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SELF CARE

SIMPLE BREATHING EXERCISES

Using your breath to help calm yourself in distressing and anxious moments can reduce your heart rate and stress, and therefore  help to bring clarity to a situation enabling you to better cope in the moment. 

 

OCEAN BREATHING

Breathe in and then straight out again at the same time, imagine you are by a shore line and you can hear the waves coming and going in a steady rhythm, let your breath be in time with the coming and going of the waves, steady and constant. Practice this for about 5 to 8 breaths.

BOX BREATHING

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Visualise a box that you can breathe around.

 

 

  1. Close your eyes. Breathe in through your nose while counting to four slowly. Feel the air enter your lungs.

  2. Hold your breath inside while counting slowly to four. Try not to clamp your mouth or nose shut, simply avoid inhaling.

  3. Begin to slowly exhale for 4 seconds.

  4. Repeat steps 1 to 3 at least three times. Ideally, repeat the three steps for 4 minutes, or until calm returns.

STONE MINDFULNESS

A simple and quick way to help ground yourself can be by using a stone, gem, or small rock to focus on,

Find somewhere comfortable for you and hold the stone in both your hands if possible.

Take a deep breath in and then slowly breathe out, do this three times

Now turn your attention to the stone, taking your time on each of the following

What does the stone feel like?

Notice the weight of the stone.

Is it cold or warm in your hand?

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Have another look at the stone – what do you notice about it

What does the stone remind you of, if anything?

Notice its shape.

Notice the stone’s texture.

What colours or patterns does it have?

Now hold the stone in one hand and place the other hand on top.

Take a couple more controlled deep in and out breaths, notice any sensations in your body.

If any thoughts come to mind, acknowledge them and try to let them go.

You can do this exercise in most places and as often as you want to.

Notice what differences it makes to you, if any.

FIVE SENSES WORK

This is a simple exercise and can be done in most places. Start by focusing on your breath - inhaling slowly followed by a full exhalation - repeat 3 or 4 times.

 

5

Focus on ‘5’ things you can see – It doesn’t matter what they are. Just look around and notice five distinct things. You can either name them out loud or repeat them to yourself silently. Notice each thing and take a moment to soak it in. 

 

4 

Notice ‘4’ things you can feel – it could be your heartbeat, the feeling of clothes against your skin, the wind on your face, your sense of touch, the feeling of the ground under your feet, the seat under you, your feet in slippers – absolutely anything you can feel in this moment and focus on them.

 

3

Identify ‘3’ things you can hear – Activate your inner ear and notice the different sounds around you. Can you hear the air conditioning blowing? Cars driving past? Are birds chirping outside? Can you hear the water moving through the pipes? The ticking of the clock? The blowing? Take each sound in and notice it with your full attention. 

 

2

Observe ‘2’ things you can smell – Your coffee cup? Cooking?  The sea? Your perfume or cologne? The laundry detergent on your clothes? The smell of fresh-cut grass? Paint?  

 

1

What’s ‘1’ thing you can taste? – your drink? Something you’ve eaten? Or maybe you can taste your toothpaste in your mouth?   

It may seem simple to go through these steps but don’t underestimate the power of simplicity here.  Allow your senses to guide you into more calm, more awareness, and more well-being.  Make this exercise a habit and notice all the little positive changes that come with it.

 

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