Breathe

over 60 tools to distract, relax and help you cope... 

Breathing Bubble

Follow along with a breathing meditation to help you calm down or center your thinking. 

Dance

We hold stress and anxiety in our bodies. Movement can reduce stress chemicals and increase feel-good chemicals in our body.  It can also make our brain’s “fight or flight” system less reactive in the future. 

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Calm Sounds, Music and More!

Visit this web page for calm sounds, music, meditations and stories. If you don't want to log in, just click on the word "skip" in the upper right hand corner. This is also available as a free app for your phone. 

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Online Art

Coloring is a great way to calm and distract yourself.  Empty your mind of worries as you focus on your picture.

 

 Don't have any coloring books or markers at home? That's ok! You can color and do art activities online. 

Virtual Reality Hot Air Balloon

Turn down the volume and listen to the music quietly while you virtually soar through the air.  Use the arrows in the top left corner to look up/down or left/right. Click on this Hallmark video and watch through Youtube. 

Play a Game

 

Play a creative game that distracts your brain. This one is a quick drawing game that works great on a phone or touchscreen tablet. But, you can also use your mouse pad.

Take Your Shoes Off!

If you are feeling stressed out, anxious or sad... focus on your feet and how they feel on the ground. You can try this outside or inside

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Listen to a Book

Close your eyes and listen to a story.

Maybe take a nap or use at bedtime. 

15 Min Physical Activity

Sometimes, the best way to distract ourselves and re-set is to get moving and sweat. Let your emotions come out through your body.  Try to spend 15 to 20 minutes on physical activity.

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Stay Connected

Stay connected to friends, family and supports. Send a letter, text/call, or video chat. 

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Daily Motivation & Habit Tracker

Daily routines can help us feel better. Try this gentle coaching tool to help you build routines to become your best self.   Free App

Let Go

Use this meditation to let go of future worries and stay in the now. 

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Classical Piano

Distract yourself by playing the virtual piano. Play faster or slower depending on your mood. 

Yoga for Uncertain Times

There are several FREE yoga videos in this series. 

 

Try this one for loneliness. 

Sensory Bottles

Use items that you have at home to make fidgets or sensory items. 

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Journal or Diary

Customize a FREE online journal. There are lots to try: food diary, health diary, dream journal, reflective journal, prayer journal and more!

10 Minute Meditation

Find a quiet place. Turn your volume down so that you can listen quietly. 

Reflexology

Reflexology is a traditional medicine used to improve health through pressure point massage. Give it a try- even if you do not believe in the science, the massage will feel great!

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Free Music

Visit the "Isle of Calm" to stream 6 hours of free music.

 

You'll find classical, folk, jazz, ambient, pop, blues, soul, hip-hop, indie-rock and more!

Create a Calm Space

Create a calm down space for each person in your home. 

Click here to see a "fort" that Jacinta Moss created for her son. She hung a blanket and added calming activities. He loves it! (Jacinta is Co-Chair of our Family Service Committee.)

Scents & Emotions 

Think about how a lemon smells...or cookies just out of the oven or freshly mowed grass. How does it make you feel? Certain scents can help us feel calm or happy. Give it a try with some items that you have at home!

Butterfly Hug

This technique works for kids AND adults! It can hep reduce anxiety and stress. 

Regular hugs work too! Spend some time snuggling a pet or getting/giving a hug to your family or friends.

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Fidgets

Fidgets are another great way to calm down, relax, or distract yourself from stress. Turn down your volume and then try this virtual fidget spinner. The more you spin, you can unlock new fidget spinners. 

Resilience

Marika Reese was RCCMHC's Family Engagement Director in 2019. She returns here to share some ideas about resilience and how to practice mindfulness & deep breathing.  

The Joy of Bubble Wrap 

Popping bubble wrap can be a soothing distraction. Don't have any at home?  That's ok. Try this virtual bubble wrap.

Sacred Drumming

Many people have a tradition of sacred drumming in their culture. Drumming can be used to celebrate but it can also be use to soothe or to heal. Drum along and think about your heartbeat and the rhythm of your breath.

Pinwheel 

Blowing bubbles or blowing on a pinwheel can help us to slow down our breathing and our heart rate so that our bodies feel more calm. Download this FREE app for a virtual pinwheel. Then, blow on your cellphone and watch it spin!

