Sea Turtle: A One-Minute Relaxation Tool

Jul 19, 2012 | All Relaxation Activities, One Minute Relaxers


Photo credit:  © Tigatelu |

It’s very simple:  “Pull your energy into your shell and go with the flow”.  That’s it for the one-minute sea turtle relaxation.  Ever need a quick relaxation tool in your pocket?  Ever been in the car, in line at the grocery store, walking in the hallway at school, and you notice that your child is struggling to manage his energy?  Pretend you are a sea turtle and practice a fun, easy way to relax in the moment.

1.  Tell your child that you are going to relax like a sea turtle.

2.  Pull your energy back into your shell with a few deep breaths.  If appropriate, you can add a self hug “shell” to provide the kinesthetic, tactile feedback as well.  Imagine that all of your energy is coming right back to you and that you are pulling it inside your shell to focus and relax.

3.  Next, just like sea turtles effortlessly float in the ocean, you are going to “go with the flow”.  Relax your body, let all of your muscles melt like you are floating in the ocean.

4.  Now we are going to  “go with the flow.”  Make whatever is happening in the moment, “Okay by me.”  Explain that “saying okay” is just noticing, it doesn’t mean that you like what is happening, you are just allowing it to be okay right now.  Then, watch and flow, watch and flow.  Allow yourself to float peacefully in the moment.

For quick reminders, after you have practiced for a while, you can simply practice by saying “Sea Turtle” as the signal to begin.  That signal can be the reminder to “pull your energy into your shell and go with the flow.”

This works great when you have a clearly identified unit of time  to practice in.  For example, say you are on the way to grandma’s house and staying relaxed in the car has been a challenge.  Tell your child that you are going to practice being sea turtles just for the ride.  See how well you can pay attention to keeping your energy in your shell and go with the flow.  Or, just before a test at school.  Tell your class that you are going to pull your energy into your shells for focus and then go with the flow during the test.


  1. Hello Dr. Jazwierska!

    I am currently a fourth year PsyD Clinical Psychology student. As part of my dissertation requirements, I am creating a body image program to be implemented in early elementary school classrooms. One of the lessons includes relaxation exercises/self-affirmation etc to help build children’s coping mechanisms. I absolutely love your “Sea Turtle” one-minute relaxation activity! I was wondering if I could reproduce it in the manual with your permission? I’d be happy to acknowledge your name and cite your website as the resource!

    If you’d like to talk further, please let me know, I’d be happy to share my email/phone number with you!

    • Hi Kelly,

      I would be honored to be a part of your manual! Please send me your contact information.

    • This is fantastic! I would love more info on your body image program. I am a therapist and teacher and try to model everyday the importance of loving yourself.

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  3. Hi I love your simple exercise. Could I have permission to use in in my training for parent support and play therapy. I am keen to kink it to how expressive arts give us a ‘creative reverie’ which is also therapeutic, and use body-mind activities together with Lucia Capaccione’s Creative Journal. Thanks. Charlotte

    • I would be delighted for you to use my work in your trainings. Please let me know how it goes. I really appreciate your feedback! Thank you so much!


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