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  • Mary Underwood

Make Time for Self-Care


Slumped over at your computer all day?


Working from home and noticing some neck tension and pain?


It is important to allow yourself breaks throughout the day.


Make time for some self-care.


2020 may have you feeling stressed, anxious, and weary, trying to adapt to norms that seem to change by the hour. Months of staying home, have turned into months of adjusting our exercise, meal, work, and sleep schedules. This constant uncertainty can indeed take a toll on our minds and bodies. Here are five ways to keep you focused and pain free while sitting in-front of the computer.


1. Take Breaks. If you find you start a project then spend several hours in front of the computer without changing position, this is a great first step.


Set a timer to remind you to stand up and move every 30 minutes. It doesn’t have to be a long break just enough to engage your body and increase blood circulation.

2. Chin-Tuck Neck Exercise. Start by sitting upright in a chair. Draw your chin straight back. Be sure not to bring your chin to your chest and look down. But rather, keep your head level as you move your head backward. Hold for 5 seconds, relax and repeat 20 times. This should stretch your upper neck and relieve tension.

3. Seated T-Spine Extension. Start by sitting upright in a low back chair with a pillow placed in the middle of you back (If you don’t have a pillow, you can still perform this exercise). Cross your arms over your chest and lean backwards while arching your spine. Return to upright sitting and repeat movement 15 times. This exercise is to increase mobility and keep your spine healthy and receiving the nutrients it needs.

4. Shoulder Blade Squeezes. You can perform this exercise while standing or sitting. Begin with elbows bent at your side with your palms facing up. Squeeze your shoulder blades together. Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 20 times. This exercise strengthens your postural muscles to improve your focus and comfort.


5. Neck Rotation Stretch. Begin by sitting upright with one hand placed flat on your collarbone.

Slowly tilt your head to the side away from your hand, then turn your head to look up toward the ceiling until you feel a gentle stretch in the side of your neck. Hold this position for 30 seconds, then relax and repeat on other side. Repeat as needed to help release stress from your neck.

BONUS

Standing Marches:

Begin standing. Alternate raising your knees, as if you are marching in a band. Lift and lower your leg slowly, while being sure to stand tall. March for 30 seconds, take a break and repeat.


Perform these movements when you are feeling extra tense and stiff. These exercises will allow you to get back to your daily routine, and help keep you pain-free and focused on the things that really matter!