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  • How to Ethically Take Mindful Moments Throughout Your Workday

How to Ethically Take Mindful Moments Throughout Your Workday

Picture of Nadine A. Jack

Nadine A. Jack

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I’ve been up since 4:00 am. 

A wild night of partying? Um no…cause pandemic. Even if it were ‘normal times’ I probably wouldn’t have been out partying anyway. Wine, books and bed will win over clubbing any day. Ask my friends about me and naps, LOL. Back in the day if you made plans with me and I said that I was taking a nap first, know that I was not showing up to that club, that night.

Albert Einstein and Lance Armstrong were notorious nappers though, so I’m in good company.

Anyway, I’ve been up since 4:00 am because 5:30 am was the scheduled ‘test time’ to appear on live national TV, to talk about one of the organisations I help plan fundraising events for. 

By 7:30 am I was done, PJs back on, yet I was bouncing off the walls on an almost caffeinated high that the rush of philanthropy often gives you. It really does feel great to do good things.

I really wanted to take a ‘lil nap before getting up and feeling refreshed for a 9:00 am start to my workday, but I was full of way too much energy so I decided instead to power through instead. By the time midday rolled around though, my energy started to wane but I still had so much to do and with no nap in sight, I knew that I had to take a moment and centre myself.

So how exactly does one take a mindful moment while technically still on the clock without robbing your company of valuable time that they’re paying you for?

Well, if you’re a seasoned remote worker like me, then you would’ve found multiple ways to find balance long ago. Either that are you would be burnt out by now.

For you newbies out there, or for those of you still commuting into your office, here are some practical tips to being mindful, when your mind is too full and your body too tired.

1. Take naps.

Okay hear me out… to be clear, take naps on your time. So during your break times or lunch hour is a perfect time to find a quiet place, whether it’s your car, cubicle, work bathroom (ew, but I’ve seen people do it), and take a 15 or 30-minute power nap. You don’t even have to actually sleep, but rest your eyes and let your body relax. 

Research from NASA shows that a short, 26-minute nap enhances performance by 34% and overall alertness by 54%. Tell your boss that.

So unfurrow your brow, unclench that jaw, and breeeeeeeeeeathe

Slow down, pause, reset.

2. Do Yoga

Poses don’t need to be complex or last for long, but simple yoga stances can help release pent up stress and break up the monotony (and bad posture) of a sedentary position. This one takes less than a minute to do. Of course, implementing this depends on the type of job you have, and I’m well aware that not everyone works at a desk in an office. 

If you do, ever so often:

  • Pause what you’re doing. 
  • Stand tall and stretch as if trying to touch the ceiling.
  • Then slowly roll your upper body downwards and try to touch your toes. 
  • For a really good stretch, continue slowly sliding your palms on the floor in front of your feet as far forward as you comfortably can. (If you made it past your toes, give yourself a Scoobie-Snack for your downward dog.)

3. Try 30/30/30

Okay, so I just made this up, sort of. I can’t remember what the original numbers were but the concept is the same. If you work on computers all day, every 30 minutes look away and focus on something 30 feet away for 30 seconds. This gives your eyes and brain a break from that pesky and damaging blue light, stealthily emitted from most of our screened devices.

4. Gratitude

Let’s say that your work environment isn’t exactly conducive to any of the suggestions above, then having gratitude is something you can do with absolutely no physical effort needed. 

Find just 1 thing throughout your workday to be thankful for. 

You may have heard this, and I’ve personally found it to be true, that gratitude and any negative emotion literally can’t exist simultaneously. 

So, the next time you find yourself tired, stressed by a deadline or irritated by your colleagues, give it a try, what do you have to lose?

Thankful for that unexpected raise but mad that you got splashed while waiting for the bus that morning? 

Raise will win over rain. 

Your mind will automatically go to all the possibilities this recent raise now affords you, (maybe even buying a car), and for that possibility, you’ll be grateful.

So my darlings, it’s now 6:00 pm, and now that I’ve used up the last of my energetic reserves to serve you these inspirational gems, I’m going to bed. Grateful that I get to do what I LOVE every day for clients all over the world, and get paid for it, which allows me the flexibility and resources to help others.

See, it works.

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