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RELAXATION

Relaxation is a valuable component of life that really can improve our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing, yet we found that sometimes it can be difficult for young people to know how to relax. So the activities below are focused on simple techniques that enable participants to relax and that they can use anywhere.

BEDTIME ROUTINE

Aim: To help young people manage their sleeping patterns

Overview:

A group activity to support and share ideas on how to manage or change their bedtime routine to allow for a better night’s sleep

Instructions:

  1. Ask the group if any young people have or have had problems sleeping
  2. Split the group into 2. Ask each person from one group to find a space in the room and act out their bedtime routine, being as detailed as they can about what they do
  3. The other group are to observe people’s bedtime routines
  4. Once finished swap over the groups and repeat
  5. Back as a large group ask the young people to critique the routines they saw without specifically mentioning whose routine it was. Were there any activities that might not help sleep? Ask the group to think of alternatives
  6. Then back in 2 groups, ask the young people to write down things that are good for your sleep and things that aren’t
  7. Share the two different lists and create a ‘top tips for a good night’s sleep’ list
  8. Ask each young person should choose something from the list to try before the next session, and ask them to feed back on it the following week

 

OBJECT FOCUSING

Aim: To enable young people to focus and clear their mind

Overview:

This exercise asks young people to work individually and use objects to help them to meditate. We have found meditation, although beneficial, can seem strange and alien to many young people. We found that incorporating a practical focus can be helpful for young people to engage in something they would normally find challenging.

Instructions:

1) Lay objects out either on the floor or on a table. These can be anything you think the young people would find interesting (we found that objects from nature can work well e.g. leaves, flowers, conkers etc.)

2) Invite the young people to take their time to choose an object they are drawn to on the table

3) Once they have done this, ask them to sit in a circle, with chairs facing outward, holding their object

4) Ask the young people to look at the object closely and notice as much as they can about its colour, texture, scent, weight, temperature patterns and so forth.

5) Now ask the young people to think about where the object started its life, and the journey the object has gone on to reach this place

6) Finally, ask the young people to think for a while about why they chose the object, what it reminds them of and how they feel holding it

 

PHOTO FINDING

Aim: To enable young people to notice their surroundings and take pleasure from the smaller, everyday things in life

Overview:

This exercise is a treasure hunt activity that the young people can do during the session or can be set as a task for the group members to complete between sessions. It’s a creative way that allow them to look and reflect on the world they live in

Instructions:

  1. Ask the group if they remember seeing any of the items from this list that day
  2. Here is an example of a list, but the list can be anything that you feel would be interesting or relevant to your group

Example Treasure Hunt List
An animal that lives on the ground
An animal that lives in the sky
A flower
A leaf
5 different colours
5 different smells

  1. Tell the group they have 10 minutes to try and find any of the items from the list in and around the space and local environment
  2. If they find an item from the list they should take a photo of it to share with the rest of the group
  3. Once the group is back together ask them to share and discuss what they found. Allow space for the young people to put their items into the context of their own lives. For example, where did they find the flower? Do they visit that place often? If so why? What do they like about being in that space? And so on
  4. Now set the group a new treasure hunt for the following session
  5. This time ask the young people to notice 5 things in their daily lives that they don’t usually notice. These could be things you hear, smell, feel or see. Again, ask them to document these with their cameras or mobiles. Ask them to think how they could show a smell in a photo?
  6. Again here is an example of a list, but the list can be anything that you feel will be interesting or relevant to your group
Example list
The birds in the tree outside in the morning
The feel of your clothes on your skin as you walk 
The smell of the flowers in the park. 
The sound of a friendly voice
A sign of a shop they use everyday
 
  1. In the following session ask the group to share and discuss what they’ve found. Allow space for the young people to put their items into the context of their own lives
  2. Finally if your group members have social media channels such as Facebook or Twitter ask the young people to pick one of their photos and to write a short sentence about its importance in their daily lives. Without naming the participant share on social media and ask for others to share their thoughts on it too

RESOURCES YOU WILL NEED

 

Bedtime Routine Resources:

Flip chart paper

 

grateful (2)

 

Object Focusing Resources:

A selection of Small objects

(These can be from nature, home, small toys- the choices are endless, but ensure that it is a new object to the young person)

 

meditation-2

 

Photo Finding Resources:

Participants own camera phone

birds edit