July 15 2020 – Kate Abram
The age of remote work has given new meaning to the word “connection.” Although some screen time is expected as a part of nearly every office job nowadays, it has now become our support mechanism for working. If you’re working from home, your eyes most likely also have a full-time job straining over a computer screen, Monday through Friday. While your work goals are important, your wellness is more important. We’ve put together some tips below for staying connected to your energy during the day as much as you are connected to your colleagues and your goals!
Image Source: Unsplash - Jesus Kiteque
SIT TALL, GIRL
If you’re feeling tightness or discomfort in your neck and shoulders, there is a good chance your posture is the sneaky reason for this. When seated for most of the day, the body’s natural inclination is to lean forward, rolling the shoulders inward. Slouching and slumping, while it may be a habit, can restrict your breathing, harm your ligaments, and cause you to get tired faster. Overall, bad posture makes it harder to be your best self throughout the day.
To kick bad posture and benefit from better circulation, fewer headaches, and lower risk of injury, here are easy ways to keep your body operating at its’ highest capacity when working:
- When sitting, straighten your back, sit tall, and let your shoulders fall toward the ground for their benefit. Remember, rounded and hunched shoulders are NOT relaxed shoulders.
- When choosing a chair for your office, pick one tall enough that you can keep your feet firmly planted on the floor. If you can, avoid crossing your legs when seated, since this throws your body out of alignment, and can make it more difficult to keep your neck and spine straight.
- Pay attention to where your chin is, and don’t let it sit in front of your shoulders. While we’re at it, keep your ears aligned over your shoulders, too.
PRIORITIZE YOUR EYES
Protect your eyes and yourself from headaches by investing in a pair of blue light lenses! For a splurge on the chicest frames, check out Durant Sessions or Spectacle in Toronto. Another option - order online from Clearly or shop their in-person selection around the Vancouver area.
We cannot emphasize enough the importance of frequent breaks throughout the day! While you may not have been thinking about it when you were in the office, your chats with your coworkers, coffee rendezvous, and escapades to the copier machine were opportunities to get up and move around. These breaks are still important, even though they may not come about as naturally anymore! A study found that lunch breaks are especially essential in helping workers de-stress and re-charge for the rest of their workday, while regular breaks improve overall job satisfaction. So, take a walk, go for a coffee run, or take your pet for a walk – we promise you, it’s worth it! Check out a 10-minute standing yoga routine here for the perfect break activity.
Image Source: Unsplash - Thought Catalog
WORK IT OUT
Workouts and stretching are amazing for clearing up back and shoulder pains attributed to sitting all day! Here are some awesome moves for getting rid of upper body discomfort:
Please note: a stretch should never hurt! If your physician has asked you not to do a certain stretch, then please refrain from doing it. Always perform stretches slow and carefully so as not to hurt yourself.
- Back Lift
This one is all about lying down. Place a yoga block or a small square object (think a shoe-box) in the middle of your back and rest your head on a pillow. This exercise is said to be the opposite of leaning forward on your phone or laptop and helps release the built-up tension in the centre of your body. As a beginner’s alternative to this exercise, roll up a couple of towels and place those under your back instead of a block.
- Side Neck Rotation
Please note: whenever you stretch your neck, be extra careful and go slow!
Stand facing forward and begin by tilting your neck to the right. After 10 seconds in this position, slowly roll your head in a counter-clockwise direction, making sure to go slow and steady. Pause for 10 seconds when you reach your left shoulder and repeat!
- Peck Stretch
Find your best doorway and step into it. Place your forearms on the doorframe, and then make sure that your elbows are bent at a 90-degree angle. Let the weight of your body move you forward slightly so you feel a stretch in your chest and shoulders. Make sure you’re going slow!
None of these movements should ever hurt – if a stretch is causing you pain, it is a warning that you have gone too far! For a more permanent solution to soreness and muscle pains, we recommend seeing a physiotherapist or chiropractor.
Any successful workday depends on your ability to persevere through challenges, and we hope that you are taking the time to make sure that you’re in top shape to own your schedules! We miss seeing you all at shows and on the road and we invite you to check in and let us know how you are doing!