February 15 2022
Three exercises to help you focus – ideal for breaks from work
To work effectively we have to rest, there is no questioning that. But did you know that there are as many as SEVEN types of resting? Choose the one you need – for better focus and to catch a breath!
Types of resting
Do you sometimes reach for your mobile immediately when your break starts to browse the Instagram or you run to the kitchen to chat with your friends? Finally you come back after ten minutes feeling that your break was way too short, and you are more tired than before it?
It may be so, because you just need a different type of relax at this time. Saundry Dalton-Smith, the author of: “Sacred Rest: Recover Your Life, Renew Your Energy, Restore Your Sanity”, listed seven types of resting:
⦁ Physical rest – for instance good night’s sleep.
⦁ Mental rest – taking care of work-life balance.
⦁ Sensory rest – cutting yourself off from sounds and other sensory stimuli.
⦁ Creative rest – painting, singing or perhaps watching art?
⦁ Emotional rest – space for experiencing and expressing emotions.
⦁ Social rest – because we all sometimes need to be alone.
⦁ Spiritual rest – whatever suits you: prayer, yoga or going to an art gallery.
Once we know what the types of resting are, the question is: which one do we lack the most often at work?
Check out also: Quick and wholesome lunch at work
Physical and sensory rest
During short breaks we need to focus on what is really important for us at the moment. If you work at computer, you likely need to relax in the sensory and physical areas.
We often face the issue of the sensory overload. Especially when we are flooded with e-mails, messages, phone calls, meetings and at the same time someone at the office wants something from us urgently, (or talks loudly over the phone near us).
| Exercise 1 for sensory rest
It is a very simple breath-based exercise. Go to some quiet space during a break, or go outside. Close your eyes, put on headphones (they will help drown out some outside noise at least) take three very deep breaths in and out. It is important to concentrate on the breathing, not images, sound or even temperature. Just you and your body.
| Exercise 2 for sensory rest
The second exercise is all about attentiveness. While making coffee do not browse your social media. Stop for a bit, look outside the window, try not thinking about anything for just a moment. Relax your shoulders and your jaw and focus on just one sound (complete silence is hard to come by in an office!) such as clock ticking or water boiling.
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Truth be told, it can be rather hard to take a nap at your workplace (but if you can, than why not?), but for sure sitting in front of your computer for seven to eight hours a day can be tiring for your entire body, and especially for your back.
For this very reason, you should take breaks regularly and get away from your computer.
| Exercise for physical rest
To improve your focus and take care of your body at the same time, it is good to combine some yoga with some light stretching. You use YouTube tutorials (5-minute ones) or stretch on your own.
⦁ Raise your arms straight up and elongate your spine.
⦁ Make small circles with your arms to the front and to the back.
⦁ Turn your spine to the left and right.
Try to make every motion smooth, and remember to breathe.
All this exercises will help you work better and more efficiently. We also recommend the tried and tested Pomodoro technique: 25 minutes of work and 5 minute break, and a slightly longer rest (20–30 minutes) after four full cycles.
Remember that each type of rest is important and needs to be taken care of, both before and after work. Long enough sleep, meeting with friends, going to the movies or dates with yourself should become fixed elements of your schedule!
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