How to Increase Productivity with The Total Somatics Approach to Health and Well Being.Heidi Hadley
Well we are here! 2018 has arrived! We are all refreshed and focused for an very exciting year ahead. We can have so many good intentions and get carried away without any real structure or plan. In today’s blog we are going to consider areas of our life which may need adjusting in order to live and maintain The Total Somatics Approach to Health and Well being.
Can you recall a time when you felt over tired? Life seemed to be getting too much? You appeared to feel overwhelmed or negative? When in hindsight it really wasn’t that bad.
Let’s not allow history to repeat itself.
Below are areas we can reassess in our life to see if we can create a more balanced, somatic lifestyle and mindset.
Build Rest periods into your schedule.
I have heard many people scoff at this suggestion. They say “I don’t have time for that.” “I’m too busy to stop.” “I’ve got too much work load, if I stop, no one else will do it.”
Did you know that just 10 minutes away from your work will have a huge impact on your productivity? It allows your mind to have a mini recharge. It allows you time to walk away from your task and put the kettle on for a nice cup of tea. Put your feet up or step outside the building and spend a few moments watching the wildlife or enjoying the cloud formations. This may sound strange, but these small tasks are actually mindfulness techniques. We are breaking away from “go, go, go” or stress response (which can actually be quite addictive) and literally stop and smell the roses, or notice the small things in life which are actually very relaxing and therapeutic for us.
Taking time out for only a few minutes throughout the day makes a significant difference to your day.
Get a good night’s sleep
Do you get enough sleep? Personally I need 8 hours each night to function. If I don’t get 8 hours sleep, I feel I am ‘not firing on all cylinders.’ Sleep helps with the repair and maintenance of the brain. Very important actions such as mental ability, concentration, performance, focus, awareness and productivity rely on a fully rested and functioning brain.
Sleep deprivation is often used as a form of torture, and I am sure parents with a new born baby can also testify to that! Sleep deprivation can affect memory and problem solving skills. Research has revealed sleep deprived individuals crave energy the day after a poor night’s sleep. So this is where people may reach out for high sugar and fat foods to gain a surge of energy.
Getting a good night’s sleep can be a challenge for some because of medical reasons, family circumstances (children) and other factors. But whatever your situation, create a routine in the evening. Switch off stimulating bright screens such as TV, mobile devices and computers 30-60 minutes before bed.
Read a book, your favourite magazine or listen to an audiobook as you begin to wind down from your day. By removing bright lights from shining in to our eyes, we are helping to increase the sleep hormone, Melatonin. The natural rise in this hormone occurs, creating a sleepy feeling.
Have a herbal tea, maybe a Chamomile, Valerian or Lavender tea. If you like the smell of Lavender and/or Roman Chamomile pure essential oils, sprinkle some on your pulse points and along your neck, just under your ear lobe. Make bedtime a relaxing and enjoyable ritual.
If you know that you press the snooze button when the alarm goes off in the morning, change your habit. Create a new ritual. When you wake, either switch your bed side light on or walk to your window, open the blinds/curtains and enjoy the brightness. This may sound extreme or full on, but we are actually stopping ourselves from feeling more groggy and tired by lying in bed and dozing. When we switch a light on or open the curtains/blinds, we are working with our natural hormones. When we expose our eyes to light, we reduce the sleep hormone Melatonin. So we wake up quickly instead of rolling around in bed, moaning that we are still tired. Get focused and motivated. Your day will run so much more productively and smoothly.
Daily Somatics Practise
One client once said to me that when she misses her somatic movement practise on a certain day, it feels as if she hasn’t brushed her teeth! She said a part of her feels incomplete. Could you say the same? Are you consistent with your practise? Could you make it your resolve or intention to practise daily somatic movements? I know that some days, we have a lot to contend with. But could we be creative and adapt the somatic movements we know on the floor to seated or standing equivalents? Somatic movements helps release muscle tension and tightness. We know how well we feel after dedicating time to our Somatics practise. So let’s BUILD somatics into our daily activities. When we keep our body moving throughout the day, we feel less sluggish and restless. We know that the digestive process known as peristalsis, which moves digested food along our colon requires activity from our body to create an effective bowel movement. Somatic movement and deep breathing combined increases oxygen into our blood stream. This gorgeous oxygenated blood nourishes our tissues and cells whilst deoxygenated blood or waste products are expelled.
Can you create reminders either in electronic form or maybe the old faithful ‘Post it’ note? Let this prompt remind you to get up and move throughout your day. If you are familiar with Somatic Movements, you will know how easy it is to combine an arch and flatten somatic movement into a seated position.
I have created an audio at the end of this blog entitled
“ Postural Awareness to how you sit” Click here
You may like to use this to help you adapt your somatic scan and movements to a seated position.
If you are a lady and have the universal problem of standing in the queue for the toilet, maybe you could do a standing arch and flatten or standing awareness scan. Maybe when you are in the queue at the supermarket, you could do it there too!
I have created an audio at the end of this blog entitled
“Increasing your awareness to Posture” Click here
You may like to use this to help adapt your somatic scan and movements to a standing position.
Dedicate a Somatic health day or afternoon each week.
Dedicate either a day, half a day or a few hours each week to recharge and recalibrate. Learn to put value and worth on yourself and say NO to things. If you can arrange a baby sitter, spend the time away from folding and ironing the clothes and loading the dishwasher. Take time out for you and maybe your partner, so you can reconnect and talk about something other than the children, jobs to do around the house or bills the pay!
If you are child free, you may have to find time away from caring for elderly parents, ongoing maintenance around the house or answering work emails and requests in the evenings and weekends.
Could you go for a meal, get back into nature, go for a hike, paddle board, cycling, swimming, read a book, socialise with good upbuilding company or get involved in an artistic pursuit?
Maybe you could listen to relaxing music, have a bath with candles around you, listen to an audiobook and make time to practise your Somatic movements to relax your nervous system, creating a sense of balance and calmness.
Once you create these changes, you will enjoy it. You will notice so much more around you because you are allowing your pre-frontal cortex to take over. This is the area of emotional intelligence, awareness, focus and concentration. You start living mindfully and in the present moment, rather than running around like a headless chicken, say yes to everybody, trying to please everybody (but yourself) to often seek their approval and acceptance. When we do this, we eventually burn out. Does that sound a balanced, sensible way to live? A cycle of crash and burn? No.
If you’ve been there, you know it is a ‘mindless’ approach to life. Start living somatically. Start working with your amazing mind and body to get the best results. Would your ‘damage’ or ‘abuse’ your car by ignoring the oil light, water light, petrol light, the flat tyre, the exhaust pipe hanging off? No. You would maintain your car as you went along to prevent these things happening. Surely you would agree, your mind and body are far more important and valuable than your car, which can also be replaced.
So listen to what your mind and body are telling you. Allow the start of 2018 to be the beginning of a whole new approach to your life. Develop the Total Somatics Approach to Health and Well being. Learn with the Total Somatics Online programs how to create balance in your life. Learn how to practise Somatic Movements MINDFULLY, not just from You Tube clips and books. Allow me to guide you through Mindfulness with Total Somatics, exclusive to the online programs. If you know Somatic movements from books and You Tube clips or you are ‘self taught’ I can guarantee you that you will learn so much more when I guide you through The Total Somatics Approach with videos, audios, podcasts, downloadable support material and so much more.
I look forward to helping you achieve your intentions for an improved standard of health and well being.
See you online at www.TotalSomatics.com
Heidi Hadley xx