Decode Your Mood
Express your mood through movement by decoding exercises hidden behind the letters of your feeling word.
What you’ll need: Pen, paper and some space to move freely
What’s it for?
This activity will help you identify your feelings and recognise physical signs in the way they manifest in your body. This will help you understand the connection between your feelings and body and with learning to cope, manage and regulate your emotions and recognise them in others. Physical movement can also help you release your emotional energy and keep your mind and body healthy.
Notice how you’re feeling right now. Close your eyes and notice what’s going on inside your mind and body.
How are you feeling?
What are you thinking?
How does your body feel?
Choose a feeling you would like to focus on today and write it down on a piece of paper. Think about what caused you to feel this way and how does your body feel when you think about that feeling?
Now it’s time to get moving! Decode your mood by using the following alphabet code to discover the movements hidden behind each letter of the feeling you wrote down.
Try to reflect your feelings in your movements. For example, if you are feeling sad, try and show it through the exercises by perhaps doing it slower and less energetic. You can play your favourite music if you like.
Most importantly, listen to your body and stay safe. Don’t force it and make sure all the exercises feel comfortable. Modify or skip if you don’t feel comfortable with a particular exercise.
Here is your Alphabet Code
A – Ankle taps
Lie down and bend your knees, lift your head and tap your left ankle with left hand and then right ankle with right hand. Repeat x10 per hand.
B – Breathing
Breathe in slowly as you think about something nice and breathe out and think about getting rid of all the negative feelings. Repeat x5.
C – Cat pose
Come to an all-four position and begin rounding your back by stretching it up like a cat and tuck your chin into your chest. Bring it back to a neutral position and repeat x5.
D – Downward-Facing Dog Pose
Stand straight and bend down while placing your palms on the floor. Take a step back with your feet and keep your bottom up as high as you can. Try to straighten your legs if you can and relax your neck by looking down. Stay in this pose for 10 counts.
E – Eagle pose
Stand tall and place your left foot on your right calf. Now try to balance your body and count to ten. Switch legs and repeat the same pose on the other side counting to ten.
F – Fountain Pose
Stand tall and look up while reaching your hands as high as you can. Bring your hands down and repeat x10.
G – Guitar Pose
Pretend that you are playing guitar by imitating string strumming with your right hand and with your left hand. Repeat x10 per hand.
H – Hopping
Hop on right leg x5 and then hop on left leg x5.
I – Inchworms
Stand straight and bend forward, touching the floor with your hands. You can bend your knees if it’s easier. Walk your hands forward as far as it feels comfortable and walk them back towards your feet. Repeat x5.
J – Jumping Jacks
Stand straight and jump while opening your legs to the sides and lifting your arms up. Now jump again by bringing your feet together and your arms back down. Repeat x10.
K – Kicking Butterfly
Lie down on your back and imagine that you are swimming by quickly kicking your legs up and down. Repeat x10 per leg.
L – Leg raises
Lie on your back and lift your left leg without bending your knees, trying to hold at the top for two seconds. Do the same with your right leg and repeat x5.
M – March in place x10 per leg.
N – Nest Pose
Lie on your belly and bend your knees. Lift your head and chest as you take your arms back. Hold onto your feet and stay in this nest pose for 10 counts.
O – Open and shut your arms x5.
P – Puppy Pose
Come onto all-fours and then extend your hands forward while lowering your chest towards the floor. Keep your palms on the floor and your arms straight. Rest your forehead on between your extended arms and stay in this pose for 20 counts.
Q – Quick exercise of your choice
R – Running
Run in place for 20 counts
S – Squats
Stretch your hands forward and bend your knees while pushing bottom out. Make sure your back stays nice and straight and you look ahead x10
T – Turn around on the spot x5
U – Upward-Facing Dog Pose
Lay flat on your belly, place your palms next to your shoulders and begin strengthening your arms as you look up and extend your chest forward. Make sure you are comfortable in this position and stay there for ten counts as you slowly breathe in and out.
V – Violin
Pretend that you are playing violin with your right hand and do the same with your left hand. Repeat x10 per hand.
W – Waterfall Pose
Stand tall and then bend your upper body by reaching for your toes. Sway freely and imagine that you are a waterfall. Gently bring your body into a stand and repeat x5.
X – ‘X’ in the air
Stand tall and then jump up and stretch your hand and feet so that you look like a big ‘X’ in the air. Repeat x5.
Y – Yacht Pose
Stand tall and step back with your right foot, placing it slightly outwards. Take your left arm and reach towards your left foot by bending forward. Now lift your right hand up as high as you can and follow it with your gaze. You will look a bit like a sailing yacht. Stay in this pose for five counts.
Z – Zebra Pose
Stand tall and place your hands on your hips. Take your right foot back and keep your ankle bent. Ensure that you look ahead and that your back is straight. Slowly bend forward and bring your hands towards your left leg. You can touch your shin, ankle or the floor, whatever feels comfortable. Stay in this pose for five counts and switch the sides.
Well done for following through with your exercises and thinking about your feelings. Now it’s time to cool down. Stand tall and raise your hands up slowly breathing in. Now bring your palms together and take them down to your chest as you breathe out. Repeat x3. You can create your own cool-down routine.
Extra Activity: You can add your name or a full sentence to your feeling to make your workout longer. You could also do it with a partner by joining your names and feelings together and merging it into a one routine you can do together. You could even turn it into a guessing game by trying to perform your exercises reflecting your feeling for the other person to guess. This could be a fun way to practise the alphabet.
When you’ve finished, spend a moment reflecting on the activity and ask yourself the following questions:
Did you learn anything new about yourself while you did this activity?
How did your feelings manifest in your body?
How does your body tell you when you’re feeling angry?
How does your body tell you when you’re feeling happy?
How can you tell when someone is sad? What do they look like? How does their body move?
What was your favourite movement?
What is easy or difficult to decode your mood and follow the exercises hidden behind each letter?
If you worked with a partner, was it easy or difficult to guess their feelings based on the way they moved?
How did your body feel after you did the exercises?
Other than exercises, what else could help you to express your feelings and shift your mood?
This activity helps you to recognise the connection between your feelings and your body and express them through a physical activity. Learning healthy ways to express and cope with your feelings will help you to be more empathetic of others, build stronger relationships and feel more confident.
Take a moment to notice how you are feeling at the end of this activity. Did you discover anything surprising? What can you take away to make you feel better about yourself from this activity?
If you would like to, share something about your experience with this activity with someone you live with! Ask the person who looks after you to send us an email if you have any questions or comments about the activity or would like to send us any pictures (firstname.lastname@example.org). Don't forget to subscribe for more fun CAT activities!
Created by Karolina Koman © April 2020
Creative Arts Used: Dance and Movement
Psychological Areas Explored: Resilience, Emotional Wellbeing, Emotional Regulation, Emotional Literacy, Hyperactivity
If you enjoyed this activity, you might also like: Mood Dances: This fun game helps you think about how your feelings seem to you and to others through dance!
These activities could be done by children of all ages, but some may need the support of their parent or carer to read the instructions or complete the activity safely.
This website was made by CAT Corner to help you explore your feelings through fun creative arts activities. The people using the website and the people responsible for them need to make sure they stay safe (full disclaimer on About page).