Releasing the Tension
Brief:A short activity to get young people to release any tension they may have before the session
Step by Step
- Youth worker invites the young people to stand up. The youth worker explains that they are going to do some exercises to clear any negative emotions from the day so far.
- FACE: The youth worker asks the young people to place their index finger and middle fingers on their jaws (just below their ears and slightly toward their mouths) and massage. Whilst the young people are massaging their jaws the youth worker can talk soothingly about the things that may have happened in the day that can cause their jaws to clench, it does not have to be ‘bad’, it can even be that they were concentrating in a test. The youth worker emphasises the power of letting go of this tension. The young people are invited to massage their whole face. The young worker should also emphasise that the forehead is also a place that can carry tension through frowning.
- NECK: The youth worker should ask the young people to raise their right arm and place it over their left ear, they are then to let their arm feel heavy as they allow their head to fall in the direction of their arm. They should feel an intense stretch in the left side of their neck. The youth worker should invite the young people to visualise sending loving breath to where the stretch is, and visualise breathing out any tension. Young people should be invited to move their hands to deepen their stretch.
- Young people are asked to observe the difference between sides (one side should feel as if there is a lot more ’space’ there)
- Repeat with the left hand.
- SHOULDERS: The youth worker asks the young people to breathe in and whilst doing so lift their shoulders to their ears they should hold their breath and their shoulders up to their ears for 4 seconds.
- The youth worker should then ask the young people to breathe out with a loud sigh and roll their shoulders backwards (down their spines).
- This should be repeated at least 3 times.
Things to Consider
Some young people may feel embarrassed to move in front of other people, the young worker can suggest they all stand in a straight line or that they all form a circle and face outwards.
These exercises allow the young people to realise what tension they may be carrying and give them the opportunity to let some of it go.