Quick tips for soothing stretches

Having some quick easy stretches in your stress management toolbox will help you ease some of the physical tension caused by stress. In fact, these can (and should) be used several times a day to help prevent muscle tension and feelings of stress.

Although these activities are not particularly strenuous, it’s always best to check with a GP before trying any physical activity if you have health problems.

Neck Roll

Let you chin hang down to your chest. Next, slowly roll your head to your left side, so that your left ear is near your left shoulder. Roll your head backwards and let you head hang as far back as is comfortable.

Now slowly, roll your head to the right, so that your right ear is near your right shoulder. Continue rolling your head until your chin is once again hanging to your chest. Now repeat the process, but go in the other direction (so that you begin by rolling your head to your right shoulder).

Shoulder Shrug

Relax your shoulders. Slowly shrug towards the front of your body and upwards. Next, shrug your shoulders down towards the back of you body. When your shoulders are back in their natural position, relax, and then repeat the exercise in the opposite direction.

Side Stretch

Stand with your left hand on your left hip. Place your right hand straight out so that it is perpendicular to your body. Slowly stretch your right hand over your head, to the left, and bend to the left at the waist as far as is comfortable. Stretch for a moment, and then slowly return to the standing position. Repeat to the opposite side.

Lumbar Stretch

Stand and place both hands in the small of your back. Arch your back slowly, feeling the stretch. Repeat three times.

The key to these exercises is to do them slowly and regularly. They are also very effective when combined with deep breathing, which just happens to be our next quick tips topic next week.

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