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Relaxations Skills: For Children and Adults

Julia Mitchell-Hoffman, ECE Behaviorist (2013)

When Relaxation skills are used sensibly they are helpful and safe for everyone.

This technique can be done sitting in a chair or laying on the couch or bed.


Begin with simple deep breathing. 

  • Close our eyes and breath in through your nose slowly (1 2 3 4) now slowly release your breath through your mouth (1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8).
  • Repeat several times as you notice how it relaxes your body when you breathe deeply.

Now squeeze your hands closed into fists.

  • Make a fist with both of your hands and squeeze tighter – even tighter (feel the tension?)
  • Relax your hands slowly letting them just go limp.
  • Stretch your finger wide and then wider.
  • Relax your hands, allowing them to go limp again.

Raise your arms above your head as you breathe in and when you lower them release the breath.

  • Take a deep breath in through your nose and as you do so, reach up over your head and stretch high and a bit higher….
  • As you lower your arms breathe out through pursed lips…slowly and relax.
  • Repeat and then just relax, breathing in and out slowly, with your hands by your side.

Tighten your leg muscles to make both of your legs tense.

  • Squeeze tighter.... tighter... and now relax.
  • Let your legs become very relaxed. 

Make the muscles in your arms very tight and tense. 

  • Tighter.... and now relax. (Remember to breathe)

Relax as you notice your breathing.

  • Keep breathing and relax…
  • It feels good to relax…
  • You deserve time to yourself and for yourself

As you close this session, know you can revisit at any time. 

  • Wiggle your fingers and toes…
  • Move your arms in small circles forward and backwards…
  • Turn your head to the right, and then back to the center, to the left and back to the center
  • Open your eyes to look around the room (or just look around the room if you are reading the script yourself)
  • Sit still for a moment…

When you are ready, you can return to your normal activities feeling refreshed and relaxed.