Worry Vacations

It can be helpful for a child to use their imagination to "visualize" their worries going elsewhere for a bit so that they can take a breather and just be a kid. Here are some simple visualizations that take only seconds for children to imagine.

• Imagine you are lying outside someplace safe and comfortable. You are lying back, watching clouds pass slowly by. Each time you think of a worry or have a worry thought, send it up into the sky and onto one of these clouds. Watch the worry float away on the cloud.

• Imagine you are at a dock and the worry ship is about to depart. Imagine your worries donning their sunglasses and carrying their luggage onto this ship, as they prepare to take a vacation elsewhere for a bit. As your worries find their way onto the ship's deck, wave goodbye to them and watch as the ship starts to pull away from the dock and sail away to sea.

• Imagine your worries have decided to take a rather long trip to outer space. Visualize your worries putting on their space helmets and space uniforms as they board the shuttle for some distant planet. When it's time for the countdown, imagine yourself saying goodbye to your worries and count down 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...blast-offi

• Imagine your worries sitting on the Lost and Found table at your school. Picture yourself passing by them in the hallway and deciding not to reclaim them.

• Imagine your worries at the local library. Your worries and worry thoughts can be pretty noisy and bothersome can't they? Imagine all of those worries at the library being "shooshed" by the librarians.

• Imagine all of your worries going on a submarine. Picture the submarine slowly moving out to sea and then submerging into the ocean waters.

• Imagine "breaking up" with your worries. Tell each worry or worry thought the reason why it doesn't contribute to a better life for you and that you are done with it.

Some children will create humorous visualizations of their own and this can be a fun activity in and of itself, to think of all the ways you can "send the worries away." Make a silly game of it—where did the worries go?

Take this activity a step further by having the child draw the scene of how the worries departed. Or, have the child write their worries a postcard wishing them well on their vacation.

Images Coping Strategies Early Labour
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