If you are looking for more productive outlets for yourself (or your kids!) to focus energy when you’re feeling fidgety, don’t miss this essential list:
1. Therapy putty – forget fidget spinners, get some therapy putty instead. In addition to occupying your hands and relieving stress tension, therapy putty also generates creative hand-strengthening workouts. The malleable, synthetic dough-type putty comes in a variety of bright colors and resistance levels and is employed in everything from exercising fine motor skills to physical therapy to stress reduction. Squeeze it, pinch it, roll it, you name it – therapy putty is discreet enough to keep at your desk and play with, even when you’re taking calls.
2. Coloring – coloring is more than just child’s play. Adult coloring books can be found almost anywhere these days and offer an array of visual images you can color with markers, pens, colored pencils, you name it. Being able to focus on something creative and beautiful and put away negative thoughts make coloring a great tool for stress relief and improving mood.
3. Stand-up desks – if working at a desk simply has you jittering out of your chair, you might want to consider investing in a standing desk. Standing desks come in all shapes and sizes and mechanically rise and fall to match your required height. At a standing desk, your body will naturally practice better posture, you’ll have more freedom to move around, and you’ll even burn more calories than you would sitting.
4. Pick up a book – As American aphorist Mason Cooley said, “Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.” If you’re feeling fidgety towards bedtime, don’t whip out your smartphone to skim Instagram for another hour. Pick up that book you’ve been meaning to read and start reading it! Routine reading not only stimulates your mind and expands your vocabulary and knowledge, but it can improve your concentration skills and induce relaxation.
5. Limit caffeine and sugar – oftentimes you might find yourself with huge spikes of limitless energy because of over-consumption of caffeine or sugar, especially in the morning. Kickstart your day with plenty of water, and limit your coffee intake to 1 or 2 cups. Where sugar is concerned, the American Heart Association recommends 9 teaspoons (36 grams) maximum a day for men and 6 teaspoons (25 grams) maximum a day for women. Considering just one 12 oz. can of regular Coke contains 9.5 teaspoons (39 grams) of sugar in it, you’ll want to start paying a little more attention to nutrition labels.
6. Bouncing – having trouble sitting still? Try bouncing instead. Whether you’re working, the kids are doing homework, or you’re watching TV, sitting on a stability ball (also known as an exercise ball or yoga ball) offers you more movement while you sit. In addition to bouncing, rolling, and moving, you can engage more muscles sitting on a stability ball and potentially even burn a few extra calories.
7. Knitting/Crocheting – put your hands to use creating something like a scarf or hat. While knitting and crocheting might seem like complicated hobbies for older women, that cliche couldn’t be further from the truth. With the right instruments and some yarn, you could quickly pick up knitting and crochet basics with a simple Youtube tutorial. Crochet requires one hooked “needle” while knitting can be done with two pointed knitting needles or on a loom!
8. Exercise more – if your fidgeting tendencies stem from pent-up energy, you might want to find more physical ways to expend that energy through exercise. Wear your body out with 30-minute to hour-long workouts, 5 days a week and you may see both your fidgeting diminish and your sleep quality improve. Routine physical fitness also plays an important role in helping you maintain a healthy weight and stave off lifestyle diseases like diabetes, obesity, and stroke.