Mindful Monday no. 17 – Stress Relieving Stretches

Stretching

In the midst of busy days, sometimes all you need to reset your mood is some simple stretches. When our muscles are tight, it not only affects our bodies – it affects our minds. “Unreleased stress can result in an aching back, headaches, and a not-so-jolly disposition,” says Melynda Saldenais.

The following stretches take only a few minutes to complete and can be done anywhere. The next time you notice your muscles are tense, try them out!

 Breathe
Focusing on your breath is relaxing and restorative. Take a minute or two, close your eyes and focus on your breath. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Repeat 10 times, for a set. Do three sets. It’s almost like taking a nap!

Shoulder and Neck Stretch
Sit up straight in your chair with both feet on the floor about shoulder-width apart. Place both hands behind your head at the base of your neck and interlock your fingers. Tilt your head toward the floor and press your shoulder blades together. Hold for 10 seconds, release and repeat 3 times.

 Arm Stretches
Sit up straight in your chair with both feet on the floor about shoulder-width apart. Interlock your fingers and stretch your arms straight out in front of you. Rotate your wrists so your palms face away from your body. Hold this stretch for 10 seconds, then raise your arms over your head, hold for 10 seconds. Repeat three times.

 Leg Stretches
Sit up straight in your chair with your feet flat on the floor. Raise one leg and straighten it in front of you. Hold for 10 seconds and rotate your ankle to the left and then to the right. Repeat with the other leg. Do 5 repetitions with each leg.

Lower Back Stretches
Sit up straight in your chair with your feet flat on the floor. Lean forward and try to grab your ankles with both hands. Feel the stretch in your lower back! Hold for 10 seconds and repeat three times.

Words by Cassandra Van Dyck

Stretches by www.zenfullydelicious.com

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