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Virtual Zen Den

WELCOME TO YOUR VIRTUAL CALMING CORNER

On this page, you will find a variety of resources to help you find peace. Times of change, uncertainty, and confusion can leave us feeling stressed and anxious. Using calming techniques and coping skills helps us overcome these challenges and obstacles. Feel free to browse the options presented here and try different practices to see what works best for you.

 

Zen Den? Calming Corner? What's that? Check this out!

CONNECTION with friends and family is important. Reach out. Rely on your support system. This can be a challenging time to stay connected, but technology is a wonderful thing as we have access to FaceTime, Google Hangout, zoom. Just picking up the phone and calling or texting someone is a great way to stay connected. Spend time with your family playing board games or just eating dinner together. 
CONVERSATION PROMPTS:
  •  How is this experience for you?
  •  What are you finding most challenging?
  • Is there anything I can do to support you?
 
ACTIVITY PROMPTS:
  • Work on projects (like puzzles or cooking) together over FaceTime.
  •  Schedule a Google hangout with friends.
  • Watch the same tv show while talking on the phone.
 
DEEP BREATHING is a skill you can practice anywhere, anytime. Breathing comes naturally to us, but when we really focus on our breath and practice deep breathing, our body relaxes. If we can relax physically, it helps us relax emotionally.
BELLY BREATHING:
Imagine your belly is a tire. Take a deep breath in through your nose that fills your belly, like you are inflating a tire. Slowly breathe out through your mouth so that your belly deflates, like air deflating from a tire. 
PIZZA BREATHS:
Imagine you are holding a piece of pizza. Take a deep breath through your nose, like you are smelling the pizza. Then, breathe out slowly through your mouth like you are cooling down your delicious piece of pizza to take a bite. 
 
GROUNDING techniques help us focus on the present moment and settle our minds. One easy way to practice grounding is called the 5-4-3-2-1 technique. Simply pause then name:
  • 5 things you can see
  • 4 things you can hear
  • 3 things you can touch
  • 2 things you can smell
  • 1 thing you can taste
 
JOURNALING is an excellent way to get your thoughts out. You can write everything you think and feel then throw it away and rip it up if that helps relieve difficult feelings. Some people like to keep their journals and use them for future reflections. If you are new to journaling and don't know where to start, visit this website for prompts. 
 
MEDITATION allows us to clear the mind and achieve a sense of stability and calm. This is a 5-Minute Meditation that helps you reset. When we are feeling anxious, our mind tends to spiral down the "what ifs" which continues the cycle of worry. Find a soothing meditation to help refocus, or choose a sleep meditation which will help you turn off your brain at night when it's hard to sleep.
 
MINDFUL EATING is a way to practice being present and grounded in the moment. Watch this video for a guide on how to try this way of eating.
 
MUSIC is a great coping skill. Learn to play an instrument, or practice playing the instrument you already know. Your brain will focus on that activity and instantly relax. Listening to your favorite music is another way to refocus the mind. Calming music is another good option that is easily accessible through a quick search online.
 
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY is one of the best ways to release any stress, worry, sadness, anger, or frustration. Research shows there is a connection between our physical well-being and our emotional well-being. Find ways to stay active, even as we practice measures to be safe and healthy. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends 60 minutes of physical activity for children ages 6-17. Staying healthy physically is one of the best ways to stay healthy emotionally. 
 
VISUALIZATION is an easy way to relax no matter where you are. Simply imagine a place where you feel happy, safe, and calm. Perhaps that is a favorite vacation spot. Maybe it is a picture you have in your mind of the beach, the mountains, or a sunset. Try to experience all 5 senses.
What you do hear? What do you see? What do you smell? What can you taste? What do you feel?