PEM and Chronic Fatigue ME/CFS Relaxation: A Morning in the Park

This ME/CFS relaxation is a calm, low key way to reset and recover from a crash if you have post-exertional malaise (PEM) or myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). This relaxation script can also be relevant for those who have long COVID, post-COVID, depression, stroke, endometriosis, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, or other conditions that can cause fatigue, and for anyone who is experiencing fatigue or burnout.

PEM Relaxation for ME/CFS: A Morning in the Park

This relaxation is a calm, low key way to reset and recover from a crash if you have post-exertional malaise (PEM) or myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). There are no background sounds in this version – just the spoken audio.

Because your body may be feeling uncomfortable or in pain, this ME/CFS relaxation script does not focus on the body. The script includes a long, slow-paced story about a peaceful park. The story can help with rest and relaxation if you’re feeling tired even just lying there. This relaxation can help to calm your mind and rest your body when you are too fatigued to do anything.

ME/CFS relaxation picture of a sunny park with trees, green grass, and a path.

There is some calm breathing at the start of the relaxation, but otherwise this script does not focus on the body. This can be helpful if focusing on your body is not comfortable or if doing so is less relaxing than turning your focus elsewhere. If you prefer to do more body and muscle relaxation first, you may want to listen to a short physical relaxation exercise and then proceed with this one.

Physical relaxation exercises

Here are a few options for some relaxation exercises to add at the start if you prefer a longer body and muscle relaxation before the guided visualization.

Watch the relaxation video

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PEM Relaxation for ME/CFS (Full Relaxation Script)

Remember to respect your limitations and needs by listening to your body. Feel free to modify as needed by thinking about what is relaxing for you. It is okay if you choose not to follow along with parts of this relaxation. There is no right or wrong way to go about relaxing, so give yourself permission to do what works for you.

Get Comfortable to begin the ME/CFS Relaxation.

Make yourself as comfortable as possible as you prepare to relax. You may want to lie on your back with a pillow under your knees for support, or choose another position that is comfortable for you. Close your eyes if you want to, and rest quietly, being still.

Allow yourself this opportunity to relax, even if your body may be forcing you to rest. This time is a purposeful, healthy opportunity to use relaxation to help to heal and restore your mind and body. Using relaxation techniques is a way of practicing the skill of relaxation, which can help you when times are difficult.

Your mind might be racing with thoughts, or maybe it is hard to even think of anything, or your mental state could be somewhere in between. This time of relaxation can be a break from anxious thoughts, a reprieve from thinking about things you have to do, and a time when you do not have to face the various demands of your day. 

Put your worries aside so you can relax.

Picture taking your thoughts, worries, problems, and concerns, and putting them in a box for now. Anything you need to come back to will be there for later as needed. For now, these can go into a box to be set aside. Imagine putting your worries and thoughts into the box, closing it up, and sealing it safely closed. 


Picture putting the box aside, where none of these things can intrude upon your relaxation. 


Imagine another empty box with a lid that you can open and close. Any time distractions, worries, or various thoughts come to mind you can allow them to pass, just acknowledging them. If the thoughts linger or may need your attention later, imagine putting them into the box and closing the lid, latching it closed. You can add to this box whenever you need to.

Breathe calmly to relax your body and mind.

Let’s take a few moments to breathe calmly. As you breathe, imagine putting any distracting thoughts into the box for later.

Breathe in slowly through your nose… and exhale slowly through your mouth.

Take gentle breaths in… and out…

Softly in… and slowly out…

Continue to breathe, finding a rhythm that feels comfortable. Just observe your breaths. All you need to do right now is just be… and just breathe.


Notice the feeling of your breath each time you exhale. Can you feel the air leaving your body? Perhaps you may feel the air gently moving past your nose or your lip. Notice the gently moving air.


Begin the guided visualization for ME/CFS relaxation.

Now you can just relax, and drift, and imagine putting any worries or distractions into a box as I describe relaxing at the park. This is a calm, low-key distraction that can help take your mind off of the worries and cares of everyday life. Just for a little while, you can imagine this peaceful place, where there is nothing to do besides enjoying the tranquility.

Here is a peaceful, beautiful park. You can choose whether to imagine yourself there at the park, or to simply be an observer watching the scene without taking part in it. Choose whatever feels right for you. Remember that any worries or distractions that may arise can be placed in the box and closed away.

The park is quiet. It is a beautiful day, early after the sun has risen. The grass is green and lush. Drops of dew glisten and sparkle on the grass. The expanse of green lawn sparkles as if sprinkled with jewels. Trees gently sway in the soft breeze, their movement barely perceptible. Everything is fresh and clean.

The sky is blue and clear. It is early, and the sun is still low in the sky. As the sun slowly rises higher, beams of warm light filter through the trees, bathing everything in soft, warm light.

A path meanders through the park and into the trees. The first walker of the morning strolls along the path, a woman who glances at the trees and smiles at a pair of birds flitting from branch to branch. She walks slowly along the path, clearly enjoying the peaceful morning.

The perfect temperature.

