Stretch for Better Health and Self Care

play, stretch, laugh

This week we are talking with a massage therapist! Yay!!!

I see a lot of people are asking on social media “what is the first thing you’ll do when the quarantine is over”? And most of the answers are restaurants, mani/pedi, etc. MY first thing is booking a massage!!! I miss it so much!

“To keep the body in good health is a duty…otherwise, we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” – Buddha

Without a doubt, the best way to decompress, release stress and just overall take care of your body is having a massage. In the last year I’ve started this “journey” of taking care of my body and one of the ways I do that is through massage on regular basis.

I’ve known Debbie Baker for few years and every time I see her at our weekly business meeting, she always has these helpful tips how to stretch or how to destress. Did you know there is such thing as “selfie elbow”? Yeah, when you take too many selfies and you overextend your elbow!

When she is having a presentation, which are hands on, the line for volunteers is loooong! 😊

So naturally, in times like these I reached out to her and asked for few tips on how we can take care of ourselves Right Now!

Here is what Debbie had to say:

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives.  Many of our normal activities have been disrupted. We are being told to stay 6 feet away from each other and to “stay at home”. Stress manifests itself in different ways and this is an extraordinary stressful time now. Here are some basic guidelines to self-care.

Using these self-care techniques can have an incredible effect on overall health.  They are simple, easy and perhaps even fun!

    • Take time for yourself.   Calm your mind.
    • Sit quietly and listen to your breath. Scan your body and try to release any tension that you may feel.  Pay attention to any tight spots and try to breathe into that spot.
    • Focus on your breath. If your mind starts to wander, bring your focus back to your breath.

Get out and move during this pandemic. Walk outside and enjoy the fresh air and the weather.

If you are working from home these days, you may find yourself glued to your computer or phone.  Remember to take breaks.  If you are doing a lot of sitting at a computer, remember that posture matters.  Before you start typing, stretch and flex the muscles in your fingers, hands, and forearms.  Keep the hands over the keyboard in a neutral position. Feet should be flat on the floor with the knees bent at a ninety-degree angle to avoid any back strain.

Pay attention to the placement of your hands on the keyboard.  Only a slight pressure is required to type; pushing down hard on the keys can increase your chance of injury.  Remember to stretch your fingers and hands when you are finished typing.

Stretching keeps muscles flexible. 

It is a vital link between a sedentary and active life, as it helps prepare the body for movement.  Stretching should be done before and after a workout.  It can also be done anytime of day, and should feel good, not stressful.

Since each of us are unique individuals, stretching should be tailored to our individual body type and musculature.  The focus is to reduce muscular tension and to promote freer movement.

Some yoga poses are a great way to start stretching like cat/cow pose, seated forward, child’s pose, half pigeon.

There are millions of yoga videos on You Tube, just pick one and start stretching!

After she sent me this, I realized that I haven’t been sitting properly while working at my desk, and quickly remedied it! I don’t know why I didn’t think of it earlier since I use the lumbar support on my seat in the car! Sometimes we forget to do the smallest things that can improve our lives immensely.


Until next time! Stay healthy and stretch 😉

~ Pavlina


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