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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health and Safety Guide

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Relaxation Technique Social Stories

A crying boy.

Sometimes I might feel scared or worried. This is called anxiety.

A boy taking a deep breath.

When I have anxiety, breathing slowly can help me feel better.

A boy with his mouth open and an arrow pointing away from his mouth.

I should breathe in through my nose, and out through my mouth.

A thought bubble with the numbers 1 through 7.

I should count to 7 when I breathe in, and then count to 7 when I breathe out.

An analog clock.

I should keep breathing like this for at least one minute.

A smiling boy.

When I take deep breaths, it helps my body feel calm.

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A woman with a concerned expression.

Anxiety and stress can make my body feel bad.

A woman standing with her eyes closed and her hands on her hips.

If I squeeze my muscles and then relax them, it can help me feel relaxed.

A woman laying on a couch.

I should sit or lay in a quiet, comfortable place.

A cartoon rendering of a clock.

I should squeeze one area at a time and hold it for 5 seconds.

A woman standing with her eyes closed and her hands on her hips beside an arrow surrounded by the words

I can start at my head and go down my body to my feet.

A woman raising her eyebrows.

I can raise my eyebrows high.

A woman squeezing her eyes closed.

I can squeeze my eyes tight shut.

A woman with her mouth open.

I open my mouth very wide.

A woman with her eyes closed next to arrows pointing to her ears.

I try to touch my shoulders to my ears.

A woman reaching her arm out next to an arrow pointing to her mouth.

I can take a deep breath.

A woman flexing her arms.

I can tighten my arms by "making a muscle."

A fist.

I can squeeze my hands into fists.

Two arrows pointing to the upper legs of a woman.

I can squeeze my upper legs.

A woman sitting on the ground reaching toward her toes.

I can point my toes toward the sky.

A woman sitting on the ground with her toes curled.

I can curl my toes under.

A woman laying on a couch.

I let all my body be soft and relaxed. I feel calm when my muscles are relaxed.

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A woman with a worried expression.

Sometimes I feel scared or worry about bad things happening.

A woman with a thought bubble containing an image of a park.

If I think about a favorite place, it may help me feel better.

A sprinkler below a bird and a bee.

I can close my eyes, take in a deep breath and let it out slowly.

A cartoon rendering of a park.

I think of a favorite place that makes me feel good and happy.

A woman standing in a park.

I imagine being in my favorite place.

A sprinkler below a bird and a bee.

I think of 3 sounds from my favorite place.

A tree, a butterfly, and a dog.

I think of 3 things I can see when I am there.

A daisy and a sunflower.

I can think of smells that are in my favorite place.

A woman with a peaceful expression standing in a field.

I think of how relaxed and happy I feel there.

A smiling woman with her arms raised.

It makes me smile when I remember my favorite place.

A woman with a peaceful expression.

Thinking about my favorite place helps my body feel calm.

A smiling woman with a thought bubble containing an image of a park.

I can think about my favorite place until I start to feel better.

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A man with a worried expression.

I may suddenly feel very anxious. This is called a panic attack.

A man with his mouth open.

Panic attacks can be scary. I may feel like I can't breathe.

A smiling man.

When I feel very anxious, I can use grounding techniques to calm down.

A man looking at his surroundings.

I can take a look around me and remind myself that I'm safe.

A man breathing in through his nose and out his mouth.

I can take slow, deep breaths in through my nose and out my mouth.

A man under a book, sunglasses, a dog, a soda can, and a tree.

I can focus on my 5 senses and name 5 things I see.

A man under a cat, a t-shirt, grass, and a dog.

I can name 4 things I can feel.

An ear next to a bird, a rain cloud, and a music note.

I can name 3 things I can hear.

A nose above a cupcake and a sunflower.

I can name 2 things I smell.

A mouth next to a cheeseburger.

I can name one thing I can taste.

A man with a thought bubble containing trees.

I can also think of a calm place in my mind.

A smiling man.

I can keep doing these things until I feel calm and relaxed.

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Other downloads

Name Description Type File
Deep Breathing Social story on deep breathing pdf Download file: Deep Breathing
Progressive Muscle Relaxation Social story on progressive muscle relaxation pdf Download file: Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Guided Imagery Social story on guided imagery pdf Download file: Guided Imagery
Grounding Social story on grounding pdf Download file: Grounding

This information was developed by the Autism Services, Education, Resources, and Training Collaborative (ASERT). For more information, please contact ASERT at 877-231-4244 or info@PAautism.org. ASERT is funded by the Bureau of Supports for Autism and Special Populations, PA Department of Human Services.