A well-known Indian yogi, Sadhguru once said: “There is no such thing as work-life-balance-it is all life. The balance has to be within you.”
Like many people, I often try too hard in many areas of my life and get caught up arched over my computer and disconnected to my body. Through my yin yoga practice, I have found a way to experiment with being present; in addition to making me feel good, it offers me the opportunity to practice balance, self-awareness, and inward listening.
Some mis-conceptions I often heard:
1. Having body aches after sitting at your desk for long periods of time is normal.
Lower back pain, tenderness or tightness in the shoulders and neck could possibly indicate you are working under pressure. This is how your body speaks to your mind.
Suffering in silence or ignoring these tell-tale signs are not helpful to your long-term health and well-being.
Stand up, move around and do some gentle stretches. These seemingly mundane actions could be your saving grace. Coffee and restroom breaks or a quick chat with your co-workers are also great quick fixes, this aligns also with the Pomorodo technique.
A happy body means greater productivity and creativity, improves your immune system and enhances your relationship with your co-workers.
2. Exhaustion is progressive.
Are you pushing yourself too hard working to meet expectations and KPIs. A pat on your shoulders makes you feel appreciated and acknowledged. However, this usually comes with a big price tag as you drive yourself further to exhaustion. When you are emotionally depleted and burnt out, you will begin to suffer from chronic tiredness, insomnia, mood swings and quick temperedness. You might be the best achiever in your organisation but you could feel miserably at the same time.
Exhaustion is never good. Consider re-prioritising your demanding work schedules. Re-set your focus each day before you leave home for the office. Some gentle stretches, a short meditation to quiet the mind or 5 minutes of stillness before getting down to work will help, if you do it everyday.
3. Stress is good for me.
Stress is beneficial if you know when to pull the brakes. It is a feeling, an emotion or sensory input from external factors. It can either move you or break you.
Some of us love putting ourselves out there to experience the excitement of the unknowns. However, some may choose to stay in our comfort zone to avoid unnecessary tension and trouble.
Learn to befriend stress as it is part of modern life. Do not be fearful but learn how to keep it at bay. Be sensitive to your stress trigger factors and avoid them as much as possible.
Exercise regularly as it is one of the most effective ways to improve your physical and mental health.
4. Full schedules each day mean you are winning.
KPIs can be a boon and a bane. It can drive people to insane extremes. I believe in quality over quantity. I believe in real human interactions where you listen and understand before you deliver your expertise.
Filling your schedules with numerous appointments is good for business. However, do invest in some tender care towards yourself and the people who work for you as well. It takes a good amount of sincere effort and energy to deliver your best quality of work. My advice is work enough so you can return home safely at the end of each workday. Balance is the key.
Try this quick exercise to re-vitalise your body and mind:
· Choose a body part in which you need to release tension.
· Close your eyes while sitting. Breathe and quiet the mind.
· Begin to explore both body and mind. Examine any possible trigger factor: physical, emotional or psychological.
· If you can identify the trigger factor, breathe into it and acknowledge it. Refrain from creating more stories about it. Watch how it affects you in that moment. Then take a slow breath out through your mouth and let it go. Continue to breathe like this until you feel the tension slowly melting away.
· Open your eyes and think of something positive.
· Stand up and give yourself a few good stretches before you get back to your tasks.
Well done for taking a few moments to re-align your focus with your body and your mind.