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RESILIENCE

In this section we explore activities that allow people to understand what resilience is and activities that enable participants to begin to think positively about themselves and their situations.

WHAT IS RESILIENCE?

Aim: To enable young people to understand the term ‘resilience’

Overview:
We found that the word ‘resilience’ can be a confusing word for young people. One way of defining this term is to give everyone an elastic band. What do they notice about what happens to an elastic band after it gets stretched?

Instructions:

  1. Give each young person an elastic band
  2. Ask them to stretch it a few times and observe what it does. What do they notice about what happens to an elastic band after it gets stretched?
  3. Once the young people identify that the elastic band maintains its original shape after being pulled and stretched. Explain that this is resilience; when we are able to recover from something and spring back into shape
  4. Encourage the young people to think of more examples and words they associate with ‘resilience’
  5. As with positivity, tell the young people that resilience doesn’t have to be something you are naturally good at, but that we can teach ourselves to become more mentally and emotionally resilient over time

 

A GRATEFUL GATHERING

Aim: To enable young people to understand  the positivity in their lives

Overview:
This exercise is a fun way for young people to recognise and reflect on positive moments or people  

Instructions:

  1. Split the group into smaller groups
  2. Give each group a flip chart paper and pens
  3. Inform the group that this is a race against the clock and the group with the longest list will win. The time limit will be 2 minutes
  4. Ask the groups to list as many good things as they can think of that happened in their day
  5. Once they have finished, ask the groups to feed back a) how many things they thought of, and b) 3 examples from their list
  6. Ask the groups to list as many things they can think of that they are grateful for
  7. Once they have finished, ask the groups to feed back a) how many things they thought of, and b) 3 examples from their list
  8. Encourage the young people to write down 3 things they are grateful for and 3 good things that happened today each day before they go to bed

Taking it home…

Suggest to your young people that they try and do these activities either in a notebook or in their heads every night before bed. A useful technique is to try and capture the positive energy in the room directly after the activity, and tell the young people that they just need to commit 2 minutes before bed every night to end the day on a positive note. In order to make sure the young people retain their choice and control, ask them to try it out for one week, then for the following week to report back to the group whether it had a positive impact on their wellbeing or not. This will allow members to evaluate the activity themselves, and decide whether it is right for them or not.

What we learnt

This excise equipped the young people with everyday coping strategies to increase positive thinking and introduced the concept of wellbeing as a transient state that we can influence through our thoughts and actions. Asking them to reflect on this before they go to bed enabled them to end their day positively.

 

PERSONAL STRENGTHS

Aim: To enable young people to think about their own strengths

Overview:
This is a whole group game encouraging young people to identify their own strengths to being to improve their levels of self-esteem.

Instructions:

  1. The facilitator asks the group to quickly list as many strengths they can think of
  2. Try and get a long list out of the group and add any you can think of that they haven’t identified
  3. Make sure all definitions or words are clarified
  4. Then ask the young people to choose 3 of the strengths they feel they have
  5. Once they have thought about this, ask the young people to stand up and introduce themselves to everyone in the room within 2 minutes by shaking their hand and saying, ‘Hello my name is ….. and I am ….’ listing one of their 3 strengths.

Taking it home…

Take some art materials into the session (pens, glue, glitter, crepe paper, etc.) and give individuals some time to create a piece of art using the words they chose for themselves. If possible, bring some clip frames so that they can take them home and put them up in their rooms. Alternatively, make a larger poster/piece of art using everyone’s words to go up in the group space.

RESOURCES YOU WILL NEED

What is Resilience? Resources:

A hand full of elastic bands

hands

A Grateful Gathering Resources:

Flip chart paper
A hand full of coloured pens
A selection of A5 paper

 whar are you grateful for (2)

Personal Strengths Resources:

Flip chart paper
A handful of pens

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