Stretching is a natural physical and mental stress reliever. It can relax your muscles, and your mind. Physical exercise has been shown to help with feelings for anxiety and low mood (Harvard Health, 2018), amongst both adults and teens (American Psychological Association, 2014). Taking time for a short stretch in the classroom gives students an opportunity to re-focus with refreshed attention.
Testimonials From the Pilot
Benefits for Educators:
- “With practice both the educators and class could become well versed in this easy stress relieving exercise and would quickly become more comfortable with it.”
- “A practice to help with transitions.”
- “Being in a planning time teacher role where I see multiple classes, this particular activity worked the best, because it was easy to implement in majority of my primary/junior classes. All students enjoyed tensing and relaxing their different body parts” (Tense and Relax).
- “This was a useful practice to bring down an emotionally charged class environment and allowed for an easier transition to the next lesson” (Tense and Relax).
Benefits for Students:
- “Each time students were more efficient and better at tensing/relaxing their body parts” (Tense and Relax).