Four Tips To Boost Your Personal Resilience While Doing Nonprofit Work | Beth's Blog

Four Tips To Boost Your Personal Resilience While Doing Nonprofit Work

Happy Healthy Nonprofit, Mindfulness

Photo by Amanda/Flicker

I am thrilled to be presenting with my colleague, Ananda Leeke in Boston next week at the Resilience at Work Conference. We will be doing early morning sessions to engage participants in some mindful moment and movement exercises.

I’m going to share different techniques for weaving mindful moment and exercises into your workday. You can practice these exercises alone or with your team. These exercises can calm you and have the added benefit of restoring focus and productivity.

I also use them a lot when I doing full-day trainings. It helps center and refocus our brains which is important for learning.

The busier you are during your workday, the more your nervous system needs quiet time. According to this article in the Harvard Business Review, research studies are showing that taking brief breaks for quiet can restore the nervous system, helps sustain energy, and conditions our brains to be more adaptive and responsive to the complex environments in which so many of us now live, work, and lead. Above all, silence facilitates clear and creative thinking and quiets negative thoughts.

Here are the techniques:

  • Meeting Ritual:  A Moment of Quiet:  Many people who work at nonprofits are often in many meetings, often scheduled back-to-back, everyday. Sometimes we just time into the next meeting before we’ve had a chance to take a pause from the previous meeting.  This technique is simple. You just give a few minutes to quiet breathing and allow everyone to get centered and focused before jumping in.
  • Desk Stretching:   Sitting at our desks staring into a computer screen without a taking a break can quickly drain your concentration and energy.  We’ve become “desk potatoes.”  Incorporating a regular stretching routine – even if you are sitting – can help get the blood circulating.  This can reduce body aches and pains.  Here’s is a set of exercises known as “deskercise,” that you can do sitting – as well as some tips to get started.
  • Eye Yoga:   This is one that Ananda introduced me to. Yoga exercises can help keep eye muscles sharp as well as relax the eyes. These exercises are intended for people who have generally healthy eyes but who suffer from eye strain or overly tired eyes, often due to heavy computer usage.  Here’s some step-by-step or eye-by-eye instructions.
  • Three Minute Mental Vacation Break:  Mental visualization can also be helpful in providing quiet time during your day. One practical technique comes author Don Altman (101 Mindful Ways To Build Resilience) calls the “three-minute mental vacation break.”
    You simply close your eyes and picture yourself in a peaceful setting that brings you joy and relaxation.  Alternately, you can imagine yourself doing an activity that energizes you.  It works, in part, because your brain doesn’t know the difference between the actual event or the visualization.  Even looking out the window can have a restorative effect.And, in the future, there will be more VR apps like this one  that can help us take a three minute vacation

How do you incorporate mindful moments or movement into your work day?

3 Responses

  1. Jason says:

    I literally just did the eye yoga – and loved it. thank you for the tip!

  2. […] Beth Kanter gives Four Tips To Boost Your Personal Resilience While Doing Nonprofit Work. […]

  3. Anita says:

    Thank you so much for this! ALSO- I had just been thinking about Ananda and wondering what she’s up to. I was remembering how, maybe in 2013, she ad-libbed this brilliant video about why she’s a MomsRising supporter. I’ve been following her work for years and am so glad she’s offering her wisdom this way. Thank you both!

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