Guide Stay well resource pack

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5. Remember to breathe...

It sounds obvious but we need to remember to breathe during difficult times, especially when we have to stay inside most of the time. If you can, get some fresh air outside every day. This can improve your mood, reduce feelings of stress or anger, clear the head, give you a bit of space, and make you feel more relaxed. If you can’t go outside, open the window and get some fresh air that way.

Get as much natural light as possible. Spend time in your garden if you have one, on the balcony, or simply open your front or back door and sit with a cuppa.

Five minutes breathing exercise for stress

This calming breathing technique for stress, anxiety and panic takes just a few minutes and can be done anywhere. You can do it standing up, sitting in a chair that supports your back, or lying on a bed or yoga mat on the floor.

  • Make yourself as comfortable as you can. If you can, loosen any clothes that restrict your breathing.
  • If you're lying down, place your arms a little bit away from your sides, with the palms up.
  • Let your legs be straight, or bend your knees so your feet are flat on the floor.
  • If you're sitting, place your arms on the chair arms.
  • If you're sitting or standing, place both feet flat on the ground. Whatever position you're in, place your feet roughly hip-width apart.
  • Let your breath flow as deep down into your belly as is comfortable, without forcing it.
  • Try breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth.
  • Breathe in gently and regularly. Some people find it helpful to count steadily from one to five. You may not be able to reach five at first.
  • Then, without pausing or holding your breath, let it flow out gently, counting from one to five again, if you find this helpful.
  • Keep doing this for three to five minutes.