“Once I have finished this I’ll have time for relaxation.”
“I’ll relax when I get home tonight”
“I don’t have time to relax now, I just have so much to do.”
“Weekends are for relaxing”
How is this for you? Does any of these statements ring true for you? In other words: do you make relaxation conditional?
- Relaxation can only be done after something is finished
- Relaxation is limited to certain places and times
- Relaxation is only possible when things are slower at work/at home
Do you also allow yourself to relax DURING the workday?
Do you allow yourself relaxation time at the workplace, when you’re busy, when your work is far from done? I know that my default setting is to only relax after things are finished. So I need to remind myself of the following quite regularly:
Relaxation is not a distraction from work. Relaxation is part of your work!
What? Yes it is part of your work, actually a vitally important part!
Just pushing on and pushing through without allowing your mind and your body to relax during your workday will negatively impact your performance. It is much harder to work in a focused way, to be creative and keep up your productivity if you don’t allow yourself a couple of minutes of relaxation in between.. It is also bad for the joy and energy you’ll feel in your day.
So gift yourself a couple of minutes of relaxation as part of your workday. Just start with 1-5 minutes of relaxation.
If you find this hard to do – two more reasons why you should allow yourself to relax during work:
Relaxation during your workday is also a gift to your boss and the organisation you work for, because you will be more effective in your work. So you are not only doing it for yourself.
If you only take time to relax when your batteries are completely empty it also takes more effort and time to recharge your batteries. Recharging your batteries during the day will help you to keep feeling energized during the day.
A couple of minutes of relaxation might look like this:
If you work in a busy and noisy environment. Find yourself a quiet spot somewhere in the building where you can drink a cup of coffee in silence.
If you work a lot behind your computer or stare into a microscope. Close your eyes for a minute or 2. This will relax your eyes (you will feel this immediately, I promise!) and it will also relax your brain.
Gently stretching your body to release the strain or tension that has been building up.
Doing a 3 minute mindfulness exercise or a breathing exercise. Breathing slowly and deeply is a great way to relax your body and mind in a really short time.
And if you are anything like me… you will need to set reminders
Yesterday afternoon I was working on building my new English website. When it was time for dinner I realized that I had not taken any breaks while doing this. I have a history with RSI and noticed only when I stopped that my shoulder and arm felt sore. Knowing that relaxation is important is just not enough for me. When I am working on something I can loose myself completely in it and seem to disconnect from my body and mind and what they need. So the soreness in my shoulder and arm made it very clear: you should set alarms to remind yourself to relax. So today while writing this blog I have set my alarm so I won’t forget to take a couple of minutes to relax.
If you are anything like me and know you can completely loose yourself in what you are doing…just set a relaxation alarm!
As always: I love to hear from you. What do you do to relax during a busy workday? What are barriers for you to do so? Any questions or reactions? Just let me know in the comments below or just send me an email.
Wishing you a beautiful day!