It is the perfect temperature where the air feels neither warm nor cool. The breeze is so calm, it is barely detectable. From a distance, the small, round leaves of aspens look almost like confetti that dances in the air. Every so often, a breeze caresses the leaves, and they turn and sway, lifted on a wind that is too gentle to move the tree branches.

The woman continues walking, and she nears the edge of the park. After the woman disappears around a corner, a deer peers out from the edge of the trees. For a while, the deer stands there at the edge of the forest, mostly obscured by the branches of trees and bushes. Her mouth moves slowly from side to side as she munches on grass. 

The deer cautiously steps out of the forest, her ears flicking as she listens. All is quiet, and the deer slowly walks out into the open. She takes careful, silent steps across the grass until she reaches a small pond. There, the deer lowers her head until her nose touches the water, and she takes a drink. As she lifts her head, little drops of water fall and land back in the pond. Each drop creates tiny ripples. The deer turns and walks back into the forest, disappearing into the trees.

Birds sing peacefully.

Birds sing, filling the air with their pleasant music. A person and a dog walk across the park. Without slowing in pace, the dog sniffs the grass at the side of the path and then looks up again, padding along contentedly. 

As the morning progresses, more people appear. Some walk along the path. Others stop to sit for a while. A man sits on a bench and leans down to tie his shoe before returning to the path and walking through the park. A small group spreads a blanket out on the grass. They sit cross-legged on the blanket and take fruit and muffins out of a basket. Children run around the park, laughing.

The peaceful activities create a soothing background of laughter and soft conversations amidst the continued bird song. The sun continues to shine, ever so slowly rising higher in the sky. The air warms almost imperceptibly. The gentle breeze keeps the temperature perfectly comfortable.

Imagine the beautiful sky.

A few fluffy clouds drift along, high in the blue sky. The clouds shift and morph in shape as they move. The changes are almost undetectable at first, but as the moments pass, the shapes in the clouds are ever so slowly changing. A cloud can look like a dog one moment, and then it resembles a mountain, and then a smiling person… and now, a horse. It is so peaceful just watching the clouds. So slowly moving. Billowing white mounds floating… so peacefully drifting.

The blue of the sky is so beautiful. It is in such contrast to the white clouds and the bright green leaves of trees reaching upward. The smaller leaves are still gently moving. They turn and flicker. The larger leaves are still, the breeze too gentle to move them. Patterns of sun and shadows slowly dance on the sidewalk like images on a kaleidoscope as individual leaves flutter lazily amongst the thousands of leaves in the treetops.

The air is fresh and clean.

The scent of fresh green grass is accompanied by the subtle sweetness of wildflowers and the warm, earthy smells of trees and soil warmed by the sun. It is so pleasant and serene to enjoy this beautiful park. 

People going by on the path or enjoying time in the park bring a cheerful atmosphere, but the park still feels calm, with quiet spots of seclusion where one can sit alone and reflect. You could watch the people as they go about their activities, or gaze at the peaceful clouds, or watch the trees and birds. Alternatively, you could just sit with your eyes closed and feel the sunshine and gentle breeze. This is such a relaxing place.

The sounds here are calm and peaceful.

The gently moving leaves create a rhythmic sound, almost like rainfall. The breeze carries the sounds of voices from conversations and children playing in the distance. Birds continue to sing in the background. 

When you look at the green grass as a whole, it resembles a soft carpet. It is a uniform green colour except for the light green in sunlight and the darker green in shadows. Focusing close by, you can see the individual blades of grass. There is great variation in the shades of green, with some bright yellow-green blades of grass, some deep, darker green blades, and a spectrum of shades in between.

 A ladybug slowly walks up a stalk of grass. The bug slowly ascends this single blade of grass, and upon reaching the top, the stalk sways slightly under the ladybug’s weight. The ladybug raises both wings, and then the wings become a blur as the ladybug takes flight. The insect rises higher in the sky, a tiny dot against the blue backdrop. The dot gets smaller…smaller… and soon disappears.

As you observe the scene around you, just relax in this peaceful park. Allow feelings of peace and tranquility to wash over you, enveloping you completely in softness and safety.


Visualize this peaceful place.

Imagine the sights, sounds, and smells of this beautiful place. You may choose to focus on whichever aspects are most enjoyable, peaceful, and relaxing for you, or you might just allow your mind to drift, without focusing on anything at all. Choose whatever is right for you.


Birds sing peacefully in the background. Leaves rustle ever so softly in the breeze. The sun is pleasant and warm.


The sun is higher in the sky. Morning mist has faded away to reveal a warm, clear day. It is time to end this relaxation exercise for now, but you can return to this peaceful place whenever you want to.

Conclude this PEM relaxation for ME/CFS.

You can choose how to conclude this relaxation. You could return to your day, drift off to sleep, or you may want to just continue to relax passively, neither returning to activities nor going to sleep. Should you choose to reawaken, you can allow your alertness and awareness to increase, focusing on your environment and moving around a little before resuming your activities. If you prefer to sleep, continue to relax and drift as your mind and body move toward sleep. Take a few moments now to conclude this relaxation in whatever way you prefer, keeping with you feelings of peacefulness and tranquility.

Additional visualization relaxation scripts you may enjoy

Check out my book, Peaceful Relaxation Scripts: Group Facilitation Guide, at

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