Five minutes of mindfulness and relaxation you can do at home

Feeling stressed at this difficult time? Head too full of things to do? Finding it hard to prioritise? Why not try taking five minutes for yourself.

Mindfulness is a term we hear a lot these days but, in reality, what it means is to be mindful of yourself. There’s no magic to this; try some of these simple breathing and guided imagery exercises recommended by our Psychological Therapies team.

  • Breathing – lie comfortably, put your hand on your stomach and take deep breaths, breathing in through your nose for a count of three and then out through your mouth for a count of three. Do this a few times. (Optional: you can imagine your stomach is a balloon and, as you inhale, you are filling it with any worries and then, as you exhale, you are blowing these worries away inside the balloon, which floats off to space.)
  • Deep breathing helps to calm the mind, relax the body and slow the heart rate.
  • Create your own mantra such as “I am enough”, “I can do this” or “Everything will be OK”. Repeat this mantra while breathing calmly, allowing your mind to clear.
  • FIVE senses: this is a quick grounding exercise if you are feeling overwhelmed. Think of five things you can see, four things you can feel, three things you can hear, two things you can smell and one thing you can taste.

If your mind wanders during these exercises, that’s OK, just acknowledge that you’re having a thought without judging or engaging with it (Oh, hello there thought…) and watch it drift away like it’s on a cloud.

For sleep

  • Count backwards from 1,000. If you lose your place, just restart without judgement.
  • Say goodnight to every bit of your body, starting from your toes up to your hair – foe example, goodnight toes, goodnight feet, goodnight ankles, etc.
  • Practice gratitude – think of all the things you are grateful for, for example, a comfy bed, a warm blanket, etc.

To ensure you stay well and calm generally

  • Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water.
  • Include physical activities/movement in your daily plan… anything from walking, dancing, yoga, etc.
  • Rxercising releases the feel-good hormone called endorphins, which helps alleviate stress as well as clearing the mind and releasing any muscle tension.

Like these? Want to try some more? Check out these links:

This one is specifically for children: