Ways to Reduce Physical Pain and Mental Fatigue
A big thank you to Izzy Begej, a Licensed Rehabilitation Massage and Bodywork Therapist in the Triangle, for writing a two-part blog on ways to beat mental and physical fatigue.
This is not an article with a list of suggestions asking you to “take a break every hour.” This is an article with a foundation for your workday built around biomechanics, mindset and resilience. There is good evidence for all those popular bullet articles, but unless you have a foundation that allows those tools to be effective, you’re going to find yourself cycling through endless suggestions that only half work for you. We want to cultivate your best workflow by identifying and eliminating your personal roadblocks.
Let’s start with a box breathing exercise. This will set you up for what might be the most grounded breathing you have ever done.
- Put your feet on the ground.
- Uncross your legs (bonus if your chair allows your knees to be lower than your hips!)
- Sit up; roll your shoulders back, align your head above your center of gravity by looking straight ahead and bringing the chin slightly up.
- Place your hands on your desk or legs; whichever puts your wrists lower than your elbows.
- Breathe in for four counts.
- Hold for four counts.
- Exhale for four counts.
- Hold for four counts. Repeat 4-6 times, and as needed throughout day.
Now check in with your body. How do you feel? Your mind and body are the determining factors of work getting done during your workday, not the credentials and qualifications on your CV. It is important to check in with yourself about your mental, emotional and physical bandwidth battery. Box breathing is a fantastic way to reset your autonomic nervous system and refocus your energy. I have used this technique with my in-office clients for mental clarity and with my athletes in high-stress and competitive arenas. They have both reported that box breathing helped eliminate anxiety, reduce heart rate, and fuel confidence.
We can also use box breathing as a tool to cultivate resilience. Growing our resilience-mindset + muscle is critical right now, as most of our lives have been massively reshuffled. These practices allow us to stay in tune to the work that we have to do over the day.
Izzy Begej is a Licensed Rehabilitation Massage and Bodywork Therapist in the Triangle. During COVID-19, she launched phase two of her dream and created the Resilience Coaching Space. RCS is a virtual platform built to support folks writing their empowerment journey; navigating change and adversity; and building resilience. RCS is focused on building a future that is individually and globally sustainable. Connect with Izzy on Social: