How running away from work solved my problem

Solutions to a problem or answers hardly ever come to me when sitting in front of the screen. However I tend to forget that over and over again.

The other day I found myself starring into my laptop while trying to come up with an idea for a project I have been wanting to develop for some time. I got more and more frustrated and somewhat discouraged. After spending too much time not really getting anywhere, I closed my laptop and decided to go for a run on the beach.

As I walked barefoot down the stairs, I sensed how my scope of thinking started widening, and I noticed how narrow my perspective had become in front of the screen. My brain was still going super fast, and I could feel restlessness in my body, but just by walking I already felt the tension in my forehead loosen slightly.

My feet touched the sand; I started running and sped up as fast as I could. I kept running, my heart started pounding, and my lungs were gripping for air, I stopped thinking completely, I only felt my body being pushed to its limit; the feet moving as if by themselves on the soft sand. After some time I slowed down and shifted to walking, slowly my heartbeat and breath returned to normal. It felt like I had been cleaned on the inside, and even though my mind started being active again, it now felt expanded and open. I kept walking for some time and without any effort several ideas popped into my mind.

I paused and did some Qi Gong exercises involving deep breathing and focus. It cooled me down, and I was then completely grounded in my body.

As I walked back more ideas came to me, and by the time I was home I had a solution for the problem I had been trying to solve. I even had a whole bunch of other ideas.

If you – like me – tend to forget how effective it can be to take breaks and move in between work, then I highly recommend scheduling breaks with movement throughout your day, to keep the spirit high, clear the mind, and stay grounded. 

Here are three ways I incorporate movement into my day:

Walking: I try to walk from one place to another when relocating between office spaces (home/ coffeeshop /co-working space).

Run: I go for a short run just outside the workspace – doesn’t have to be more than 10 minutes.

Dance: When taking a short break I put on my favorite dance tune and dance like no one is watching!

In the comments I would love to hear how you make sure to move throughout the day.