Inaddition to a regular exercise program and physical relaxation techniques, it'simportant to take frequent breaks from writing to prevent that sludgy,exhausted feeling from taking hold in the first place. Every few minutes, take your eyes off thescreen and focus a few times on some distant object to prevent eye strain. Stretch your arms above your head. Roll your head in slow circles (beingparticularly careful when leaning the head back to be gentle). Pay attention to your posture. >>

Yourbrain needs oxygen to perform at its peak (to perform at all, actually). Soperiodically take three slow, deep breaths. Just remembering to BREATHE on a regular basis can be therapeutic.>>

Atleast once per hour, stand up and walk around. Go get a glass of water. It'seasy to forget to drink when we're at the computer. I keep a water bottle bythe computer at all times and try to remember to sip from it, even when I'mdrinking coffee.>>

Domake sure you have an ergonomically correct set-up for your chair, keyboard andscreen. Even a small adjustment canprevent or eliminate back and/or shoulder pain, and there are consultants whowill come to your house and get you set up in the proper position.>>

Don'tignore the aches and pains. Your body istrying to tell you to change something. I can tell when I've spent too manyhours at the computer by the stiffness in my upper back and shoulders, and Ihave some specific yoga stretches just for those areas that I can do sitting inmy chair. A good one is to shrug your shoulders, hold for a couple of seconds,and release. Repeat several times.>>

Anothergood at-hour-chair exercise is rolling your head in gentle circles.>>
Anearlier workshop participant suggested using an exercise ball as a chair. Herphysical therapist suggested it, and she used it often with ADHD kids.Apparently using the muscles to keep yourself upright is a small workout initself, and it helps keep you focused. I've heard similar things about those kneeling chairs.>>

Somebonus material>>
Sincetoday's lesson is very short, I thought I would share some bonus material.>>

Didyou know that creative people and schizophrenics have something in common?Brain scans reveal that they share similar dopamine systems in the brain. This research suggests one of the reasonsthere is a link between creativity and some mental illnesses. You can read thewhole article here:>>
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Jazzup your work space with color and light. Studies reveal that green and bluelight increase productivity a little, but yellow light can increase it a lot.Also, bright colors around you increase your productivity. Red and green arethe best colors (and I just painted my office a plum color. Dang it, now I'm going to be depressed!). Black, white andbrown are the worst.>>
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Here'sa good one: Being in a positive mood boosts creativity, according to a recentstudy. So listen to happy music while writing (the study used a lively Mozarttune) or watch a funny video just prior to your writing session. If you want toread the whole article, here's the link:>>
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And,here's yet another study that shows that creativity is good for yourhealth. Seems creative work could be oneof the best things for your health. In a study, people were asked to rate theirhealth and answer questions about their work. The more problem solving and creativitythey honed on the job, the better their health status. The theory is thatcreative work may decrease depression, enhance a mood-boosting sense ofpersonal control, and improve cognitive function -- all things you need if youwant to live to be 100. You can read more about this study here:>>
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And,finally, daydreaming is good for you, according to the YOU doctors Oz andRozen. Daydreaming keeps your mindflexible. By stirring up the part of your brain that handles imagination, youkeep your brain running outside of its normal thought process, which helps yourcognitive function at the highestlevels. So next time someone catches you staring at the wall in a trance, tellthem you are exercising your cognitive function.>>

Tomorrow,we'll discuss nutrition>>