Paperwork is piling up on your office desk and you have more than a few household bills to pay – there’s a chance these two worries alone add up to one very stressed you. The fact is, we all put far too much pressure on ourselves, particularly in today’s social media obsessed world. If we’re not doing something ‘Instagram-worthy’, it doesn’t count – after all, who really wants to see a picture update that portrays the tedium of every-day life?
stressed out from the daily grind?
But all this pressure means you’re probably raring for some time out – and the good news is you can enjoy a spot of stress-busting in little more than 30 minutes a day.
Yoga can be enjoyed in half-hour bursts; a little bit of ‘me time’ to chant, stretch and just ‘be’ could be all you need to shake off the stress and get back to tackling that ‘To Do’ list. But doing yoga won’t just help reduce stress, it’ll ensure you keep in shape while calming the mind – what’s more, some positions are more beneficial than others when it comes to relieving tension.
With that in mind, here’s a few simple poses you can try from the comfort of your own home, if needs be, to help you relax and unwind:
Simple Shoulder Stretch
The shoulder stretch will help release neck and shoulder tension in minutes. Start by interlacing your fingers and raising your arms above your head, with your palms facing to the ceiling. Throughout the pose, try to keep your arms in line with your ears, but look straight ahead and relax your shoulder blades down your back.
It’s important you don’t shrug your shoulder blades up as this will cause more tension. Now, simply hold this pose for a handful of full breaths, being sure to breathe through your nose. After, simply let your arms fall down to your sides, rolling your shoulders backwards and forwards three or four times. For optimum de-stressing, repeat the stretch a few times.
Now, we’re not asking you to go and stand on a mountain – although those breathtaking views may well help you bust that stress! The yoga pose of the same name, however, helps keep you in focus and puts awareness onto your feet, which is very grounding in itself. Here’s how to do it:
Start by standing straight with your feet together, spreading your toes out like a fan. Now, distribute your weight evenly across both feet, lifting the kneecaps by tightening your thighs. Once you’ve done this, simply move your thighs back and bring your tailbone in. And once you’ve got that bit down, straighten the arms, palms facing in and pull your shoulder blades back and lift the chest.
Keeping your neck and shoulders relaxed, look straight ahead and hold this move for up to two minutes.
IT Band Stretch
Have you been sitting, hunched up in front of a computer, for hours on end? What you need to do is try the IT band stretch, which will help alleviate any tension in your body in one simple move. While it’ll help when ease any tension you’ve built up as a result of working at a computer, this move is certainly not one to try in the middle of the office!
Begin by laying down on the floor, on your back. Now simply bend your left leg, keeping your left foot flat on the ground. After, put your right ankle on top of your left knee, before reaching down to clasp your hands around your left thigh; you should then pull your thigh in towards you. Your lower left leg should now be parallel to the ground, while you keep both feet flexed – and breathe!
If you’re doing this properly, you’ll feel the stretch in your hip, and in your bottom on your right side – be sure to change sides, though, after you’ve held for a few breaths.
So, next time you’re feeling like you might snap at the next person that crosses your path, simply close the door and find some peaceful time to try one of these three easy moves. You’ll thank us later.