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Quick-Practice Well-Being Pocket Skills

August 9, 2021

By: Duke Integrative Medicine Psychotherapy Team

It is natural to feel afraid, exhausted, and overwhelmed as we continue to navigate these uncharted waters of life during a pandemic. Maintaining mobility in our bodies and a sense of connection to self and others will help us to ride the waves of our varied emotions rather than crashing with them.

Check out our “Quick practice pocket skills.” These simple mindful exercises can be sprinkled throughout your day by practicing hourly, even if only for a few seconds.

 

Deep Breathing

Put one hand on your chest and one on your belly; take 5 deep, slow breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth.

Fear Flap

Standing, slowly inhale as you arch your arms up above your head and exhale as you lower them, gently flapping your arms like a bird. Take 5 breaths this way.

Comfort Cap

Interlace your fingers and place them on top of your head. As you inhale, push through your legs; if sitting, push through your seat, to press your head into your hands and feel your spine lengthen. Take 3-5 deep breaths.

Armpit Hug

Take your right hand and put it under your left armpit. Wrap your left arm across so your left hand is holding your right deltoid. Give yourself little squeezes as you breathe, notice your heartbeat, and consider swaying if that feels good.

Joint Rolls

Roll each major joint in gentle circles, starting with your ankles. Five circles in each direction per joint.

Follow the Leader

With a friend or loved one, one person will be the leader and move around however they wish while the other mimics their movements. Switch roles.

Soften

Look at something beautiful or imagine it in your mind. Intentionally soften the muscles around your eyes. Intentionally soften your jaw. Let your tongue rest in your mouth. Take three breaths.

Heart-Centered Breathing

Imagine you are breathing from your heart. As you inhale, say, “I welcome calm into my cells,” and as you exhale, say, “I release what doesn’t serve me.” Then in your mind, send these or other well wishes to those you know. Then imagine sending well wishes to the entire world.

About Duke Integrative Medicine Psychotherapy Services:

Mental and emotional well-being places a distinct emphasis on identifying your individual strengths and cultivating the skills for successfully adapting to life’s challenges. We are passionate about working with you to navigate your inner compass and live a more meaningful, values-based, and fulfilling life. We use a variety of evidence-based approaches to help you embody a healthy lifestyle by setting realistic goals to help you reach your full potential.

Psychotherapy and Emotional Wellness at Integrative Medicine →

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