If you’re a writer, you’re probably juggling a lot of responsibilities, and maybe even a day job, while managing to squeeze in a few hundred words in stolen moments. It can be a little overwhelming when you’re trying to bang out a first draft and keep up with your daily routine. And I know the last thing you want to do is add yet another activity to your regimen. But if you give yourself just a few minutes each day to relax and recharge, you might find that getting through the rest of your chores is a breeze. The next time you find yourself pushed beyond your limits, stop, sit, stretch and breathe. And within a matter of minutes you’ll be feeling brand new.
Here are a few simple stretches you can perform sitting right at your desk that will promote calm and clarity:
• Sitting tall on the edge of your seat, take a deep inhale as you reach your arms overhead, spread your fingers wide and stretch through your fingertips. Exhale and lower your arms to your sides. Repeat five times.
• Sitting tall on the edge of your seat, clasp the back of your chair with your hands and inhale deeply as you lift your chest, stretching your biceps and your pecs. Continue breathing deeply for five breaths.
• Sitting tall on the edge of your seat, plant both feet firmly into the ground, place your right hand on your right hip, inhale and reach your left arm toward the sky. As you exhale, bend to your right, allowing for a nice stretch of your side ribs. Hold this position and breathe deeply for five breaths. Repeat on the other side.
• Sitting tall on the edge of your seat, plant your left foot firmly into the ground and straighten your right leg, keeping the foot flexed. Place your hands on your hips and take a deep inhale. Exhale and fold forward, keeping your back straight and your chest lifted, allowing for a deep stretch of the back of the legs. Hold this position for five deep breaths. Repeat on the other side.
• Sitting tall on the edge of your seat, cross your right ankle over your left thigh, just above the knee (not on the knee), flexing the foot. Take a deep inhale, and as you exhale, lean forward over your legs, hinging at the hips. Hold this position for five deep breaths. Repeat on the other side.
• To finish, sit tall at the back of your seat with your feet planted firmly on the ground. Rest your hands on your thighs, palms facing up. Take five deep breaths as you close your eyes and allow the mind to open.
After just this short practice, you may feel a sense of inner peace and calm come over you. You may also have more energy and more clarity to get you through the rest of your day, maybe even get some great writing done!