I was recently reminded while I was presenting to a leadership team of major hotel chains how inundated you can get while working in a profession that is demanding of your time, attention, and overall wellbeing. I noticed while leading this group through a guided meditation how difficult it is to truly calm down during the work day. Legs shaking, eyes opening and closing, or an inability to even step away for 10 minutes from the laptop were just some of what I observed during the session. It took me back to the days when I practiced law and how hard it was most times to ease my nervous system. So if you are someone who has trouble falling asleep at night, digestive trouble, have anxiety throughout your workday, or feels that surge of adrenaline every time you hear a text or email come through your devices, try these 5 tips for calming your nervous system. They are ranked in order of the time you have at that moment to address your ragged nerves!
- In the moment: Let’s be honest. Most of the time we are putting out fires or inundated and reactive to what the work day is presenting to us. There isn’t time to step away for 10 minutes to meditate or take a walk necessarily. So what can be done? Use your breath. Practice either the 2-4, 3-6 method or the 4-7-8 method to calm your parasympathetic nervous system. The 2-4/3-6 is simple – breathe in for 2, out for 4….increase to in for 3, out for 6, for as long as you need until you feel your system calming. Or the 4-7-8, which is in for a count of 4, hold for a count of 7, out for a count of 8.
- If you have 5-10 minutes: Close your office door and silence the dings, beeps, and alerts on your devices. Close your eyes and pay attention to the inhalation and exhalation of your breath. If soothing music is helpful to you, play binureal beats with either a 432 or 528 hz frequency to them.
- If you have 30 minutes: Go for a walk outside. Get out into nature or just get out into fresh air. Move your body so the nervous energy has a way to dispel quickly. Sunlight also helps to boost our immune systems, so this is an added benefit during these times!
- Before starting your day: Wake up 30 minutes earlier or rearrange your schedule in the morning to allow an extra 30 minutes to ease your way into your morning.That might mean doing a 15 minute meditation when you first wake up, doing some yoga poses to get the blood moving through your system, praying, writing in a journal, connecting with your partner. Easing our way into our day joyfully helps to set up our days for less stress.
- Ending your day: If you haven’t been able to exercise yet, do it now! Try and incorporate exercise 4-5 days a week for 30 minutes if possible. Another great way to calm the nervous system is to take an Epsom salt/magnesium bath at the end of the day. Cook something you enjoy cooking for dinner…cooking can be very relaxing to the system if it is something that brings you joy. Diffuse essential oils in your room such as lavender and sandalwood for a good night’s sleep.
So now there are no excuses! Depending on the amount of time you have, try each of these techniques for more peace during your hectic work day!
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