TOC Next Previous

Be Nice to Yourself

This activity may be approached in several ways, depending
on the special needs of the group and the particular situation in which the
activity is used.  It may be used as an
outline or guide for a creative presentation to groups of young children, may
be used as a discussion guide with groups especially when the groups include
both adults and children, and may be used as an interview format when working
with individual children and families. 
The goal of the activity is to encourage a nurturing attitude toward self,
an awareness of factors related to positive mental health, and an orientation
to talking and sharing with others as a way of eliciting guidance and

Positive Mental Health

1. What do you think it means to have good mental health?

2. What do you do to help your mental health?

3. What do you like about yourself?

4. What helps you feel happy, excited, satisfied?  What kinds of people, situations, things help
you feel good, help you be emotionally positive?

5. When do you feel unhappy? 
What kinds of people, situations, or things get you to feeling afraid,
angry, sad, confused, or feeling emotionally negative?

6. Sometimes our negative emotions get out of balance and
sort of take over.  When this happens, we
sometimes have problems with our behavior and adjustment.  When your emotions get a little out of
balance and the negative emotions take over, what kinds of problems does it
cause you with your behavior, your adjustment?

Having Good Mental Health

7. Our feelings are okay. This includes feeling afraid,
angry, or sad.  How we deal with our
feelings makes a difference, though.  How
do you deal with it when you feel angry, when you feel afraid, when you feel

8. It is important to understand our anger and to express it
appropriately.  How do you express your
anger?  How do you let people know when
you are angry?

9. It is important to understand our fears and to talk about
them.  What do you think is going on with
you when you feel afraid?  With whom do
you talk about your fears?

10. Being sad is normal. 
Understanding why we are sad and sharing our sadness with someone else
is an important part of good mental health. 
With whom do you share your sadness?

11. When our negative emotions get out of balance, it is
important to try to understand and share those emotions with others.  It is also important to get our emotions back
into balance.  When you are experiencing
negative emotions, what kinds of things do you do to get things back into
balance, to help yourself feel more emotionally positive?

People Want to Help

12. The first person who can help you is you.  You do this by being nice to yourself.  What do you do to be sure that these nice
things happen for you? – Sharing your feelings with others – Being positively
involved with other people – Being cheerful with other people – Being helpful
to other people – Enjoying a well balanced diet – Getting plenty of sleep –
Trying new things – Keeping a good balance of work, rest, and play – Getting
held when you need it – Giving and getting hugs – Not abusing or misusing
alcohol or drugs – Being as nice to others as you would like them to be to you.

13. Feel good about yourself and others will feel good about
you.  Be nice to yourself – you deserve
it.  What have you done today to be nice
to yourself?  What will you do tomorrow
to be nice to yourself?  You are a
special person.  You are a person with
style, all the time, on purpose.

TOC Next Previous