The holidays aren’t the only time we need to actively manage our stress. If we ventured to guess, it’s probably a daily issue. But combine the added pressure of the holidays with work, and things can get out of control. Taking a moment to breathe and stretch can help you manage stress during this busy season. Set aside just five minutes, even at your desk, to do these quick and easy stretches.
Start by sitting up tall at the edge of your chair with your legs hip-width apart and your feet comfortably placed on the floor. Make sure your chair is stable and won’t roll if it has wheels.
1. SHOULDER ROLLS
Pull shoulders up to your ears and down away from your ears. This opens up your chest and reduce tension from “texting neck.” Do as many as you like.
2. HEAD AND NECK STRETCH
Drop your chin toward your sternum, then lift and look up to the ceiling. Then go side to side, rotating right to left and dropping your ear toward your shoulder. Don’t pull on your head. Be gentle.
3. FOREARM STRETCH
Hold your arm straight in front of you, and flex and extend your wrists.
4. BACK-OF-SHOULDER STRETCH
Pull your arm across the body to stretch the back of the shoulder. For an extra stretch, look in the opposite direction.
5. CHEST STRETCH
Interlace your fingers behind your back and open through the chest.
6. TORSO ROTATIONS
Slightly facilitate a gentle rotation to the right, center, then to the left, maintaining a neutral spine.
7. FIGURE FOUR STRETCH
Cross your ankle over your opposite thigh to stretch the back of the hip and glutes. If you’re tight, you’ll need to facilitate a gentle pull. To go deeper, lean forward slowly.
8. STANDING QUAD STRETCH
Stand up, and place the top of your foot on a chair behind you. Hold onto your desk with your hand for balance. Keep your knees together to stretch the quadriceps.