Taking time out to relax or enjoy yourself is an important part of feeling well. So, whether you have 10 minutes or 10 seconds to spare, take time for yourself on World Mental Health Day and feel better. It could even become a habit!
Ten ways to feel better in 10 Seconds
- Just breathe. Take a deep, slow breath in through your nose and out through your mouth in a steady rhythm. Do this couple of times.
- Notice nature. Open your window or door and take a few moments to notice the fresh air, the weather and the sky.
- Move it! Move your body in any way that’s comfortable for you. Even standing up, turning around and sitting down again or just clapping your hands can help us feel energised.
- Water, water. Fill your favourite glass or mug with water and take a few sips, noticing if it’s cool or warm.
- Take a break. Take a 10 second break to drink your tea, stretch your body or blink your eyes a few times — whatever you need to feel more refreshed.
- Stop. Try the STOP technique: Say ‘STOP’ firmly to yourself. Breathe out fully. Drop your shoulders and unclench your hands. Count slowly down from 5 to 1.
- Get comfy. Take a moment to notice how you’re sitting, standing or lying and adjust your position to be more comfortable.
- Just relax. Try our neck and shoulder relaxation exercise (only do what’s comfortable for you): Breathe out for a count of four, in for a count of two. Pull your shoulders down towards the floor, then let them go— try not to control the release.
- Use your senses. Take 10 seconds to really use one of your senses: Listen to what’s going on around you. Look for something colourful or eye-catching. Taste or smell a piece of fruit or cup of tea. Touch the material you’re wearing and notice the different textures.
- Looking forward. Take a moment to think about one thing you’re looking forward to later today or tomorrow. Really imagine how much you’ll enjoy it (even if it’s something simple like a tasty bowl of soup for lunch or putting clean pyjamas on).
Ten ways to feel better in 10 minutes
- Just breathe. Take a deep, slow breath, breathing out for twice as long as you breathe in. Count in for 1, 2 seconds. Count out for 1, 2, 3, 4 seconds. Return your breathing to normal and sit or stand quietly for a few minutes. From our relaxation breathing technique.
- Notice nature. With your door or window open, breathe in fresh air and step outside if you can. Notice how your feet feel on the ground. Do your steps make a noise? Be aware of the weather. Can you feel warm sunshine or a cool breeze? Notice trees or flowers, then listen more deeply to nature’s sounds.
- Move it! Put on your favourite upbeat tunes for a few minutes and move with the music, however you like. It’s your own mini disco and anything goes! You can find simple ideas for moving to boost your mood from We Are Undefeatable.
- Water, water. Keep your glass or bottle of water topped up today and keep sipping all day if you can. Read tips from the NHS to make your water more exciting if you’re not keen on drinking it plain.
- Take a break. Take a 10 minute break to do something just for you: read a book or magazine, put your feet up, do a puzzle or play an online game — whatever you find relaxing and enjoyable.
- Stop. Try the longer STOP technique by getting up and moving away from what you were doing: Say ‘STOP’ firmly to yourself. Breathe out fully. Drop your shoulders and unclench your hands. Count slowly down from 5 to 1. Then shake out your arms and legs, one by one. Close your eyes and count down from 50 to 1. Open your eyes and breathe out fully again.
- Get comfy. Try a mindful body scan, noticing each area of your body from head to toe. Are there any areas of discomfort? Are you warm or cool enough? Check in with your body and notice what you can do to be more comfortable. You can find a longer audio, subtitled and BSL body scan track on the Leeds Mindfulness Co-op website.
- Just relax. Breathe out for a count of four, in for a count of two. Pull your shoulders down towards the floor, then let them go— try not to control the release. Repeat what you’ve just done, then gently shrug your shoulders once or twice. Circle your shoulders once backwards, once forwards Repeat once more. Find the full exercise in our section about looking after your wellbeing.
- Use your senses. Take 10 seconds to really use one of your senses: Listen to what’s going on around you. Look for something colourful or eye-catching. Taste or smell a piece of fruit or cup of tea. Touch the material you’re wearing and notice the different textures. Take a 10 minute walk, outside or inside, and use all your senses in turn: Notice five things you can hear. Notice four different colours that you can see. Touch three different textures. Notice two smells and one taste if you can. Take your time to sense the details around you and how they make you feel.
- Looking forward. Write down three things that you’re looking forward to over the next week: What will you be doing? When? Why are you looking forward to it? You can include simple activities too, like washing your hair with a new shampoo, watching your favourite program or getting the free paper on the bus to do the puzzles.
World Mental Health Day is on the 10th October 2023
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