Destressing

So I know this is usually a writing-only blog, but since it’s #mentalhealthawarenessweek , and my most recent poem, I thought it important to share some of my calming down strategies with everyone else!

 

Square Breathing

It’s pretty self-explanatory. Breathe in for four seconds, breathe out for four seconds. Or, if you wish, you can follow the shape of the square. One side you breathe in, the next side you breathe out. Here is a picture of a visual I made.

square breathing

 

Star Breathing

So the same concept applies as in square breathing: breathe in for one side, out for the other. Except, a star has more sides, which makes it more complicated. No problem! Here is another quick visual I made.

star breathing

 

5-4-3-2-1

This is a newer coping technique for me, but I think it’s a great tool!

First, find five things you can see. Say them all out loud in a sentence: “I see a phone.” Then, bring it to the next level by saying something about it, such as: “The phone is on the table.”

Second, find four things you can touch. Just like the things you can see, put them in a sentence: “I can touch the floor.”

Third, find three things you can hear. Like the rest, put it in a sentence: “I hear the cars pass by”.

Fourth, list two things you can smell. This can be harder, so creative license is allowed. Put it in a sentence again: “I smell the flowers.”

Fifth, find one thing you can taste. Again, creative license is allowed. “I taste my coffee.”

Again, here is another visual for those of you who like to see things.

54321

 

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

This one is harder to do in secretive, and it’s not my favourite. But this isn’t about MY favourites, it’s about everyone else. So, how it works is that you tense and relax different parts of the body.

Here is a link for more information: Muscle Relaxation

 

Some other coping/grounding techniques

  • Say alphabet backwards
  • Run hands under cold water (maybe even splash face)
  • Describe the place you are in
  • List the types of wild animals
  • List the types of pets
  • “A is for….” “B is for…” try to connect it to a theme, such as animals, your favourite hobby, etc.

 

These are only a few of the many tips out there!! Remember to practice, practice, practice… and to look after yourself! Know your limits, learn to say no, and love yourself. If you haven’t been told already, you are loved, you are valuable, you are needed.

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