Destressing Tips

Quick & simple activities to help students destress.

Have you ever noticed how jittery students are before or after a test or a presentation? Or maybe they are extra quiet around assessment time. Below are some activities you can try with your students. They may find the activity awkward or giggle at first but if you use one or two of the activities on a regular basis (before every quiz, at the start of the class, before changing activities) you will help students become more aware of their stress and help alleviate some of it. If a student is uncomfortable with any of the activities, invite them to sit quietly during the exercise.

Tense and Let Go

1. Sit in a relaxing position.

2. Spend a few moments paying attention to your breath.

3. Scrunch your toes as tight as you can, hold them for two seconds, then let them rest. Now tense both feet, and when you let them relax, imagine they are very heavy.

4. Squeeze all the muscles in your legs. You might find your legs lift off the ground a tiny bit. After a few seconds, let your legs relax, and feel them settle comfortably into the chair.

5. Pull your belly button in for a few seconds, then let let it get very soft. Relax your back into the back of your chair.

6. Scrunch your shoulders up to your ears, hold for a couple seconds, then relax them down.

7. Make your hands into fists, and squeeze all the muscles in your arms for two seconds. Now rest your arms by your sides.

8. Close your eyes tightly, scrunch up your nose, and squeeze your lips together. Hold your face like this for a few seconds, and then let it relax. Take a big breath in then let out a deep sigh through your mouth.

9. Now pay attention to your whole body. If any part isn’t relaxed, tense it up, then let go, until you’ve relaxed each part of your body