Draw an anchor and decorate it with the things in your life that provide you with stability, strength and a strong sense of who you are
What you’ll need: Paper, coloured pens and pencils
What’s it for?
Anchors are used by ships to moor them to the bottom of the sea to keep them in place regardless of the external conditions such as the sea and weather. This activity explores our own emotional anchors that allow us to keep hold of a firm sense of ourselves when faced with the challenges and anxieties of everyday life.
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?
First of all make a list of your emotional anchors. These are the constants in your life that represent the essence of who you are. These might include:
Important people who care about you
A particular interest that is important to you
On a blank sheet of paper draw a big anchor. This might be a traditional anchor (like in the picture above), or something taken from your imagination. It needs to be strong and heavy to keep you anchored during the storm!
Inside or around your anchor write, draw, or collage your ‘emotional anchors’
As a finishing touch, you might choose to draw a background for your anchor such as a scene of the bottom of the sea.
Take a moment to look at your finished picture and check that nothing else needs to be added.
When you’re feeling stressed, upset, or unsettled by something, look at your picture (or remember it in your mind’s eye) to give yourself the confidence to cope with the challenge.
Extra Activity: Show your emotional anchors to an interested adult and discuss with them what their personal emotional anchors are. Are any the same as yours? If you haven’t included it in your emotional anchor drawing already, you could also draw the ship which the anchor holds in place.
When you’ve finished, spend a moment reflecting on the activity and ask yourself the following questions:
Was it easy or difficult to think of your emotional anchors?
Do you want to cultivate any of your emotional anchors to make them even stronger in the future? (For example, nurturing a good relationship)
Did you learn anything new about yourself while you did this activity?
How did it feel to explore your strengths and qualities?
Which strength or quality do you think it would be useful for you to remember more often?
This activity helps you to recognise your own emotional anchors and how you might draw on them when you feel stressed, upset, or unsettled. This helps you to cultivate your resilience and ability to cope in challenging situations without losing a sense of yourself and what is important to you.
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 Ian Grundy © May 2022
Creative Arts Used: Art
Psychological Areas Explored: Emotional Wellbeing, Emotional Literacy, Self Exploration, Resilience
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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.
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