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When there are a million things to do and only 24 hours in a day, self-care isn't just "nice to have," it's a "need to have" thing. Kristen Bell is the queen of making self-care a priority despite being a wife, mom, actress, and now entrepreneur since launching her new baby product line, Hello Bello.
On top of having a killer skin-care routine and a realistic approach to working out, Bell finds stretching at the end of the day to be particularly helpful when it comes to recentering her body and mind. (Related: Should You Try an Assisted Stretch Class?)
"I have purchased every stretch machine for your back, or yoga balls that have been advertised to me on Instagram," she previously told us. "But I've found a couple of really, really good ones that I keep in a little basket by my bedside."
First up is the Plexus Wheel (Buy It, $46, amazon.com), more commonly known as a yoga wheel. Yogis are obsessed with this tool, but it's not just a great tool to boost your practice—it can also do wonders to increase blood flow to specific parts of the spine. Lying on top of the yoga wheel gives your back the perfect amount of support, allowing you to release enough tension to really loosen up. "I've been using it every day for the past couple weeks and it's incredibly beneficial," Bell said. (Related: The Best New Recovery Tools for When Your Muscles Are Sore AF)
Next, Bell swears by Yamuna Balls (Buy It, $61, amazon.com) for getting into tight spots and going up both sides of your spine. While stretching tools like the foam roller treat the body as one whole muscle, Yamuna balls can be muscle-specific, allowing you to get in and around joints like the hip and shoulder, and separate each vertebra in your back, creating space.
Stretching is often overlooked in your daily routine because it doesn't deliver results quite like lifting weights or making changes to your diet. That said, stretching is so important not just to optimize your workout performance, but also to improve your posture and balance.
Plus, time spent stretching can be just as important for your mental health. As Bell says: "Taking a couple of minutes to stretch out your body is such an important, mindful practice. Even my girls will do it with me before bedtime. I find that habitual self-care just keeps me on a really good track and makes me aware of my body."