Guided Meditation for Shelter-in-Place

With so many of us honoring a shelter-in-place mandate it is only to be expected that stressed out folks are going to feel overwhelmed every-once-in-a-while. Try a family guided meditation, guided imagery, or a simple breathing exercise to encourage calm. After describing the material you will be reading, suggest that the participants find a comfy place they can relax. Tell them if they would like to close their eyes, to do so. Once everyone is settled begin reading the script. Use your regular voice. Don’t over dramatize the content. Choose a slow and steady pace. You should practice reading the guided meditation script alone. Note: read the script yourself a couple of times so you can read it smoothly to others..

Things to remind your family or group:

  1. If the material makes you uncomfortable you do not have to participate. Instead, relax, be in the moment, clear your mind of everyday worries, and go on a self-led guided meditation tour by remembering a place that you love, people you love, and activities you love.  Let them fill your imagination.
  2. Relaxation techniques are like any other muscle memory response. They will improve with practice, so don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t work the first time out. Try different relaxation techniques such as guided imagery, progressive muscle relaxation, or being mindful.  Put yourself in the present moment where you are aware of all the things around you. Experience them, don’t push them away. Remember Coby Bryant didn’t become who he was without hours of practice nor does a concert pianist. Practice.
  3. If your mind wanders during the exercise, don’t be alarmed. Gently bring it back to join with the group.
  4. We are all individuals; our responses to the guided meditation reading will be different. Celebrate that individuality.

This first guided meditation is from 30 Scripts for Relaxation, 2nd Ed. Volume 1

The Sea – Guided Meditation

Don R. Powell

Time: 5 minutes

In this script, participants relax by taking an imaginary journey along a beach, listening to the birds and waves and watching a brilliant sunset.


It’s time to make yourself as comfortable as possible. You’re invited to close your eyes, becoming more and more aware of which parts of your body are feeling tight or tense…and which parts are relaxed…noticing all the sensations…even where it may feel neutral or blank.

Now take a few deep breaths. Each time, take the air in through your nose, holding it momentarily … and then slowly exhaling through your nose … You’ll find yourself relaxing more and more deeply, more and more completely, with each exhalation.

Taking the air in … letting the air out … allowing yourself to relax, more and more.

In a few moments, I’m going to describe a very vivid scene in which you’ll imagine yourself walking along a beach. Allow yourself to imagine this scene as though you are there experiencing whatever sights, sounds, smells, tastes, textures, and touches you can by using whatever senses and concepts come naturally for you to bring the experience alive.

Using your imagination, bring to mind a bright summer day. It’s late in the day. And you decide to go for a walk along the beach. Notice the sun is radiating warmth and comfort as it shines boldly… The sky is crystal clear without a cloud in sight… The grains of sand at your feet reflect the sunlight, warming and comforting the soles of your feet…The sound of the waves are beating against the shore and echo in the air.

If you would, notice the warm, light breeze brushing against your face as you walk onward… Far off in the distance, you can hear the cries of sea gulls … and imagine them gliding through the sky, swooping down into the sea, and then flying off once again.

As you walk further along the shore, you decide to rest. Sense yourself sitting down on a mound of pure white sand and gaze out at the sea, staring intently at the rhythmic, mesmerizing motion of the waves rolling into shore.

Each wave breaks against the coast … rises slowly upward along the beach, leaving an aura of white foam, and then slowly retreats back out to sea, only to be replaced by another wave that crashes against the shore, works its way up the beach, then slowly retreats back out to the sea. Let yourself bring this alive … hearing the sounds … watching the movement … feeling the sensations.

With each motion of the wave, as it glides in and as it glides out, you find yourself feeling more and more relaxed, more and more calm, more and more serene.

The waves are gliding in and the waves are gliding out … You’re feeling more and more calm … Continue to experience the waves gliding in … and out.

Now, staring off into the distance, you notice that the sun is beginning to sink into the horizon. The sun is sinking down and you’re feeling more and more relaxed as you see its movement going down … down … and down.

The sky is turning brilliant colors of red … orange … and all manner of yellows … blues … and purples … As the sun sets, sinking down … down … down … into the horizon, you’re feeling very relaxed and soothed. And you watch the sun as it continues sinking down.

The beating of the waves, the smell and taste of the sea, the salt, the cries of the gulls, and the warmth against your body—all these sights, sounds, and smells leave you feeling very soothed, very calm, very peaceful.

Give yourself room to relax even more.


In a few moments, I’ll count from one to three. When I reach the count of three, allow your eyes to softly open. And you’ll feel completely refreshed and totally relaxed.
1 … 2 … 3.

It’s time to open your eyes. Stretch … and notice how you’re feeling.

Repeat the above instructions until everyone is alert.

Too grownup for your kids? Try this guided meditation, from
Stress Relief for Kids: Taming Your Dragons

Imagine You’re a Dragon – Playful Exercise

Purpose: stretch your body in seven different ways

Stand comfortably with your arms relaxed at your side.
Let go of the tightness in your knees.
Imagine you’re a dragon who lives up north.
You like cold weather and snowstorms.
Breathe in and lift your arms up over your head.
Move your arms like the cold winds of the north.
Let the snow fly during a big blizzard.
Lower your arms and relax.
Imagine you’re a dragon who lives along the East coast.
You like to play in the ocean.
Breathe in and lift your arms up to waist level.
Move your arms around your body like giant waves.
Let the waves roll in along the shore.
Lower your arms and relax.
Imagine you’re a dragon who lives in the South.
You like warm weather and sunshine.
Breathe in and lift your arms to the side with your palms facing up.
Feel the sun rise over your head.
Lower your hands down over your face and body.
Feel the sun showering you with its warm energy.
Imagine you’re a dragon who lives along the California coast or in Hawaii.
You like palm trees and tropical weather.
Breathe in and lift your arms up over your head.
Move like a palm tree swaying in the breeze.
Feel the stretch in your trunk and limbs.
Lower your branches and let go.
Imagine you’re a dragon who lives in the Midwest You like wide open fields of wheat and corn.
Breathe in and lift your arms up to shoulder level.
Stretch your fingers out as far as you can in every direction.
Reach out over acres and acres of farmland.
Lower your arms and relax.
Imagine you’re a dragon who lives in the Rocky Mountains You like snowy peaks and high elevations.
Breathe in and lift your arms up as high as you can.
Climb up to the Continental Divide.
Reach up to the top of the highest mountain and look out at the view!
Go down to the bottom of the mountain and relax.
Imagine you’re a dragon who lives in the Southwest desert.
You like open skies and beautiful sunsets.
Breathe in and lift your arms up all around you.
Feel the openness of the sky filled with giant clouds.
Stretch your whole body out into space.
Now let go and relax completely.

*Download a printable version of this exercise here.

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