By being in the here and now, you immediately get what you were looking for while running through life: rest. This ‘micro break’ helps you to remain fit, alert and relaxed.
‘I don’t have any time for me anymore’. Recognise this? It seems that, while we get more spare time, we have less time for the things that are actually important to us. What we want is quite simple: we want to have more rest and to appreciate the little things in life more, it’s just that right now, we don’t have the time… And after this lamentation, we walk into the ‘as soon as… then’ – trap: as soon as it’s the weekend, I will have time to rest; as soon as I have enough financial space, I will be able to enjoy the good things… et cetera.
The desire to enjoy things can easily drive us in the direction of all kinds of addiction: coffee, alcohol, smoking, excessive exercise, snacking, TV. Consciously or unconsciously you realise that this is nothing more than a surrogate. It’s a temporary fulfilment of an unsatisfied feeling. Micro breaks make sure that you focus on yourself. You don’t get drawn into the issues of the day. Your body becomes your anchorage, the safe harbour that you can always return to.
What’s special about mini breaks, is that you can take them any time of the day. These moments of recovery are simple to integrate in your everyday activities, at work, at home, in the car or in public transport.
Have a seat in a chair, with your shoulders relaxed, your back straightened and separated from the back-rest, feet flat on the ground, hands on your upper legs.
Bow your head to the back, but not too far – make sure it feels comfortable, don’t force anything. Look straight up and ‘mark’ this point on the ceiling with your eyes.
Bring back your head in the starting position and put your right foot forward, with your heel on the ground. Bow your toes down (you don’t have to put your shoes off). Put back the same foot, until it rests on the ball of your foot and your heel is lifted off the ground. Curl your toes. Put the foot forward again, resting on the heel, and bow your toes. Put back the foot, resting on the ball of the foot, heel off the ground – etcetera. Keep moving your right foot like this for 10 times in a row.
Put your right foot flat on the ground again and do the same exercise with your left foot for 10 times.
Be seated in the starting position, with your feet flat on the ground, and bow your head back again, as far as feels comfortable for you. Look for the marked point on the ceiling. What do you notice?
Remarkably, this feet exercise relaxes the neck- and shoulder muscles within two minutes.
Photo: James Forbes
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