Do you find disconnecting after a long day difficult?
If you answered yes, you’re not alone. Actually, one study shows that 69% of people find work and personal life practically inseparable. More people admit to finding themselves not only checking email all evening, but “pressing refresh on gmail to see if new work has come in.”
This has only gotten worse in the last few years, with technology making people accessible at all hours. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that people are being productive. In a recent Op-Ed in The New York Times, the author highlighted how “spending more hours at work often leads to less time for sleep and insufficient sleep takes a substantial toll on performance. In a study of nearly 400 employees, published in 2012, researchers found that sleeping too little — defined as less than six hours each night — was one of the best predictors of on-the-job burn-out. A recent Harvard study estimated that sleep deprivation costs American companies $63.2 billion a year in lost productivity.”
I’ve reached out to Yoga Guru and co-founder of Prana Exchange, Pablo Lucero, and asked him to guide me through an exercise that can be done daily when it is time to rest that mind. Ready to disconnect?
1. When it’s time to disconnect, find a quiet space and STOP everything that you are doing. That means turning OFF (not silence or airplane mode) all electronic devices for as much time as you need to disconnect.
2. SIT and take your shoes off and move your toes. Close your eyes and notice your breath. The breath connects the body to the brain, so when we start breathing deeply and are aware of our breath, the body and mind respond by relaxing. Take deep breaths, filling up your entire belly and chest. Then exhale, letting your body deflate like a balloon, relaxing your neck and shoulders.
3. Continue to BREATHE deeply, but slow it down. Continue to relax the jaw, open and close the mouth, move the head from side to side, up and down, slowly. Continue to breath, exhale the head to the right side and inhale back to center, now exhale the head to the left and inhale back to center. Good. See the slower we move the more refined the action, we become more attuned to the breath, thus creating more awareness of this moment.
4. Time to stretch. Stand up straight and separating the feet hips width apart, inhale the arms over head and extend fully through the finger tips. Now grab you right wrist with your left hand, reach up to the sky as you inhale, then extend the arm to the left, while slightly tilting the hips to the right. Take 10 deep breaths…then switch sides.
Stand straight, interlace your fingers behind your back, bend at the knees and fold forward bringing the chest to the knees, relaxing the head and shoulders, keeping the knees bent and really relaxing your neck. Smile and take 10 deep breaths. Notice how the body expands as you inhale and drops as you exhale.
5. Take a seat, and relax. There’s no where else to be. Take a moment to close your eyes, and get back to the breath. While you inhale repeat I am, hold the inhale for 4 counts and then exhale repeating I am, hold the exhale for 4 counts and repeat for 8 rounds. This is repetitive affirmation will give focus to the mind, breath and body and create a sense deeper relaxation.
Practice this daily and see how quickly you can disconnect.