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Chair and drivetime yoga for nurses

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Image: © iStockphoto.com/Brandon Laufenberg

Taking a couple of seconds for yourself amidst a busy day can go a long way to maintain a strong, patient, and sane mind in nursing.

Here, three ways to relieve stress while on your commute, when you’re charting, and during your all-too-brief breaks.

1. Anywhere Yoga…Including the Car: Release the pressure with conscious breathing. A Harvard Mind/Body Medical Institute study found that breathing deeply and slowly with AWARENESS lowers blood pressure, triggering the body’s natural relaxation responses while increasing energy and mental clarity. I recommend three to four cycles to start relaxing immediately.

2. In the Chair or On Your Break Yoga: Do spinal twists to fight fatigue and relieve back pain. There are many ways to get the benefits of spinal twists: from a full yogic, on-the-floor position; a seated spinal twist in the car or at your desk, sitting up straight and using the arms or car seat to pull around; or a standing, arms-free spinal twist by swinging gently from side to side. It’s important to keep your hips stationary and facing forward for the maximum benefit. It’s best to start small and increase the stretch with an exhale, always staying comfortable and never straining.

3. In the Chair or On Your Break Yoga: Try inversions to relieve stress, massage inner organs and increase blood flow to your brain. This can be as simple as leaning against a wall and bending from the hips to hang with your arms loose for a few breaths. You can also push away from your computer and let your torso sink between your legs, with your arms loose.

When you find ways (and the time) to take care of yourself you can take better care of others. It’s a necessity for job longevity and long-term health. Note: These suggestions are not meant to replace any regular yoga practice or exercise program, but will extend and enhance them.

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Elaine Masters

Elaine J. Masters teaches Travel and Chair Yoga as a certified yoga teacher and is the award-winning author of Drivetime Yoga, stress-relief solutions for travelers. She is a commuting mom who has traveled the world in dozens of different vehicles and grew up taking road trips around the North American continent. Tropical water is a second love and she’s now scuba diving every chance she can—from the cool trenches of Point Loma, San Diego, to drift diving off Tavenui. “Life is good—not always easy, but always interesting. Enjoy the ride!” Visit her Website and blog at drivetimeyoga.com and drivetimeyoga.wordpress.com. Elaine is also tweeting @dtygal.
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