I wonder if you’ve picked up any new habits or routines recently?

I’ve started to stretch every lunch time with my housemates. It began with a one off session because we all felt stiff and now I look forward to it every day! We’ve been doing it most days for about 3 weeks.

And I’ve noticed something… I’m getting better! On the first day, I could barely touch the floor if I bent over and now I can rest my hands flat down. It’s the same with my shoulders, I felt really stiff the first few times we tried some of the stretches but now I find them much easier and I’m able to try harder ones. It’s fun to realise that you are growing and changing, whether in your body or in your brain. Learning these stretches is helping me to celebrate everything my body can do – something I often forget to do.

I’ve made another discovery too: taking a few days off made it harder to go back again. When it rained last week, all of us decided to wait until it was sunny and when we did – it was REALLY difficult! We were so stiff and sore again, I could barely touch my toes, we’d gone back to the beginning and had to start again.

Good habits can be hard to begin – but they are worth it. The changes you see week by week are satisfying and proof that you are growing. Perhaps you want to try and form a routine or good habit in your life? Let me encourage you to do it! You will be amazed at how far you can grow and what you will learn.

Perhaps that habit might be looking after your room or practicing an instrument, working on being a good listener or reading every day. There are lots of things you can choose to do. Christians believe a great habit to get into is reading the Bible and spending time with God every day – that might be something that you’d like to try too. The more often we set apart daily time for the things that we want to grow in our lives, the more we see those things change us.  

And I encourage you not to give up – not even for one day – because starting up again can be a challenge (as I have learned the hard way this week!). One good way to make it easier to form a good habit for every day is to start small and get bigger as you get more confident. So rather than learn to juggle all in one go, you could practice throwing and catching a ball for a while until you’re ready for the next step. Or rather than try and read a whole chunk of the Bible each day, just read a few verses and talk to God about them for a while.

So take a moment to think about what habits or routines you would like to grow in your life? What steps can you take to make that happen? Maybe an adult can give you some advice or some good tips – why not have a talk to them.

And, just for fun, why not join me in some stretches! While we do so, you might want to take a moment to thank God for all of the awesome things that your body can do.

Stretches with Sally

Reach your arm across your body and use your other arm to support it. Hold for about 30 seconds then do the same on the other side.

Lift an arm straight up and bend it at the elbow. Use your other arm to hold it in place. Hold for about 30 seconds and then do the same on the other side.

Reach out your right arm and tilt the top half of your body to the left. You should feel a nice stretch along your side. Hold it for 30 seconds and then repeat to the right.

Place one foot a good step in front of the other (try not to wobble!)  Make sure to keep both your heels on the floor for this one!  Hold for 30 seconds and then repeat the other way.

Stand on one leg, holding your lifted leg behind you. Try and keep your knees close together – you should get a nice stretch along the front of your bent leg. Try to keep your balance! I find staring at a point straight in front of me helps. Hold for 30 seconds and then do the same on the other side.

Reach down and try to touch your toes. Don’t bend your legs but make sure not to lock them either. Don’t worry if you can’t get all the way down yet, just go as far as you can go. The more you practice, the further you can go! Hold for 30 seconds.

If you want to try the last stretch a different way, sit down with your legs out in front of you and reach as far as you can towards your toes. Every time you breath out, try and reach just a little bit further.

Thank you for joining me with my stretches today – I hope that you had fun!