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Quick activities to combat anxiety

These are great activities to try when feeling anxious (good for both adults and children).

Grounding Exercises

5-4-3-2-1 Senses

This grounding exercise is a great go-to for kids. All they need for this exercise is their senses! Have students practice identifying:

  • 5 things you see

  • 4 things you hear

  • 3 things you smell

  • 2 things you can touch

  • 1 thing you taste

5,4,3,2,1 Sights 

Create categories and have students name what they see. Here’s an example:

  • 5 colors I see

  • 4 shapes I see

  • 3 soft things I see

  • 2 people I see

  • 1 book I see

A-B-C Around the Room

This exercise will get students connected with that place where they are right now. Have your students look around the room and name something they see that starts with A, then B, then C and so forth. See how far they can get through the alphabet and then check-in to see how they’re feeling once they reach the end.

Power Hug

Firm pressure is great for grounding. Help students create an affirming statement to use for this exercise. It could be something like, “I am in control,” or “I am safe in this moment.” Practice placing the left hand on the right shoulder for a tap and then the right hand on the left shoulder for another tap. Then squeeze into a hug and say the affirmation. Tap, tap, squeeze, affirm. Tap, tap, squeeze, affirm. Repeat this as many times as needed!

Room Search

Pick one broad category and search the room. Name everything in the room that’s green. How many stars can you find in the room? Say the type of shoe everyone in the room is wearing. Count the bricks on one wall