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  • Writer's pictureGHF CAT Team

Lightening the Load

In this activity you can think about how to prevent an overwhelm of feelings and how to lighten the emotional load.

What you’ll need: Paper, pens and an old bag (handbag/satchel/backpack) and building blocks or toys What’s it for? This activity focuses on the consequences of our feelings building to the point of overload. Imagine every difficult feeling that you have experienced in your lifetime and rather than managing these, the feelings are instead put away inside a bag. Every time a new feeling is put into the bag, it gets bigger and bigger. Here we can explore how to reduce those anxieties and to allow everything to fit into the bag so that it no longer weighs us down. Check In: 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?


  • Find an old bag such as a handbag/satchel/backpack

  • Using building blocks or toys you have in your house begin to fill up your bag

  • Imagine that each item is a worry and notice how heavy the bag becomes

  • Bring your bag to a settled place with a piece of paper

  • Reflect on what worries your items might represent

  • Begin to take each item out of the bag and find a way to express the feeling around the worry

  • Here are some options to ease the worry or intense feeling:

(1) talk about it

(2) draw a picture to express the worry

(3) make some music to express the worry

(4) pause and breathe whilst imagining the worry

(5) write your worries in a story or poem

  • Even if you only have the time or emotional energy for 1-2 of the worries, notice the difference in the weight of the bag now

  • Has the load been lightened a little?

  • It is OK to have worries and your bag will continue to carry some worries, but knowing how to lessen these will eventually bring the weight of your bag to a manageable level that will impact positively on your overall emotional wellbeing

Extra Activity: If you have someone at home to pair up with you could express your worries together and help each other through the feelings associated with the worries. Does this lighten the load? When you’ve finished, spend a moment reflecting on the activity and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you feel that your worries have already reached overload?

  • Has this activity enabled you to slow down your worries?

  • Has this activity brought some level of control to your worries?

  • How did it feel to share your worry or worries?

  • Which method felt the most appropriate for you to share your feelings and worries?

  • Have you learnt something new about how you can manage emotions and worries before they become overwhelming?

Created by Sarah Kong © June 2021


Creative Arts Used: Music, Art and Creative Writing Psychological Areas Explored: Emotional Wellbeing, Anxiety and Relationships If you enjoyed this activity, you might also like: Monster Munchers: Create tissue-box monsters to munch away your worries!

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).

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