Tension, headaches or mood swings
Keeping our balance is one of the biggest challenges in this modern world. A nice flow between relaxation and tension, yourself and your job. Ideal would be to have both, time for work and for yourself at the same time.
When you are out of balance, you may feel tension in your shoulders or lower back, headaches, mood swings and loss of energy. These are all symptoms from your body that tells you to stop for a minute and to make you aware of you and your balance. It wants you to take care of yourself.
In a workplace this means that you work but also pay attention to what you feel. Is your seat in the right position and your desk at the right height? Are your elbows resting on your desk or armrests? Do you feel comfortable in the chair or is there any tension in your body? Are you easily distracted by your surroundings, noises or colleagues?
Well, there are some things you can do to take better care of yourself within a working environment. Besides getting your seat and desk in the right position, you can do something about your posture. Set your alarm for 3 minutes and take a moment to feel what your body is telling you. (And no, this is not a long time to ‘do nothing’. 3 minutes is what it takes for you to get up and get some coffee ?).
Take 3 minutes for yourself
Okay, let’s go:
- Focus on a point in front of you and let your hands rest on your upper legs. Don’t look at the point, just stare.
- Now feel your back against the chair, your butt on the chair and if you are really sitting in the chair. Are you using its full potential? Are you letting it support you? No? Make sure it does, it’s what a chair is for!
- Feel your feet on the ground, are they solid on the ground, not just floating? Now try to feel from your head, through your neck and shoulders, through your back (against the chair), through your butt (on the chair), into your legs, knees and all the way to your feet. Do you feel tension anywhere?
- Take a deep breath and do it again. From the top of your head to your feet. Try to let go of all the tension you feel while going through your body. Keep doing that until your alarm goes off.
- Take a deep breath, focus on what you see. Roll your shoulders back and forth a couple of times. Now you can go back to what you were doing.
You just took a moment to reset your body. Try to do this once a day or more if you feel like you need it. If you came across tension that you could not let go, try to do this exercise at home before you go to sleep. If the tension is still painful or getting worse, check with a physical therapist or your GP.
Look out for yourself and take care of yourself!
Carolien Bazelmans, Boerrigter Fysiotherapie, Eindhoven, member of H4i
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