Although most people think they could never meditate, they just might be wrong
BestMe led an interactive Workplace Wellness session focusing on smart tweaks we can make to our workdays to get more energy and feel healthier and happier.
Feel Better and Get More Done During the Workday
We all know that we get our best work done when we are feeling our best. The workday is usually full of stress, and it's easy to lose sight of taking care of ourselves. But little self-care habits peppered into the workday can make a huge impact on your health and productivity.
Following a workshop on Workplace Wellness with coworking network KettleSpace led by BestMe co-founder Chris Bradicich and personal trainer Aylon Pesso, we've laid out some key takeaways on smart strategies work smart and step up your self-care game below.
Importance of Posture
With our jobs often tethering us to chairs and computers, it is easy to sit for most of the day and lose sight of good posture. But did you know that when you sit or stand tall and your shoulders are back, you get a big spike in oxygen to your brain and a consequent boost in energy? When you need a boost - and really just throughout the day, give yourself a chance to stand tall, lift your shoulders, set them back, take a deep breath, engage your core and use good posture.
And as it turns out, Kettle is set up perfectly with standing desks at the bar area where you can work standing up. Give it a try!
Stretching to Success
The group agreed that it is easy to get tightness throughout the hips and back as a result of sitting a lot. It's part of the 21st century lifestyle! But in addition to sitting tall and standing more often, you can relieve tightness with some smart stretches.
Aylon highlights that doing stretches at your desk is a great quick way to ease tightness in the hips and recommends some favorites, such as (e.g., the Figure 4 Stretch and the Pelvic Forward Tuck) for the hips and several stretches for the neck (Slow Rolls - slowly rolling your neck around in circles, The Chicken - moving your head forward and tucking it back, The Egyptian - moving your head from side to side).
Remember, everything is connected, so a pain in the neck could be a result of an issue in the hips or knees or feet. Stretch, strengthen, and explore all parts of the body. If you have a chronic issue, don't forget to see a professional, whether a doctor, massage therapist, physical therapist, fitness trainer, or a combination.
Squeezing little workouts into your day is a great way to get your blood pumping a bit and increase your energy level. Some great suggestions here included walking during meetings, running when you need to make a decision or overcome stress, and doing push-ups or squats. Doing even just 2 pushups at a steady table, counter, stairs, or anything else is a great way to squeeze in a little bit of a workout and exercise.
And remember to inject fun into your workouts. Because if you're not enjoying fitness, you're not going to do it. Find something you find fun, make it a game, get up, and keep moving! And remember that making fitness social and even getting a trainer can really help your results.
Keep Your Goals in Mind
Setting goals is a powerful way to structure your efforts and energy so that you can accomplish great things. But inevitably in the business of our modern working lives, other things pop up that distract us from our core goals. A smart way to plan ahead for this is to bring reminders of your goals into your environment so that you'll see them every day. Keeping a photo of your goals on your desk, on a whiteboard, on your smartphone background or on a recurring calendar entry provides you with a trigger to keep them at the forefront and inspire you to take action. A great way to make this fun is to use a picture that reminds you of your goal. Try to find one of you doing something you love, or you at your happiest point.
More broadly, surround yourself with a group of people who share your passion and your goal, who can support you in accomplishing it and take some of the work out of reaching it. That old adage that you are a product of the 5 people you spend the most time with? There's a lot of wisdom in there!
Meditate through Challenges
A powerful way to overcome a challenging situation in your business, whether an intimidating conversation or task or an opportunity that is causing you some hesitation is to activate the power of appreciation. Leveraging the latest neuroscience and techniques recommended by Tony Robbins, Chris led an exercise to fix your mind on any problem, then turn your heart to appreciation of something you are grateful for, and a coincidence that brought you joy and good fortune. When you've internalized this, the answer to the question "All I need to do is ________" becomes much clearer, and you will have unexpected power to act boldly and effectively.
More broadly, keep in mind that meditation does not need to be defined by you sitting on a cushion and saying "Om." Meditation is really the ability to get out of your own head by focusing on something (e.g., your breath, running, playing music, etc.) enough that it turns into a concentration state of flow. A key meditation "hack" is that most of the benefit actually comes from slowing your breathing to 6-8 breaths per minute - so if you ever need to reduce stress in the moment, focus on extending your breaths and within 60 seconds your cortisol levels (neurotransmitters for stress) will drop significantly, and your level of calm and focus will spike.
Interested in more? Here's a more full set of some of the ideas that we brainstormed together.