible take a few minutes to stretch – bring the arms up over the head and shake for a few moments, then come into a forward bend – do this a few times and then stay in the forward bend for 30 seconds or so – this can give you a new perspective.
6. Yoga. Bring both shoulders up to the ears on the inhale through the nostrils and shrug them down on the exhale through the mouth, and continue for a minute. Then do Figure 8 Neck Rolls – helps release muscle tension in the neck, which then takes more newly oxygenated blood to your brain, eyes and ears. If you are feeling really agitated go into the boardroom (when it`s not in use) and come into a downward dog (triangle pose) for 3 minutes – this works on the nervous system.
7. Look up from your computer throughout the day and focus your eyes on something far away for a few moments. Follow with moving the eyes up and down, left to right and then roll them around clockwise and then anti-clockwise.