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Connection Corner

Take a moment of mindfulness with progressive muscle relaxation

peaceful looking photo of body of water and sunset

Life can be overwhelming! Sometimes, you just need to take a minute. Next time you get to that point, try this relaxing mindfulness technique to help you rest, relieve tension, or reset your body after stress.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Sit in a comfortable chair or lie down. Close your eyes or lower your gaze. Starting at your feet, slowly contract (tense) the muscle groups in each body par, one-by-one, for 4-10 seconds. Then, release the tension and try to relax that muscle group completely. Be sure to breathe deeply as you work through all your major muscle groups. The following list might help you work your way through your body.

  • feet
  • ankles & calves
  • knees
  • things
  • hips & pelvic floor
  • abdomen
  • hands
  • arms
  • back
  • chest & shoulders
  • face

If you’d like to be guided through this technique, visit the Relaxation Exercises page from McKinley Health Center to find audio versions of this practice. You can learn more about this and other mindfulness techniques HERE.

Have a relaxing day!


Emily Schoenfelder joined the Illinois 4-H team in 2017. Prior to this, she began her work in positive youth development with California 4-H and the YMCA. She specializes in STEM engagement, social-emotional development, and educator professional development.  

She received a Master of Science degree in recreation, park, and tourism administration from Western Illinois University.    

 When she is not writing curriculum or facilitating a training, you may find Emily sitting on the floor of her office, building marshmallow catapults out of popsicle sticks or designing mazes for robots for her next STEM program.  



Connection Corner is a blog that provides timely information, activities, and resources to help you stay connected to loved ones, the world around you, and yourself.