I recently began “Integral Coaching” sessions with an absolutely delightful woman named Rae Kess. This process started with a conversation about where I’m at personally and with my creative work. It then moved to world-building and goal-setting. Then, Rae created a rad outline for our work (it’s very based on metaphors, super cool stuff) that provided a one-sentence focus for my work over the next 5 months. The topic she identified after our conversation was:
“To be more able to set clear boundaries so I can focus my energy on structuring and monetizing the creative work that I care about.”
To get there, one thing we discussed a current way of being and a new way of being. For me, the current way of being involves attending to other people’s needs and pushing aside my own creative projects because my energy has been spent elsewhere. Moving in to the new way of being will, theoretically, involve setting up structures that support my work so that I can be more intentional with where I spend my energy.
The thing that I’m intentionally maintaining is keeping a lot on my plate. I love to be busy, it keeps me well. The key is where I am prioritizing and focusing my energy. In order to re-set my energy throughout the day, Rae suggested a 5-minute-a-day exercise she calls “Tiny Explosions” (LOVE IT). The idea is that our bodies need to be engaged in the transition towards a new way of being. If I am emotionally/mentally/spiritually in a state of transition, it makes sense that my body ought to be as well- even if it’s just in a small way.
As a disabled person, I recognize the importance of connecting with my body and tuning in to it. This makes a lot of sense to me. So, I reached out on social media to crowd source strategies people in my community that people use to refocus their energy during their workday.
Not surprisingly, people came up with a ton of great strategies. Here they are all in one place (with links to what they’re talking about):
Jasmine-June Cabanaw – Sun salutations
Ron Hyatt – Short walks, meditation
Amy Anderson-Macarthur – Exercise ball vs chair, Resistance bands
Jenni Burke – Spinal Flex: inhale forward and exhale back.
Cailey McCormack a cuddle with my pupper – no joke. She sits on my lap and stares at me and I stare back and it makes me laugh, and then I put her down on the ground and take a few deep breaths. I also drink an entire glass of water. It’s one of my strategies for helping me get out of a panic attack. Something about it that works.
Amber Dawn Vibert Eating food and drinking water is the only thing that makes me feel okay
Paul Devlin – I just take a moment to be happy I’m at work and not in the hospital or jail. Positive thinking for a min to keep me moving
Ariel Patricia – Jumping jacks
Craig Martin I leave work early. Takes 5ish minutes. When I get home and jump into the pool it totally re-energizes me.
Richard D. Quodomine – Feng Shui health and exercise balls
Danielle Hobbs – I run my hands under really cold water, like ice cold.
Dayna Lepofsky – Go for a short walk, cold water on the wrists or face, a quick stretch in the sun if possible, stretch out my limbs in the chair if I can’t leave my desk, crack my back, blink really really hard a few times but this one kind of just makes me dizzy sometimes lol
Sarah Jean Kennedy – I wash my hands and splash my face with cold water a few times. Fix my makeup and hair then back at it!
Tom Keefer – My fitness program consists only of doing one set of as many push-ups I can do once a day. It works pretty good and is real quick.
Andrew Charles Weed – pen
Monique Melanson – Do a breathing exercise
Kim Doolittle – Sleep and naps
Jesse Watts – I do a couple 5 minute meditations a day. Helps me with my anxiety and helps me get “grounded”/relax. Not really physical but helps with body connections.
Jeff Wheeldon – Pushups. Start small, but do it many times per day. Amazing how fast your strength can improve from incremental gains, and it wakes me up like nothing else.
Anne-Marie Bouthillette – 5minute meditation/deep breathing/body scan
Effie Dice – Wim Hof breathing
To summarize, the most common suggestions were:
- Push ups or jumping jacks
- Washing hands or face with cold water
- Drinking a glass of water
It’s powerful what happens when we ask for what we need. Try some of these strategies if you’re looking for a “tiny explosion” to refocus during your work day. Or, better yet, ask your community what strategies they use!
(Thanks for the inspiration, Rae!)