On the Other Hand
Use drawings of your hands to explore your feelings from different perspectives and build your positive outlook.
What you’ll need: Paper and something to draw with
What’s it for?
This activity helps you recognise difficult feelings, while helping you look at them in a new way. This can help you think about your situation from different perspectives and nurture your positive feelings.
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?
Draw around each of your hands on the paper, so that you have two outlines next to each other. Sometimes it can be tricky to draw around one of your hands, depending on if you are left or right handed, but don't worry if it is wobbly.
On the palm of the first hand (the bit that's not your fingers!) write or draw about some of the things you are finding difficult at the moment. This might be a subject at school you are finding tricky, or a friend you had an argument with, or a situation that is making you worried.
On the fingers of the same hang, write or draw how these situations are making you feel. You could draw a face or write a feelings word.
It's important to recognise when we have difficult feelings and not try to pretend everything is okay if we need help. However, sometimes it can be useful to thing about things in a different way to help us manage a difficult situation.
On the second hand, use the palm area to write or draw about any positives related to what you wrote on the other hand, or people and things that can help you manage with the situation.
For example, on the first hand I might write "I'm really sad my grandad died". On the second hand I could write or draw about a favourite memory of our time together. Or if on the first hand I drew a picture about finding my reading really hard, on the second hand I might draw a picture of my teacher who I know will help me when I am struggling.
On the fingers of the right hand, write the names of some people who you know will help you when you are finding things difficult. If you have space left, you could draw about things you enjoy doing that make you happy.
When you look at the first hand you will see that there are some areas of life that are tricky or make you feel down. At the end of this activity you can look "on the other hand" and remember that there are people who can support you when you need some help!
Extra Activity: You might like to choose one of those trusted people you thought about and share what you have drawn or written about today.
When you’ve finished, spend a moment reflecting on the activity and ask yourself the following questions:
How did you feel at the beginning of this activity? How did you feel at the end, when you thought about 'the other hand'?
Who are the people who support you when things are difficult? How do they make things feel better?
How do you relax when you are finding something difficult?
Why do you think it might be useful to think about the positive side of a situation?
What would you say to a friend who was finding something difficult?
This activity recognises that there are often things in our lives that feel difficult, but provides a way to think about the supportive factors that can help you see things in a more positive way. This can help you to manage difficult feelings when you are struggling.
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 (email@example.com). Don't forget to subscribe for more fun CAT activities!
Created by Heather Dingle © January 2021
Creative Arts Used: Art
Psychological Areas Explored: Resilience, Emotional Wellbeing and Relationships
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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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