Using the five senses

Using your senses can help you feel more grounded and relaxed.

Below are some ideas for engaging the five senses.

    • Listen to soothing music
    • Pay attention to the sound of nature
    • Sing or hum
    • Learn to play an instrument
    • Call someone to hear their soothing voice
    • Use your favourite perfume or cologne
    • Put lotion on
    • Spray fragrance in the air
    • Light a scented candle
    • Put lemon oil on your furniture
    • Place potpourri in a bowl
    • Boil cinnamon; bake cookies, cake, or bread
    • Smell some flowers
    • Go for a walk and notice the smells of nature
    • Put your hands in soil and notice the smell of earth
    • Have your favourite meal
    • Drink a soothing beverage (tea, hot chocolate)
    • Eat something mindfully; really taste the food
    • Take a bubble bath
    • Put clean sheets on your bed
    • Pet your pet
    • Have a massage
    • Soak your feet
    • Put lotion on your body
    • Put a cold/warm compress on your forehead
    • Sink into a really comfortable chair
    • Put on a silky shirt
    • Put on cozy clothes
    • Brush your hair
    • Hug someone
    • Butterfly hug yourself (video)
    • Place a heavy blanket or pillow on your lap
    • Wrap yourself in big sweater or blanket
    • Arrange or decorate your space the way you like it
    • Light a candle and watch the flame
    • Set the table for yourself
    • Go see some art
    • Look at nature
    • Gaze at the night sky
    • Look at a picture book
    • Watch a dance

Using interoception

Engaging in an activity that involves paying attention to internal sensations can help you regulate your emotions.

Using distractions

  • Needlework 
  • Listen to loud music  
  • Watch your favourite show or movie
  • Tend to a garden / plant flowers or trees 
  • Colour or paint
  • Play a board game or video game
  • Stack dominoes or cards 
  • Count backwards from 100 by 7
  • Say the alphabet backwards
  • Name the provinces and territories of Canada and their capital cities
  • Learn more about world geography with a quiz like Seterra or GeoGuessR

Using gratitude

  • Do something for others 
  • Volunteer  
  • List as many good things about yourself as you can 
  • Talk to someone who cares about you 
  • Remember when you did a good deed 
  • Get a coffee and pay it forward (pay for the person behind you) 
  • Read a children’s book to your inner child 
  • List your recent accomplishments 
  • Encourage yourself – talk to yourself the way you would to someone you care about, or wish someone would talk to you, such as with statements like: 
    • I can do this 
    • I can stand it 
    • It won’t last forever  
    • I’m doing the best I can  
    • I am strong and capable