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Need to relax? Give one of these a try:


  1. Let your breath go (don’t breathe in first).
  2. Take in a slow, gentle breath, breathing in through your nose. Fill your lungs deep enough so that your stomach expands (you might even put your hand on your belly button to feel your stomach rise).
  3. Hold it for a second or two (count to four).
  4. Let it go, slowly, with a sigh, out your mouth (count to around 8 for this).
  5. Make sure your teeth are not clenched together.
  6. Repeat 4 times.

Short relaxation exercise

Can be done easily in public (library, exam hall, etc.)

  1. Make sure you are sitting comfortably. Close your eyes if you are comfortable doing so.
  2. Sit upright and rest your hands on your thighs. Let your feet rest on the floor.
  3. Gently breathe out. Slowly breathe in, and gently breathe out again. Repeat this slowly several times, allowing your lungs to fill and empty each time. Let your breath flow slow and naturally…
  4. Now focus on your feet – tense all the muscles in your feet, curling your toes. Now let your toes, feet and ankles relax. Feel the tension draining away into the floor. You might imagine roots spreading out from the bottoms of your feet deep into the earth/floor beneath you, growing each time you exhale.
  5. Next your legs – tense all the muscles in your legs, pressing your legs against the chair. Then relax, letting your legs loose, allowing the tension to drain down your legs, through your feet and into the floor. Focus on the warmth and heaviness in your legs as you do this. Keep breathing slow and full, your stomach muscles relaxing with each exhale.
  6. Back & Spine: Tense your shoulders and back muscles. Press into the chair and hold for a breath or two. Relax, letting the tension drain slowly down your spine, down your legs, into your feet and into the floor.
  7. Focus on your hands and arms. Tense all the muscles, curling your hands and fingers in your lap. Now slowly let the tension drain down your arms, through your hands into your thighs, down your legs, down your feet and into the floor. Breathe gently and slowly, focusing on the warmth and heaviness in your arms.
  8. Become aware of your heart beating slow and steady as you relax. Focus for a few breathes on the warmth and heaviness in your heart area.

Treat yourself to a relaxing moment

  • Take a walk
  • Go for a swim
  • Take a hot bath
  • Rent/go see a film
  • Get or give a backrub
  • Cook your favourite meal
  • Get a manicure or pedicure
  • Listen to your favourite music
  • Have lunch this week with a special friend
  • Schedule time for a phone call to someone you enjoy
  • Plan a special time with your best friend/boyfriend/girlfriend


Concerned about Stress, Anxiety, Insomnia, Depression, or Alcohol and Drug Usage in your life? Take the CALM approach (Computer Aided Lifestyle Management). A free and completely anonymous on-line evaluation and self-help programme for Trinity Students and Staff. Visit the Student Counselling website to find out more and to access the programmes.

Note: Click on new user and register with the activation code - tcdcalm. You can then set up a new username and password.



Last updated 8 March 2017 by College Health Week (Email).