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Often, when people clean, they brace their legs, tense their arms, hold their breath and go at it like crazy, making rapid, restricted movements. People think it's best to just get it over and done with quickly. But all that polishing, dusting, vacuuming, tidying...done in a frenzy can be rather exhausting and detrimental.

I have never done Tai Chi but I've seen people practicing the slow, graceful movements, and I think if you could just pretend you're doing Tai Chi when you're cleaning, it might make things flow better.

Or pretend you're dancing instead of wrestling with the vacuum cleaner. It's easy to imagine the vacuum cleaner is the enemy, or the person/people who made all the mess in the first place are the enemy. Turning those chores into a battle will only do you damage in the long term.

Cleaning is a necessary part of life and one I certainly wish I could delegate to the professionals! It's not that I dislike it but rather that it takes up soooooo much time. Anyway, there are ways of making all of it more manageable using Alexander Technique principals and a bit of common sense.

Firstly, try doing it to music - the uplifting rhythms might help your brain 'lighten up'. Or listen to interesting podcasts and audio books. Either way you may be pleasantly distracted and therefore avoid feeling negative about it.

Secondly, remember to use your legs in a springy, athletic way; keep your arms relaxed and your breathing even. If you can, try to slow down a little to allow yourself time to do your 'directions'.

Thirdly, recognise it as physical exertion and take care of yourself afterwards, either by doing some nice stretches, or by practicing your 'semi-supine'.

Cleaning will always be time-consuming but it doesn't always have to be a pain in the neck:)

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