Video lesson

Overcoming obstacles takes a lot of hard work. But no one has an infinite supply of energy. Balancing great effort with beneficial pause is crucial.

Reflection questions

  • What does self-care look like for you?
  • Can you think of a time when stepping away from a problem for a while helped you solve it?
  • What are some ways you can build self-care into your schedule?

Exercise: Use 7-8-9 breathing

A great way to get out of your head is by focusing on your breathing. Based on pranayama — the yoga practice of controlling your breath — the 4-7-8 technique (also known as “relaxing breath”) is a popular exercise that’s easy to incorporate into your daily life. Here’s how it works:

  1. Breathe in for four counts.
  2. Hold your breath for seven counts.
  3. Slowly exhale for eight counts.
  4. For best results, repeat this four times in a row twice a day.

Try it now to get the hang of it. And remember: practice makes perfect!

To see the technique in action, search for “4-7-8 breathing technique” on YouTube.

Tools and tips from around the web

Importance of self-care (Canadian Mental Health Association)

7 science-backed reasons to get outside immediately

Nurtured by nature
“Psychological research is advancing our understanding of how time in nature can improve our mental health and sharpen our cognition”

The importance of self-care

4 Reasons Taking Breaks is Beneficial to Your Productivity

4-7-8 breathing technique how-to video

A variety of deep breathing exercises

6 easy ways to practice self-care while studying

7 Fun Adult Colouring Apps

Printable adult colouring book pages

10 apps to help you embrace self-care


Self-care assessment worksheet

Balancing Priorities and Prioritizing Balance (a free ebook by Josh Martin featuring stories and exercises about making room in life for the things that matter most)