Sunday, August 24, 2008

Stretch breaks for creative types

An August Sky

Summer is almost over. And that means a lot of things. Going back to school. Christmas is coming. Yes, it is hard to believe when it's 100 degrees outside, but Christmas for me means new students and new exercise classes. Which I've been working on new exercises for.

What does this have to do with creative types? The simple answer is sound body, sound mind. Perhaps a little too simple. But still true. So, given that creative types struggle with both and often stay in one position for far too long (especially writers) what to do?

Take a quick stretch break. Easy. Simple. Effective. Gets the blood and therefore creativity moving. Every hour at least, or more often if you need to re-focus, stretch.

Here's a few easy stretches:

Shrug: raise and lower your shoulders. Three to five times should help.
If that's not enough, then roll your shoulders, or circle them, both ways.
If you're sitting, stick both legs out straight, point your toes and then flex them back for up to 10 times, then circle each foot, both directions.
This one's good for avoiding carpel tunnel: circle your hands, "roll them on your wrists" both directions.

These are just a few quick movements you can do, any time, any place. Try it when the right word won't come to mind, when you don't know what little thing needs to be done on your project, or when the creative fatigue threatens.

For more exercises, visit my webpage

What do you do when you need a break? Do you take a break when you need one? Or get so focused that you push through--and what happens if you do that?


Kathy McIntosh said...

I shrugged after reading and already feel better.
I tend to be one who either takes breaks all day (eek!) or pushes through, ignoring the pain and exhaustion.

Swubird said...


Good advice as always. Fitness. It couldn't be better. I also visited your site. Gold's Gym. What a wonderful thing to be doing with your life.

Happy trails.

Dave King said...

Speaking of focus, excercises for the eyes are a good idea, as well. Try focussing at different distances, that sort of thing. A timely piece of advice. Thanks.

Conda Douglas said...

Yeah, Kathy, I sometimes get caught in the "feast or famine" style of living and working...and neither extreme works--if I push too hard, I get sick!

Conda Douglas said...

Thank you, Swu--it is a good balance for sitting on my bohonk writing!

Conda Douglas said...

Oh yeah, Dave--exercising the eyes that way prevents "computer dry eye"! Thanks for the tip.