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31 Days of Mental Health Moments: A month of daily practices to help you cope with the stress and anxiety of your crazy, busy life

by Lori R. Miller

DAY 3: What’s on your mind?


My go-to app to for deep breathing is called Breathe2Relax. Breathe2Relax is a free stress-management tool developed for combat veterans. The app offers a tutorial to get you started with the technique of breathing from your diaphragm. Then it takes you through a cycle of breathing that guides you through the inhale and exhale. I’ve used this app in my car, in a bathroom stall, in my bed, at my desk and one time in a McDonald’s drive-through. There are no breaths to count or memorize. Just focus on filling your belly with air and let the app do the counting for you. Some days it’s the only thing that keeps me balanced.

Take 5 Breathing

If you don’t like apps or don’t have a device handy, you can use a technique called “Take 5 Breathing.” This one is great to help kids learn deep breathing, too.
  1. Lay your right hand on a flat surface, fingers slightly fanned out.
  2. Then, starting with the bottom of your thumb, with the index finger on your other hand, trace up, inhaling deeply into your belly.
  3. As you trace back down the other side of your thumb, exhale slowly.
  4. Continue up the next finger (the index finger if you’re keeping score at home), inhaling, and so on, back down, until you reach the last finger on your hand.
  5. Rinse and repeat until you feel more relaxed and calm.

DAY 5: Worry less and learn to let go

Download: Worry Less Action Plan

DAY 11: What spoons can teach you about stress

The article by Christine Miserando is currently not available on her website as of the publication of this book. Check out this video where she reads the article. I think it’s even more meaningful.

DAY 14: Put a label on it

Download: List of emotions

DAY 15: Get what you want without feeling entitled

Entitlement is just one thing that eats away at resilience. Check out some of my other articles about resilience:

DAY 19: Get unstuck and focus on what’s ahead

Read: How writing helps you find solutions in your stress

DAY 21: You might be passive aggressive…

Read: Moving to the center of conflict

DAY 26: How to calm the heck down

See Day 3 above for the apps and exercises.

DAY 27: It is what it is

Exercise: Leaves on a stream

DAY 30: Be okay with scraping some paint off

As only Bob Ross can explain, there is great power in scraping off what you think you can’t come back from. As a side note, watching episodes of Bob Ross is a mindfulness exercise all on its own. His calming demeanor is a great way to unwind after a hectic day.

DAY 31: How do you want to finish?

Read: How Life Became an Endless, Terrible Competition

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