Be more mindful!
These easy activities are all about helping you feel happy!
It’s natural to feel worried or anxious about changes to our lives and daily routine. So we’ve put together these ten mindfulness activities to help you feel calm and positive.
Mindfulness is all about being in the present moment. Thinking about what how you’re feeling and focusing on what you’re doing right now can help us to feel less anxious and more relaxed.
1. Be ‘present’
An easy way to feel calm and focused is to play a game where we teach ourselves to appreciate what’s surrounding us at any one time.
1) Take a piece of paper and pencil and find a comfortable space to sit in – either indoors or outdoors.
2) Close your eyes and take a few minutes to think about all the things you can sense, like taste, touch, smell, and hearing.
3) When you open up your peepers, write down five things you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell and one thing you can taste.
You can ask your family to do this one with you, too, and compare lists at the end to see all the different things you noticed between you!
2. Practise Cosmic Yoga
Yoga – a form of exercise that combines breathing, posing and stretching – is believed to have been around for over 5,000 years! It can help you feel calm as well as keep you active and healthy while you’re spending more time indoors.
Cosmic Yoga is extra fun! It’s colourful and cheery and the instructor usually dresses up in crazy costumes! Classes can often be themed around books, TV programmes and films, so there are loads to choose from – from Frozen to Star Wars!
There are loads of Cosmic Yoga tutorials available online, just ask a parent or guardian to help you find one. Once you’ve mastered your moves, why not put on a class for other people in your house? We bet not everybody can touch their toes!
3. Make a bucket list
We may be spending more time indoors, away from friends and family, but that doesn’t stop us from dreaming about all the awesome stuff we’re going to do when we’re allowed out again! Why not make a bucket list of all the activities you’d like to do once lockdown is over? Get a pen and paper and write down each and every thing you want to do – and who you’d like to do each one with too, from friends to family members. Here are some things you might like to write down to get started:
– Going to birthday parties
– Having picnics
– Going swimming
– Visiting the library
– Playing at the park
4. Draw your breath
When we feel anxious or worried, an easy way to feel more relaxed is to concentrate on your breathing. A fun way to do this is to draw your breath! It might sounds strange, but the combination of art and draw it. It might sound funny but the combination of art and breathing can be really calming.
Grab a big sheet of paper and some pens, pencils or crayons. Close your eyes and really concentrate on the patterns your breathing makes. Is it fast, slow, deep or shallow? Does it sound light or maybe it’s a little heavy? Notice the direction of each breath in and out, and copy the movement with your pen or pencil. Do this for a few minutes without taking your hand off the page. Once you’ve finished, open your eyes to see the pretty patterns your breath has made!
5. Get squishy!
It’s okay to feel confused, angry or sad about situations out of your control. Playing with something soft and squidgy between your hands can be a great stress reliever! There are lots of different squishy materials you can use, like bread dough, playdough or cloud dough. Our favourite is bread dough, because you can make a delicious batch of homemade bread with it afterwards – yum!
In order to make a perfectly fluffy loaf of bread, the dough needs ‘kneading’ first. This means rolling the dough on a flat surface with the palm of your hand, turning the dough over and doing it again, and repeating this process over and over. You can have fun with it, too, throwing, whacking and punching the dough in the process. Enjoy!
6. Make a gratitude flower
Scientists believe that gratefulness can boost our mental health – from helping us sleep better to improving our self confidence. Challenging situations – like being apart from friends and spending less time outdoors – can make us feel grateful for the things we do have.
You can get creative with your feelings by making a gratitude flower. Make a big flower either by drawing one out on paper or by making a collage flower out of scraps of coloured paper. On each of the pretty petals, write down something you feel grateful for. Encourage your whole family to get involved so you can compare the things you wrote down. Here are some ideas that you might want to include:
– Your home
– Phone calls with friends
7. Make a timetable
It’s always good to have a routine, even if your usual one, like going to school, is a bit disrupted at the moment.
Making a timetable will help you list out all of your weekly tasks and help you to stick to them. It doesn’t all have to be about chores and lessons, you can schedule in some fun, too!
We’ve put together a handy template to get you started.
8. Calm colouring!
Colouring in isn’t only a fun activity, it’s also an enjoyable way to practice mindfulness! Putting pen to paper is thought to help us feel less fearful and and sleep better – so this is a great activity to do before bedtime! You can either design your own drawing to colour in or use a colouring book, if you have one. Take your time, carefully colouring in each section. You could even listen to some relaxing music while you do it!
9. Feeling sweet!
This game uses colourful sweeties to help you talk about your feelings. You can either play on your own or partner up with someone in your family. Grab a bag of colourful sweets and one-by-one pull a different colour from the packet. Each colour represents a different feeling – we’ve listed these out below. When you pull out a sweet, share or write down a memory that matches that feeling. So, for example, if you picked out a yellow sweet, you should share a happy memory and talk about where you were, what you were doing and why you were feeling happy in that moment. Oh, and you can eat the sweets when you are done – hooray!
10. Write down things you can control
One of the main causes of worry is things that are out of our control. You may feel uncertain about what to expect and what might happen. You can combat these feelings by making a list of all the things you can control, making you feel happier and more secure. These could be simple things like getting enough sleep, smiling at everyone you meet or asking for help when you need it.
Remember, it’s just as important to care for ourselves as it is to look after others. We hope you enjoy the ideas above and use them to help you stay positive!