Puppies

Sometimes just watching a video of fluffy puppies is enough to give your mood a boost. 

Tai Chi

A very slow and peaceful movement exercise to practice awareness and focus breathing. Helpful to reduce stress and anxiety

Art Therapy

Self-Compassion and mindfullness. Setting the mood for self-care. Watercolor and reflective writing.

Fireflies

Real-life fairies! Relax to these nighttime sounds and twinkling lights. 

Laughter is the best medicine!

 

Sometimes we don't feel like laughing. But science shows us that even when we pretend to laugh, chemicals are released in our bodies that can reduce pain and stress.

Try it here.

Pine Forest

Unplug and spend some time in nature... bird song, the crunching of pine needles underfoot, the fresh smells of trees and flowers, and a gentle breeze... aaah.

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The Guardians

Play a game to fight depression and improve wellbeing.  Every day you can earn new pets and rewards by doing any activity that's meaningful to you.

Have a Warm Drink

Sometimes it feels nice to hold a warm cup in our hands. Use a recipe from this video or snuggle up with your favorite warm beverage. Stay away from caffeine if possible. Try cocoa, cider, warm milk or herbal tea. 

Rocking

Rocking can improve mood, reduce pain, relieve stress, and help with sleep. A rocking chair is the best... but you can also try rocking yourself in a seated position or while lying on your side. 

Try Hot or Cold

Try both of these to see what works best for you. (You might be suprised.) Some people like to use a heat pack or warm bath/shower. Other people might like to splash cool water on their face or hold an ice pack or cold bag of peas to the back of the neck. 

Try Hand Mudras

 

Yoga mudras are an ancient practice. Some people use yoga hand gestures as they meditate or focus their intentions. It can be a nice distraction to practice and hold these different hand shapes. 

Use a Weighted Blanket

Weighted blankets and lap pads can help with anxiety, sleep etc. But they tend to be expensive. Try making your own with a stuffed animal! Add rice, beans, poly pellets or other heavy material. 

Virtual Cafe

Is social distancing driving you crazy? Do you miss being around other people in a crowded cafe or restaraunt? Play this video for some background noise or close your eyes and escape into your imagination. 

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Get a Change of Scenery

When you need to calm down or if you are feeling stuck... try changing your scenery. Go to a different room, change the lighting, add music, open a window etc. If possible, you might even go for a drive or visit a friend/family member. 

Feel Better with Shaving Cream

Shaving cream is an inexpensive sensory item that can help you relax. Squish it, draw in it with your finger, or use it to make marbled paper! After your paper dries, add your favorite inspirational quote. 

Be Kind to Yourself

This meditation is good for kids and adults and can be done from a chair. May I be Happy-- May I be Healthy-- May I be Safe-- May My Life Be Filled With Joy. 

Turn off Fight/Flight/Freeze

Try Alternate Nostril Breathing to help stimulate parasympathetic nervous system activity. This can reduce anxiety and negative stress reactions in your body.  

Comfort Foods

What foods bring you comfort? Watch this video for some ideas. 

Do you need food or supplies for your family? Text us at 1-800-565-2575 and we will help!

Relax Muscles to Sleep or Nap

Do your muscles feel tight? Do you have trouble falling asleep? Try this simple visualization to soothe the mind and relax the body.

Your Happy Place

If you feel like you need to escape for awhile, take a vacation in your mind. Search Youtube for the word "ambiance." Visit a tropical island, a cozy cabin, an ancient library, a winter cottage, a seaside market, the Shire, Hogwarts and more!

Shake It Off

Try this whole-body technique to literally shake off stress and worries. This video is shared by local youth through the Irreducuble Grace Foundation.

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Draw Your Emotions

Let your imagination and emotions go free with this online sketchpad. Try this virtual sketchpad I like sketchy, crayon, and spraypaint :)

Strength, Courage and Wisdom

If you need a reminder that you have whatever it takes to make it- to adapt- it's been inside of you along. Listen quietly or turn it up!

Mindful Eating

This can work with any food you have at home. Engage all your senses and pay full attention to what you are eating. This is a good distraction and can also help you feel calm.

