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Coping: One extended relaxation exercise

Here is an extended exercise designed to relax you from head to toe. Follow these steps:

  1. Put on quiet relaxing music (optional).

  2. Lie on the floor (or bed). Make sure you are comfortable.

  3. Pay attention to your breath for a few minutes. Close your eyes.

  4. Think of your feet. Scrunch your toes and hold (count to 5). Let go gently and circle your feet to relax your ankles.

  5. Tighten your calves, push your heels down into the floor and pull your toes up. Hold (count to 5) and then let go gently.

  6. Tighten your thighs and bottom. Hold counting to 5 and then let go gently.
    Feel your legs getting heavy and let them sink into the floor.

  7. Tighten your tummy muscles, and squeeze your bottom together. Hold (count to 5) and let go slowly.

  8. Breathe into your tummy (pretend that you can) Put your hand on your tummy and feel it go up and down with your breath.

  9. Notice any tension in your back. Breathe into that area until you feel it relax. Let the floor support your back.

  10. Notice any tension in your chest. Again breathe into your chest until you feel it relax.

  11. Tighten your hands into fists, hold (count to 5), and then let go slowly.

  12. Lift your shoulders up to your ears. Hold (count to 5) and then let go slowly letting your shoulders sink into the floor.

  13. Move your head from side to side to release any tension in your neck. Imagine that your neck is made of rubber. Feel how heavy your head is getting and let it sink into the floor.

  14. Tighten the muscles in your face by scrunching up your face. Hold counting to 5 and then let go slowly.

  15. Open your mouth wide (like a yawn) and stick your tongue out. Hold counting to 5 and then let go.

  16. Check your body starting with your head, moving down through your arms, chest and tummy and bottom, into your legs, and into your feet. Notice any tension left. Breathe into any area that still feels tense until you feel it relax.

  17. Let your body feel heavy and let it sink into the floor.

  18. Try to let your mind go blank. Think of yards and yards of flowing black velvet. Allow thoughts to come and go. Breathe slowly and deeply.

  19. When you feel like it, slowly open your eyes and take a few deep breaths.

  20. Don't get up until you feel like it. Enjoy!

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