I don’t know if we’re old enough to be complaining about our aches and pains, but I think all Zillennials can agree that we aren’t as limber as we once were. I mean, we’re not kids anymore. We have growing pains, sore joints, achy muscles and that’s alright. We’ve been up to some pretty cool things and learning along the way! Now it’s time to learn how to care for our bodies at this stage of our lives. Frankly, you won’t be feeling fully peachy if you don’t have a chance to stretch yourself out and let your body do its thing. Integrating stretching into your routine doesn’t have to be hard at all! I find it’s easiest to stretch right before bed because I can look forward to getting those yummy movements and stretches in before curling up all comfy into bed. If you’re like me, then you’ll love these stretches because they’re all awesome right before bed. Curated for typical Zillennial body strains, these bedtime stretches will leave you feeling great!
I feel like our generation’s posture could be better… way better. As a whole, Zillennials tend to slouch and crane our heads toward the nearest screen. This can result in a lot of back and neck pain. I mean, I feel like it’s not unusual to hear a friend of mine complain about a sore neck or back. Usually, I just brush it off because well, aren’t all of our necks and backs sore?
I mean, this shouldn’t be the way we’re living. Doing a little exercise for your spine can work wonders and cat cow is a move slash stretch that will have you feeling awesome. Flexing your spine upward then downward in a traditional cat cow pose is great for your posture and overall spine health, however I also like to include variations that go in circles, figure eights, and other shapes to get my spine stretching and moving in lots of ways it may not be in throughout the day. This is a delicious stretch to do, so linger in it and really tune into what your body wants out of your cat cow stretches.
Not only is child’s pose an excellent and gentle hip opener, it’s one of the most comfortable resting postures (in my opinion). By sending your hips backward over your heels and arms forward, you have the chance to stretch a lot of areas at once– and these are all areas Zillennials are probably straining on a regular basis. First off, you’re opening up your shoulders and chest by melting your arms forward in this pose. You can also stretch your side body with this reach. With your knees wide, sitting back in a child’s pose opens up your hips and offers a gentile stretch where you may be holding lots of tension. Finally, if you keep your toes tucked under you, and rest your weight down on your heels, you can feel a deep and delicious stretch on the bottom of your foot. How great is that?!
While this stretch can be difficult at first, the longer you rest and fold into it, the better a forward fold will feel for your body. Planting your feet hip width apart, slowly bend your upper body forward (keeping your core engaged, as always). At this point, I like to use my hands to clasp onto my opposite elbows and relax my neck so that the weight of my head is drawing my upper body downward, deeper into the stretch. In this clasp, you can also swing your upper body from side to side, feeling a really yummy deepening and intensifying of your stretch. If you have trouble touching your toes normally, try this stretch and see if you’re closer– even after doing it once! It works absolute wonders, believe me. I also feel like the intentional resting of the neck and letting the weight of your head fall down is such a soothing feeling that makes this stretch perfect for right before bed.
Now, there’s no excuse not to try this before bed stretch out because you’re literally laying on your back for it, and just like the other stretches, it feels absolutely amazing before and after doing it. Bring your knee inward to your chest and then across your body to the other side of you, then splay your arms out to either side of you. You should feel a deep stretch along your back and side body. Not only is this stretch great for your spine health (which we know we need as Zillennials), it’s also amazing for calming yourself and your nervous system down after a long day. This is a great way to get your body and mind ready to catch some z’s.
I had to finish this list of bedtime stretches for Zillennials off with one of my favorite stretches of all time, the Happy Baby stretch. Still on your back, to do the happy baby pose, you’ll need to pull your knees up toward your chest and grab onto the inside or outside edges of your feet (each edge stretches different parts of your leg, so feel free to mix it up for a more well-rounded stretch). Once you have a good grip, kick your feet into the air and rock from side to side. Yes, this feels a little silly at first, but go on and embrace that inner child and you’ll start to have a lot of fun with this pose. And if doing the happy baby pose starts making you feel even more sleepy, you’re not the only one. The rocking motion and lower back massage you get with this stretch is so self-soothing that you’re basically rocking yourself to sleep with this one. You’re welcome.
Have any other go-to stretches to feel amazing and get your body ready for rest? Let us know in the comments!