Need an end of the day pick-me-up?
By Jill Brennan

Do your legs feel tired, so tired that they ache and each step feels heavy and difficult? It’s the end of the day. You've done so many things today you can barely remember all of them and you still have dinner to cook, children to be fed and bathed, stories to be read, homework to supervise, emails to send. The thought of all that you need to do is overwhelming. Want to know a trick that can revive your weary body and give you a boost that will keep you going for the rest of the evening? Read on.

What I'm about to explain is actually a yoga move. But don't worry. You don't need your head to be well acquainted with the wrinkles on your knee to do this posture. What you need is a free bit of wall and a cushion or two. You can also do it on your bed if there is no big headboard and you remove the pillows at the wall end first.

If you are using a wall, sit down facing the wall with two cushions within reach. You need to sit close to the wall and then swing your legs up so that your bottom is as close to the wall as possible and your legs are straight up. Place one of the cushions between your bottom and the wall so that you sink into the position. The other can be placed under your head. Once you are in position, place your hands stretched out on either side of your body palms facing the ceiling. Now close your eyes. Relax.

Even five minutes in this position will help relieve your aching legs but you probably need to spend between 10-15 minutes to get the full benefit. Does it really matter if dinner is 15 minutes later than normal?

While in the position, you can flex your feet, open your legs to hip width or wider. Point your toes and stretch them up the wall. It's up to you. The important thing is that you feel completely at ease in the posture. Any stresses or strains will be distracting.

If you find that your mind starts racing the moment you close your eyes, you may need to find something else for it to focus on. You could play some soft music or nature sounds - set it on timer or program it so that it finishes at the end of your allotted time and then you won't need to be checking your watch.

Or you could read - you may need an extra pillow under your head to comfortably do this. If you choose to read make sure its something that can be finished in the time that you have - like a magazine or short story - as it will give you a greater sense of satisfaction and will get you up off the floor at the end of your time. A short story is a good choice because it transports you into another world and is a good mind break - it is stimulating without being too taxing at the end of a long day. Because it’s short there won't be any convoluted plots to keep track off or too many character names to remember.

If you find that your children are staring at you strangely or pestering you for help, encourage them to get down with you. It’s a nice non-confrontational way to talk through your day. My four-year old son thinks it’s a great time for a cuddle. Other times, he likes to try out his gymnastic skills and that's OK too. As long as he lets me stay for 15 minutes and isn't too loud, I don't mind what he does.

So next time you feel exhausted, give it a try. I'm sure you will be amazed at how relaxing and refreshing it can be.


Jill Brennan owns and operates Espresso FICTION, where you can find intriguing short stories to enjoy during a break in your day. Delivered weekly via email, you can print them out and enjoy them when and where you please. Think of it as fast food for your mind.


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