If you’re anything like me, over the last few weeks you’ll feel like your mind has scattered into a million virtual pieces. Weblinks and online requests whip around me like a chaotic snowstorm and all human contact has been squished into megabytes and filtered into tiny squares. Our physical worlds have shrunk to the same four walls and our attention has shot down the computer screen to compensate.
The fact that we can be so connected in these times of isolation is incredible. We’re tied to our online lifeline, whether we’re restructuring our business on Zoom meetings, scrolling through endless YouTube videos or having overdue reunions on Houseparty. However, all this virtual action brings us up into our heads as we spend hours narrowing our gaze into a fine point. If you feel like you’re struggling a bit at the moment, this is something to be aware of.
The physical shapes we make when we use our devices have a detrimental affect on our self esteem and feelings of capability. We collapse down in the chest, our shoulders hunch over, our gaze is focussed and narrow. Studies show that we are less able to hold onto positive thoughts when we embody these positions, and we really need our positivity to keep trucking on.
So we have to make sure we balance all this squinty eye action by remembering we have a body too! This will keep our minds in check and our moods in balance.
Here’s stuff you can do:
- Exercise – get the blood pumping and the body moving. All Research Ever has shown that this is good for us physically and mentally so you don’t need me to tell you! Perhaps go for a run or do an at home workout, but it doesn’t have to be structured: you can shake like a jelly, dance around your room or jump on the bed. Enjoying moving won’t make it feel like a chore.
- Open up – step away from the device! Repeat. Step away from the device! Give yourself plenty of breaks and make a conscious choice to open up your body. Roll your shoulders back, open your chest, widen your eyes and your face. Look at things that are in the distance, expand your physical shape and stretch. (Check out the tips in this vintage video I made back in 2016 when no-one had ever heard of corona and I had youthful vigour and a thick old fringe!)
- Breathe – get outside if you can and consciously breathe in the fresh air. If you can’t go outside, try and open a window and take 10 deep full breaths. Long, slow deep breaths invigorate the system and help us feel happier, calmer and more capable.
Ensuring that we stay embodied is always important and I would argue it is even more essential in these virtual times. To help us not turn into robots and promote wellbeing, Embodiment Circles are running several times a day, in multiple languages. A global initiative by The Embodiment Conference that involve 10 minutes of gentle movement, 10 minutes of meditation and then sharing and connection with whichever lovely humans show up. I run every Wednesday at 5pm (BST/GMT+1) and I always feel better afterwards. Yes, it happens through the online space but it reminds us to check in with the real space that our bodies inhabit. It reminds us that we are human and that our ability to move has the ability to shift our state of mind. Which is very powerful indeed.
Right you’ve been staring at this screen long enough. Go and have a wiggle and a breathe. Enjoy your body and come back refreshed. You’ll feel better for it, you lovely human being! I look forward to seeing you IRL sometime soon 😉
Embodiment Circles are completely FREE, run several times a day and last 1 hr. I’ll be there Wed 5pm (BST/GMT+1). Register for free to get the zoom link.