Option A. Stretch your psoas muscles!
The psoas is a muscle that connects the front of your lumbar spine to the femur, or thigh bone. While we sit, the psoas is shortened. Long periods of sitting can create compression in the low back by pulling the lumbar spine forward, thus increasing the lumbar curve and potentially causing pain in the spine, if the forward pulling motion is not periodically offset by counter postures (like some simple stretching, described below).
A high lunge pose in yoga is a great way to stretch this large, deep abdominal/hip flexing muscle. Stand in a wide forward lunge position with the pointy hip bones you can feel at the front of your pelvis aiming straight ahead. Get into position and hold for 5-30 seconds on each side. You should feel a pleasant stretch from the front of your thigh that crosses the groin, and goes deep into your abdominals. To deepen the stretch, you can bring the arms straight up toward the ceiling and/or gently tuck your pelvis (imagine a dog tucking its tail between its legs and you'll get a similar effect).
Option B. Contract your lower trapezius muscles!
The upper trapezius muscles (traps for short) can become notoriously tight with things like stress and extended screen time - or really any prolonged work in front of our bodies. When the lower trapezius muscles are contracted, the taut upper traps will naturally relax. To help the shoulders relax for a few seconds, concentrate on sliding your shoulder blades down your back, each one heading in the direction of the back pocket of your pants on the opposite side. Hold this position for a few seconds, then relax back into a neutral position. When the lower traps are contracted, you'll notice your chest lifting slightly, and usually your posture will momentarily improve as your upper body sits more upright. To strengthen your lower trapezius muscles, hold this contraction for 10-30 seconds a few times each day, and enjoy having more naturally relaxed upper traps.
Option C. Do the twist!
You can decide whether or not to put on a minute's worth of your favorite dance tunes, but with or without music, a short and simple "twist" dance move will get energy moving around in your body, bringing blood flow to different areas, and will probably put a little smile on your face. For an old-school demonstration, see this video - the dancing starts at 1:45.
Option D. Close your eyes and take some belly breaths.
Our autonomic nervous system is divided into two equally important parts: the sympathetic nervous system, known as our "fight or flight" system, is responsible for our stress response; the parasympathetic nervous system is in charge of our bodies' healing and "rest and digest" capacities. You can imagine how things like global pandemics, systemic societal injustices, and work deadlines will contribute to overloading our sympathetic nervous systems. If you can take a minute to shut out the outside world and remember to BREATHE, you can help lower your stress response. Here's how: close your eyes and focus on slowly inhaling into your belly, so instead of your chest rising, your belly extends. You can either count to 5 with each inhale, hold the breath for 3-5 seconds, and take another 5 seconds to exhale, OR, just allow your belly to rise and fall as you pay attention to each breath coming and going. Let yourself have a little minute of zen. This can not only calm you, but it's been shown to improve cognitive function, naturally regulate emotions, and even give our immune systems a little boost as well. For more on the benefits of diaphragmatic breathing, and additional techniques, check out this article.