Author: Federico Gobbo
In my opinion, one aspect of the Pomodoro Technique™ that deserves more attention are breaks. What happens in those fateful five minutes? Are you really able to relax and stop thinking about what you are doing?
At the beginning I wasn’t really able to. First of all, I noticed that I needed to immediately get my fingers off the keyboard, as if it were white hot. And do something that had nothing to do with the computer. At the beginning, in fact, I would take a look at my emails or surf a bit on internet...but it wasn’t effective. The best thing to do is to get your butt off the chair!But what if you can’t stand up without attracting unwanted attention?
Here I’ve adapted some exercises from the Qi Gong by Doctor Ma, as well as some of the teachings of Dominique Ferraro. These are things that can be done by anyone sitting down. They don’t require any particular technical prowess, and they’re not particularly connected to Chinese culture (they can be found in Western self-training techniques), and are quick and easy (it takes less than a minute!) And they are easier to do than to describe in writing.Don’t worry if you don’t notice any difference in the beginning. Believe that it'll work and keep trying!
You can do these in any order and however many times you want, it’s always good for you.
First of all, take off your glasses, if you wear them.
First Exercise: Palms over Eyes
Cover your eyes with the lower part of your palms (near your wrists)gently, without pressing on your eyes. Empty your mind by imagining a blank, black screen. Breathe in.While breathing out bring your hands down your cheeks and open your eyes.You may be able to feel the muscles around your eyes have relaxed.
Second Exercise: Comb Hair
Put your fingertips on your forehead and comb your hair with your fingers, inhaling. When you have reached the back of your neck, place your palms flat on your neck and exhale, stretching your neck slightly. Let your hands drop in front. If you feel a shiver of cold going down your spine, congratulations! You have just relaxed your cervical area, which tightens when you use a computer for many hours continously.
Third Exercise: Breathe out and Pull Earlobes
Take your earlobes with your thumb and forefinger and lightly pull downwards. Breathe out silently, as if your were trying to float a feather with your breath. It’s a cold, thin breath. Repeat six times. If you feel freshness in your eyes, if they have become damp, and your hearing has gotten clearer, great! The exercise has done its job.
Fourth Exercise: Ear Circles
Bring the center of your hands in line with the center of your ears, holding them a couple of inches away from the ear canal. Keep your shoulders relaxed while moving your hands towards your ears. Make circular movements in the air with your hands. The movement is very slight; almost imperceptible. Pay attention to your sense of hearing. You should begin to hear something. After doing the circular movements, let your arms down slowly and breath out. You might have a clearer perception of the environment around you, in particular your sense of hearing and sight, as well as relaxation in your neck.