Did you know that daily stretching can work wonders on your mental health? We all know how important it is to move our bodies for our physical health, however, more and more studies are showing the connection between daily movement and mental health.
We know this can be easier said than done. The average American spends the majority of their day at a desk. It can be hard to remember to get up and move about, or you may be too busy to sneak out for a stretch. Not only that, but it can be uncomfortable in your work attire or you may not want to risk sweating during the workday.
All of these play an important role in your ability to self-care. Sometimes coming home from a long day’s work, the last thing you want to do is exercise your stiff muscles. You have cleaning, cooking, and relaxing to do.
Here’s the thing, daily stretches can actually increase your ability to relax. When you’re hunched at a desk all day, your body builds tension and stress. You may be able to feel it in your shoulders and back making it hard to fully relax when the time finally comes.
You don’t have to carry that stress with you all day. Try these chair yoga moves at your desk once a day and see if you can tell the difference.
If you already practice yoga, you may find some of these moves familiar. We’ve just made them accessible to do even when you’re sitting at a desk all day long. Check out these moves for your mental health!
Sitting on the edge of your seat with a straight posture, pull your belly button to your spine making a C shape with your body. Hold for 30 seconds and then push your core in the opposite direction curving your back. Repeat back and forth for as long as you’d like.
2. Neck Stretch
Take your arm and raise it over your head placing your palm on the opposite side of your head. Gently apply force so that your head leans toward the side you are directing it towards, stretching your neck fully and deeply. Then switch sides.
3. Raised Hand Pose
Sitting with your back straight, take your hands and fold them together. Flip your hands so your palms are facing outward and slowly raise toward the ceiling with your arms near your ears. Hold for as long as you’d like.
4. Seated Crescent Moon
Place your hands together in front of you in a prayer-like pose. Pressing your palms tightly together, raise your arms towards the ceiling so that your hands are above your head and your arms are by your ears. Hold for 30 seconds. Lean towards the right and hold for 30 seconds. Then lean toward the left for 30 seconds.
5. Core Twist
Sitting up straight, twist your core from side to side slowly while engaging your abs. Hold your arms in a folded T-like position while twisting for as long as you’d like.