We all want to be successful in some way. I, as an example, want to be a successful attorney, yoga instructor, business owner, and overall human. As an attorney, I want to be hard-working and confident; represent my clients with passion and vigor; be a respected member of the legal community; and, of course, win a few cases! As a yoga instructor, I want to inspire my clients and give them tools to lead healthier, happier, and more fulfilling lives.
How can I be successful in these things, though, if I am tired and distracted all the time, my back aches, I am having trouble sleeping, I lack confidence in myself, my appetite is off, and I feel uninspired, anxious, and tense? Well, I can't.
To be successful in my career, I need to be an overall successful human. I cannot create inspiring work if I, myself am not inspired. I cannot gain the energy to work effectively and efficiently by sitting at my desk. I gain energy by CREATING energy . . . by moving.
The best times to move yourself are:
1- Right when you wake up- forego the snooze button, pull yourself from your comfy bed, and take a few minutes to focus on your breath and your body. It will be 100% more effective in energizing you than will hitting the snooze button and it will be as effective as - or at least add to the effects of- your morning caffeine ritual. It will also help you steady your breathing, leaving you more calm and content during that fun commute. Giving your body a few minutes of mindful movement with help you limber-up a bit, lessen your back pain, and draw attention to your posture. Starting your day off with a good choice will set the tone for your day and lead toward making more good choices throughout the day, whether its the choice between grabbing a donut or an avocado and egg sandwich or the choice between flipping the bird to the guy who cut you off in traffic or giggling to yourself because he is clearly stress-out and you are hanging out on cloud 9 with your calm breath and limber body.
2- At that Afternoon Slump- we all deal with it. the afternoon slump. We lose focus, our bodies are tight, and we are counting down the hours until we can go home. Productivity goes out the window. But it doesn't have to. A 20-40 minutes of movement and mindfulness (lose the screens!) can be like the ultimate power nap ---with more perks! Take a walk, practice some yoga, have a dance party, or do a short workout when you start to feel sluggish and you will come out a new person! Physical movement will GIVE you energy. No, you might not FEEL like moving because your energy levels are low . . . but do it anyway and you won't regret it! you know you won't. Mindful afternoon movement can also help you come back to work inspired, with new ideas and a better understanding of what you were working on. Do you every get stuck in the weeds on a project, step away for an hour and then the answer just comes to you? If not, you are the exception. Sometimes stepping away from a task is the best way to complete it.
3- After work- Do you ever leave work and the tension from the day follows you home? Take a few minutes during the transition out of work to clear your headspace. Leave work at work so you can fully attend to the other aspects of your life and truly find that "work-life" balance everyone is always fussing about. A little movement will help you shake off the day so you can recharge and be ready to hit the ground running again the next day.
4- Before bed- Trouble sleeping is a big problem for busy people. There is so much to-do throughout the day that when it's time to wind down and rest, our minds don't always get the notice. Finding a few minutes to gently move the body with mindful breath will start to clear away all that brain clutter and get you ready for a deep and steady sleep.