Stress busting tips

When you are in gaol there are less choices about how you live your life. You might also be worried about your family and friends. This can be hard, and routines you normally rely on to help you cope might have changed. It is not surprising that sometimes you might get stuck thinking about all of the things that are wrong.

This might make you feel frustrated, stressed and sad. You might find that the littlest things can upset you sometimes.

When you feel like this it can be helpful to think about the problems you have overcome in the past and how you coped with them. It can also be a good thing to work out what choices you do have here.

1. Tips from inmates on stress

Tips from inmates on stress


2. Grounding exercise focus on moment chat.JPG

Grounding is a way of re-focusing on the moment when we are feeling anxious or worried. Find a comfortable seated position before trying this exercise. 

Take a deep breath in and out.

Look around you and notice:

5 things you can see

4 things you can touch

3 things you can hear

2 things you can smell

1 thing you feel.

Take another deep breath in and out. Notice how you feel now. If this worked for you, maybe show it to someone else.


3. Look after your health

Eating as well as we can and moving our bodies as much as we can is helpful when times are tough.

Helping others can also make us feel better.

It can be hard to do these things in gaol, but you still have choices.

Think of simple steps you can take to look after your health.


4. Breathing exercise - 'Box Breathing' box breathing.JPG

Box breathing allows us to notice our breath and relax our nervous system. 

Taking a few breaths when you feel tense or upset can help you think more clearly. 

Find a comfortable position sitting or laying down, and do this slowly about 3 times. 

Once your breathing is smooth, place a hand on your belly. Notice how your belly rises as you breathe in and falls towards your spine as you breathe out.

From here you can breathe in and out for longer until you can feel the tension in your body melt away.


Please ask to speak to a nurse if you are feeling like it is hard to cope. 


You can also call the Mental Health Helpline on the phone.

Call the free Mental Health Helpline (option 9 on the yard phone). Calls are confidential. Tell the mental health nurse if you need an interpreter.