By Dana Campbell
Have you had one of those days where you feel like your just slogging through it? Trying to cross off todo’s and be your normal kick ass,take names self, but instead of crushing it- you feel crushed by it?
When I was at my corporate job, those were usually the afternoons where I wasted time catching up on blogs, making multiple trips for coffee, or just IMing with friends – counting down the minutes ’til I could leave my desk. On the days where deadlines loomed, oblivious to my lack of drive to complete them, I learned to suffer through and get the work done, depleting all of my resources in the process.
Even now, as a solopreneur I’m not immune from having days where everything feels so much harder than it should. Where writing even a simple email might as well be rolling a boulder up a mountain.
On those afternoons my couch beckons loudly for me to take a mid-day siesta. But I typically revert back to the deeply ingrained behavior from my corporate days and try in-spite of myself to move the damn rock up the freaking hill.
At least that’s what I did until recently. A few months ago, I caught myself red handed engaging in this behavior. For some reason, this particular day I stopped butting my head against the wall, just long enough to ask what the hell I was doing.
Sure I had a “deadline,” sure work needed to get done, sure I needed to keep moving things forward – but at what cost?
That day I chose to do something new. Rather than stay chained to my desk, I decided to lay down on my floor, right next to my desk in savasana. Pretty quickly I felt a shift in my body, one that took me from swirling to grounded. My breath became deeper, I felt my muscles soften, my spine even cracked in a few places as I released onto the floor. When I felt satisfied with the change to my mental and physical energy – I made my way back up to stand and was surprised to realize that I had only been laying down for four minutes.
It took just four minutes to completely reverse the struggle that I had been in all afternoon. And as you’ve probably guessed, when I got back to working everything came with more ease and flow.
Since then I’ve played with incorporating more pauses into my day. It hasn’t been easy, I’ve experienced a good amount of resistance getting myself to do it; which I’m pretty sure a hold over from the my past corporate life where taking a pause was not an option. The more I became aware of the resistance, I noticed it was keeping me stuck in the slog for far too long, and eventually I just started asking myself – what are you waiting for?
Answering that question has allowed me to insert regular pauses into my work day, and these pauses have become instrumental to my ability to get shit done.
Look we all get stuck. We all have moments where we feel like we are trudging through thick mud. Where finding your flow feels entirely elusive. The answer is not to push through it. In fact the very act of trying to push through it is the opposite of being in the flow.
Which is why I want you to stop pushing through it. When you catch yourself butting your head against the wall, I want you to stop and pause. Obviously, what I’ve found to work for me, may not work in your office environment. (I would have died before ever laying down on the nasty carpet in my old office) So here are a few other ways you can find the same relief and tap back into your own flow:
Standing forward fold.
Stand with your feet hips distance apart, hinging at the hips, fold your spine over your legs bending your knees as much as you need.
Mountain pose at the wall.
Place the backs of your heels, buttocks, shoulders and head at a wall (i.e. stand against a wall), consciously breath into each of the points touching the wall, particularly your shoulder blades.
Down dog at your desk.
Place your hands flat on the surface of a table, walk your feet away from the table until your ears are inline with your arms, your spine is straight and your hips are over your ankles.
Walk around the block.
While not exactly the same thing as the above exercises, a quick walk can help get you unstuck. For best results, go alone and avoid checking your phone.
Start weaving these practices into your work day on a regular basis, and you will trade in frustration and struggle for ease and flow.