It happens to us all. Four o'clock rolls around, our eyes become fuzzy from hours of computer scrolling and our brains weary from overuse. It’s around the same time that we tend to reach for a snack or a caffeine boost to “push us over the finish line” of our very taxing days. But, generally, we're using the wrong type of nutrition (because when have office snacks ever been healthy?) to support our energy. And oftentimes, it’s not food we need, but rest.
Our bodies were designed for jolts of energy followed by bouts of rest. The idea of pushing ourselves to the limits all day, everyday is a modern and flawed one. So, what do we do about it?
Okay, I know what you’re thinking? How can I meditate during the workday? I don’t have an office, the time, and people will think I’m "weird." Well, guess what? We hear you! We had those very same thoughts. And here’s how we overcame them.
- Put it in on your calendar: Every week, go through your schedule and find a few minutes a day where you can schedule in your meditative break. Then, honor it like you would a business meeting. It can even be done while walking or commuting. Trust us, post meditation you will wow everyone with your creativity, insight and clarity -- it will be well worth it.
- Keep it short: Even a meditation of 10 minutes can do your body and brain the world of good. In Vedic meditation, experts recommend 20 minutes twice per day for optimal changes; if you don’t have that much time, do what you can. A study linking meditation to increased brain health found that 27 minutes per day was the average necessary to see changes. But that doesn’t mean you need to do it all in one sitting. Even taking short breaks at work allows the brain to reset and the body to achieve a deep state of rest—both of which increase creativity and energy.
- Tell people: If you’re worried about a colleague or the janitor bursting in on your meditation, let them know that you’re taking five so they don’t come looking for you. Meditation used to have very different connotations, but with business leaders, entrepreneurial greats and celebrities investing time in meditation, it’s much more widely accepted and even venerated these days.
- Find your spot: If you don’t have an office, book a private conference room. If you can’t do that either, exit the building. I have a client whose workplace is so busy and conservative that he didn’t feel comfortable meditating at work. So, he’d pop out for 10 minutes and sit on a park bench or coffee shop. As the old adage goes, where there is a will, there is a way.
Got any tips or ideas we haven’t thought of? We’re all ears.