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Covid 19 Psychological Support: Mindful Shoulders Stretch

Support for HSE staff during the Covid 19 emergency

Mindful Shoulders Stretch

Involves: Standing and stretching arms and shoulders

Time it takes: Approx. 2 minutes 39 seconds

Audience: Busy colleagues who may need a moment to move their body and release some shoulder tension

Preparation: Practice reading the exercise once or twice through. Only stretch to a comfortable degree, do not over strain.  

What people say about this exercise:

This practice requires you to move and comfortably stretch your arms and shoulders. Doing this can be useful to centre yourself and release tension.   

  1. Stand comfortably with feet shoulder-width apart and ensure you have enough space to stretch your arms out around and above you.
  2. This exercise does not involve you moving around the room. So, if you feel comfortable, you may close your eyes.
  3. Take a deep breath in and out
  4. Raise both arms straight out in front of you, and while standing still, keep stretching your arms forward until you feel a comfortable stretch across the back of your shoulders. Hold (3 secs), noticing any sensations. Now relax, bringing your arms to their natural resting place by your side.
  5. Now bring both arms behind your back, and while standing still, stretch your arms back until you feel a comfortable stretch across the front of your chest. Hold (3 secs), noticing any sensations. Now relax bringing your arms to their natural resting place.
  6. Now place both hands on the back of your head with interlocking fingers. Your elbows should create a wing shape around your head. Keeping this position, stretch back your elbows and hold, noticing the tightness in your shoulder blades. Relax bringing your arms to their natural resting place.
  7. When ready, bring your shoulders up to your ears, and hold (3 secs) noticing any sensations. Relax your shoulders. Notice the difference between when your shoulders were tight and now more relaxed.
  8. Now raise both your arms straight up above your head and tilt your head slightly back. Stretch your arms up as if reaching to touch the ceiling and hold (3 secs). Relax letting your arms gently fall to their natural resting place.
  9. While standing still, take a deep breath in and out
  10. That now completes our brief mindfulness stretch, when ready please open your eyes.

National Health Library & Knowledge Service. Health Service Executive. Dr. Steevens' Hospital, Dublin 8. Tel: 01-6352555/8. Email: hselibrary@hse.ie

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