1. The Gratitude Tree
Gratitude is the quality of being thankful in life. The focus of this activity is on what we DO HAVE, rather than what we do not have. It helps people feel more positive emotions, which aids in dealing with adversity, such as the challenging and uncertain time we are currently facing. This is a great activity for teachers to do with their class or parents to do with their children at home.
1) On a large piece of paper, draw the trunk of a tree with branches with your child or children.
2) Engage in a discussion about what gratitude is and then ask the child or children what they are grateful for.
3) Write the words of gratitude on the branches of the tree or cut out leaves and write the words on the leaves and stick them on the tree.
4) Put up the poster somewhere visible as a reminder that despite challenges, we still have things we can be grateful for.
2. The Control Circle
Not knowing what the future looks like, can be anxiety-provoking, especially for individuals who require boundaries and routine to function (optimally). This activity aims to help recognize what one can control and what is out of one’s control, combating feelings of hopelessness and anxiety.
1) The round circle on the page is where one lists the things that you believe you can control. Provide examples particularly focused around mood, attitude, “being positive”, “trying my best at my schoolwork”, “being kind”, “being patient”, “remembering what I am grateful for”, etc.
2) The space outside the circle is what we cannot control. Provide examples, particularly focused on the external environment. It is suggested that the focus is placed on external things such as the weather, traffic, the future, people’s thoughts, etc.
3) After the worksheet is completed you can encourage discussion around the topic.
3. What Pushes my buttons
It is important to understand what experiences/situations upsets and/or angers an individual. This worksheet assists individuals as well as family members to be aware of their limitations and can provide solutions should these emotions arise.
1) Draw an image of a body on a plain sheet of paper
2) Use buttons or round stickers and put them on the body. (Alternatively, you can draw buttons on the figure).
The figure represents oneself and each “button” represents a feeling or experience that upsets, provokes anxiety, etc within the child. Write the emotion and situation next to each “button”.
3) On the remainder of the page (outside the human figure) write possible solutions should the emotion or experience arise.
4) After the worksheet is completed you can encourage discussion around the topic.
4. Grounding Activity
This worksheet is an activity which aims to promote self-care practices. The activity encourages individuals to make deliberate choices as to how they will take care of their mental, emotional, and physical health. This activity is particularly important to prevent burnout/exhaustion in line with the demands of the new “normal” life. It is important that this worksheet is placed in an accessible/visual place to remind yourself and others that you and your needs are important too.
Draw an image of a house on a plain sheet of paper
Each part of the house represents an aspect of self-care.
1) The roof = protective factors – here you are to write/draw examples of what protects you in times of distress. This can be a supportive family, a caring teacher, your home, etc.
2) The chimney = here you are to write toxic feelings that you need to let go of in order to practice self-care.
3) The square/body of the home = here you are to write what physical practices you can put in place in order to take care of your mind, body and soul. Examples could be read, journal, breathe, exercise, speak to a loved one, etc.
4) Foundation = values – here you are to write your core values and beliefs that will assist you in being emotionally strong and mentally positive during this uncertain time. You can include a favourite quote here and/or an affirmation.
5. Stress Pom-Poms
Stress pom-poms! All you need is knitting wool. (You can use off-cut pieces and any colours). This is the perfect activity to do during lockdown with your child or even your teenager.
This approach to the stress ball ensures less mess in completing the activity, with the same benefits of a normal stress ball. Stress balls provide a tactile object that through the interaction of squeezing it or moving the soft object around in your hand, it can help reduce stress.
Step by step method by www.adventuresofadiymom.com
6. Trigger Table Worksheet
1) Copy the worksheet or it can be drawn on a page.
2) Provide some examples of positive coping skills; deep breaths, using stress balls or a pom-pom, going for a walk, walking away from the situation, counting to 10, writing, drawing, etc.
3) Under the first column write the “trigger” – event/situation that evokes emotion in them.
4) Under the second column write the emotion felt when triggered.
5) Under the third column write down the manner in which they would usually respond to the “trigger” (often this is a negative coping mechanism).
6) Under the fourth column write down the coping mechanism they will adopt.
7) Encourage 3-5 examples in each column.
8) After the worksheet is completed you can encourage discussion around the topic.
Compiled by Charlotte Tinnion and Edited by Caley Wildman