Belly Breathing

You can use a stuffed animal or anything that can sit comfortably on your stomach while you practice this mindful breathing exercise. Hint: try this at night to help you fall asleep.

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Panoramic Vision

Use your eyes to turn off your stress response. TRY THIS: Look at a large area of your room or look outside. Relax your eyes to see above, below, and to the sides of you-- but keep your head still. This will tell your brain to let go of your body's hyper-vigilance and arousal to help you feel calm. Practice for a few minutes.

Nature

Looking at images of nature can help our brains to relax and de-stress. This gets harder to do in winter. How can you bring nature indoors? Try hanging a nature photo, growing a plant, or watching a nature video.

Indoor Plants & Gardens

Indoor plants have been shown to help our moods. This Pothos plant is inexpensive, and it can survive under or over watering. It can even live in the dark! No Pothos plant? That's ok! You can also grow plants from vegetable scraps!

Fish Tank

Try to give all of your attention to the fish tank in this video.  What do you notice? How many fish can you count? Can you find the black fish?  Turn up your volume to hear the bubbles and hum of the tank.

Feel Calm & Sigh

Need a quick way to "re-set" your nervous system back to CALM? Try this easy trick. It starts with two breaths in and then one long sigh.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

When we are stressed-out, our muscles tighten up. Sometimes we have so much stress in our bodies that we don't even notice how tight our muscles have gotten!  This video will help!

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Shadow's Edge Game

Become a graffiti creator, express your thoughts in your personal self-care journal and play this game to find stress relief!  Try this free app for resilience, selfcare and anti-stress.

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Practice a New Skill

 

Our brains are not good at doing two things at the same time. So if you want to change how you are feeling, give your brain something else to think about! Visit this webiste of Extreme Indoor Activities to distract yourself and learn a new skill. 

1-Min Relaxed Breathing

This is an easy breathing exercise to try. Just do what the fish does! It only takes one minute.

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Go For a Mindful Walk

Going for a walk is a great way to feel better. A mindful walk helps you to concentrate on what you see, hear and feel. 

Mind & Body Workout

Try this in the morning or any time you want to feel more alert, balanced, and ready to try new things.

Celestial Noise

Some people like a steady humming sound (like a fan) to help them relax.  

Relax with Bob Ross

Bob Ross was a painter on TV in the 80's. He is known for his gentle voice and happy spirit. Bob will help you remember to "just relax and let it flow." Watch the paint turn into an actual picture and remember that sometimes we need to take a step back to see a different perspective on our lives. 

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Skills Studio

Visit the Skills Studio to learn new ways to manage big emotions and become your best self! 

Be a Rainbow

Helping others can decrease stress and increase feelings of happiness. Be a listening ear, say a kind word, help with a chore, share a skill or volunteer. Try this: do 1 extra kind action every day for 7 days and then see how you feel. 

Sleep Stories & Meditations

Listen to a Sleep Story for adults or try a CALM meditation. Kids' stories and activities are available too!

1 month free trial here

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Self Care Toolkit

This virtual tool kit has it ALL... Create your very own self care toolkit and save as a pdf to print or keep on your computer. 

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Coping Ideas

Click on this Coping Calendar for ideas that help us keep calm, stay wise, and be kind. 

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Grit X Sketchbook

Use this virtual sketchbook to create a dream board, safe space, gratitude page, life maze and more!

Virtual Kayak

Take a virtual kayak trip and listen to the sounds of water and nature. 

5,4,3,2,1

Live in the moment with this calming exercise. Look around and think of 5 things you can see, 4 things you can hear, 3 things you can feel, 2 things you can smell, and 1 thing you can taste.

Journal Ideas

It can help to write our ideas down but it's not always easy to get started. This website has lots of journal ideas.  Write out your feelings and delete or save for later. 

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Hopes, Dreams & Plans

Listen to a song that makes you feel hopeful. If the present moment doesn't feel good, make some plans.  What could you look forward to this week? This month? In a few years? 

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Fluid Sand Tray

Use your mouse or finger to SLOWLY trace designs in the fluid sand tray. 

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Gratitude

Science tells us that when we spend time thinking about the things we are thankful for, we re-wire our brains to be happier and more positive. Try a gratitude app, a journal or gratitude jar