Plasters for Your Problems!
Think about what you need to do to make yourself feel better when something difficult happens
What you’ll need: Paper, coloured pens or pencils, scissors, and glue
What’s it for?
This activity helps you to find ways to make yourself feel better when things feel difficult or overwhelming. At these times, it’s often hard to remember what helps. This exercise draws your attention to your own inner resilience and coping skills.
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?
On a piece of paper write down or draw your sad feelings or problems, these can be from the past or what is worrying you now. Leave plenty of space around the writing or pictures. You might want to do this on several small pieces of paper.
On a separate piece of paper draw some big sticking plasters, the kind that you use if you fall over and hurt yourself.
On each of the plasters, write or draw something that makes you feel better, for example: talking to a friend about a problem; taking some deep breaths to calm down; watching a favourite film or cartoon; listening to some music to help you change your mood; or, going for a walk, etc.
The plaster does not have to completely solve the problem, it just needs to make you feel a little better.
Make sure you have at least as many plasters as you have sad feelings or problems.
Cut out the plasters.
Now decide how you will treat your sad feelings or problems. Which plaster would help most for each of the problems?
Stick the plaster over the problem and do what it says.
Continue until you’ve put a plaster on each of your problems!
Extra Activity: Make a box of special sticking plasters each with something written on that makes you feel better. You can then look through the plasters for ways to deal with difficulties that arise in the future. Ask other people you know how they make themselves feel better when something difficult happens to them.
When you’ve finished, spend a moment reflecting on the activity and ask yourself the following questions:
What is the most effective way for you to feel better after something challenging has happened?
Do you have any surprising ways to make yourself feel better?
How did it make you feel to stick a plaster on your problem?
This exercise helps you to recognise your own inner resources - things that help you cope at times of difficulty.
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?
This activity is partially based on ‘Boo Boos and Bandages’ (pg. 31) from: Phifer, Crowder, Elsenraat, & Hull (2017): CBT Toolbox for Children & Adolescents, USA: PESI Publishing
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 Ian Grundy © May 2021
Creative Arts Used: Art
Psychological Areas Explored: Emotional Wellbeing, Resilience
If you enjoyed this activity, you might also like:
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).