Crunch Time

Group size: 5 - 25

Purpose: Teach Mindfulness in a fun way, create group cohesion

Props Needed

  1. Hot Water
  2. Fragrant Tea bags
  3. Ice
  4. Hot/Cold Cups

Activity Preparation

Prep time needed:  5 minutes

Prior to class

  1. Gather ingredients
  2. Heat up the water for tea

Time needed

  • Directions: 5 minutes
  • Activity: 30 minutes
  • Debrief: 15 minutes

Set Up:  Lay out props so that participants have access to them. It is recommended to have participants circled around a table.

Activity Directions:

  • Have the participants gather around the props and have a seat
  • Have participants take 5 min to do a body scan and just notice their experience
  • Invite participants to take a cup of hot water and a tea bag
  • Mindfully make tea
  • Mindfully smell and taste tea
  • Invite participants to take a cup of ice
  • Mindfully taste and crunch ice
  • Go back and forth
  • Debrief

Facilitator script: “Welcome everyone please have a seat around this table. Today we are going to have some fun with mindfulness. Anyone have experiences with mindfulness training? (process previous experiences, briefly) Well today we are going to try something a little different. The truth is you can do anything mindlessly. In fact, many people spend most of their lives mindlessly. The opposite is true as well you can do anything mindfully. You can be mindful while brushing your teeth, eating, walking, driving, or having a conversation. Another word for mindfulness is awareness. The goal is to just be with the experience rather than trying to fix, fade, or run from it. So today we are going to practice increasing our awareness with some mindfulness training.

Let’s start with making a cup of tea mindfully. Everyone needs a cup of hot water and a tea bag. (help participants to get their cup of hot water and tea bag.) First see if you can feel the sensation of holding a hot cup. See if the hot water has a scent. Look at the water and notice the color. Now open the package the tea bag is in. Breathe in the aroma of the tea bag. See what you notice within yourself. Now take the tea bag and put it into the water. Watch… Listen… Smell... use all of your senses to really pull in the experience of the moment. For the next minute allow the tea to steep while just looking into the cup. See what you notice as you sit with your cup of tea. (allow a minute to pass)

Now in a moment you will taste your tea. Notice what you feel within yourself physically, emotionally, notice the thoughts going through your mind as you anticipate drinking your tea. Raise up the cup and take a big breath in through your nose to really get a sense of the aroma of the tea. Close your eyes and taste the tea. Notice the sensation of the liquid in your mouth before you swallow it. Swallow the tea. See if you can notice the hot liquid as it makes its journey down. With your eyes closed sit a moment before taking another sip. Notice any desire to move faster or a yearning for another taste. Stretch out the moment especially if you are craving another sip on any level. Play with that space and see what that feels like. When you are ready you can open your eyes and take another sip. Then once again take a moment to sit with what your experience is right here, right now.

Ok let’s add in another experience to the mix. Everyone take a cup of ice. (pass out cups with ice in them to all participants) now see what you notice within yourself. Lift the cup of ice to your nose, take a deep breath in through your nose and see what you notice. Can you feel the cool air? Does it have a scent? See if you can sense the cool of the ice through the cup as you hold it. Take one of the pieces of ice and hold it in your hands. Notice your attention and reactions. Take a piece of ice and put it in your mouth. Notice what that is like. If you want, you can crunch the ice and eat it. Notice the sound and sensation. As you swallow the ice see if you can follow its journey as it makes its way down.

Go back to your tea take another sip of the hot tea and see if you notice anything going between the hot tea, the ice, and now the hot tea again. Play with the sensations and things you notice. Go back and forth and see what you notice in your physical, mental, and emotional experiences. Let’s take five minutes to go between the two.

Great job everyone!


  • What did you notice in that experience?
  • What was a challenge?
  • What did you enjoy?
  • How can this relate to wellness and recovery?
  • Would you be willing to make mindfulness apart of your daily practices?

Recovery/Wellness Metaphor: the more we are able to increase our awareness the greater our ability to be in the moment with mastery.

Role of Facilitator: Help guide the process and keep group on task.

Variations: Feel free to make adjustments for population. For example, if you cannot use hot tea consider using ice tea and switching from sweet tea to unsweet tea.

Where to Find It/How to Make it: local store