How to Fit Mind-Body into Your Afternoon - dummies

How to Fit Mind-Body into Your Afternoon

By Therese Iknoian

Midmorning is often bad for people to practice mind-body exercises because they are in the middle of a period of higher activity. Sometimes as midmorning hits, your speed picks up as you race toward lunch meetings, or home from school projects, or off to another class. But that activity may be even more reason to take a few short moments for yourself.

No matter where you are, you can find a secluded bench, an empty corner office, a spot behind a building that no one frequents, or even an empty stairwell. Instead of running for a cup of coffee, do some meditation walking or some Qigong movements to re-energize you for an upcoming meeting or the rest of the morning’s flurry.

Consider these factors:

  • At what time of the morning can a break be taken?

  • How long can the break last?

  • Where is a quiet space?

  • What activity or method best fits the location and time frame?

Sometimes when noon rolls around, you hurry off to lunch and eat on the run, or grab a bite in the car, or at your desk. Slow down. Take time for yourself away from your daily routine.

Taking even a short break can re-energize and refresh you. And it may be the perfect time to actually do your routine. You can go to a mind-body class, or pop in a video, depending on where you are and if you aren’t home to do your own routine.

You need to do some homework by either planning your schedule (for example, calling around for a studio or class near your office), or having a video ready to pop in at home.

Think about your answers to these questions:

  • How much time can be taken at noon?

  • What movements can be fit that time?

  • Practice alone or with a class?

  • If with a class, is there a studio nearby?

Most people enter a slump period around midafternoon. Researchers even found that about seven to eight hours after you get up, the body slows down. So for many that time falls between about 1 and 4 p.m. — just when a large coffee mocha sounds really appealing.

Stop. Forget the large mocha. Go for 5 to 10 minutes of mindful moving about instead. This time of day may be great for a simple brisk walk, but be sure to use it to open your mind and clear your head. You may just need five minutes of a standing meditation. Or you may want to practice some quick Yoga standing postures.

Even if you’re stuck at a desk and can’t get away, you can probably sit back in your chair for a couple of minutes and breathe consciously and fully. You can also take the long way to the bathroom or lunch room, making an excuse for some meditation walking.

Evaluate these points to help decide the best plan for you.

  • At what time is an energy slump experienced?

  • How is it dealt with now?

  • What mind-body techniques can be tried instead?