Here are the instructions from our Art and Wellbeing session ran during Carers week 2021. A session focused on using art to explore how you feel as a carer.

Instructions:

For this activity print of these two activity pages:

Backpack activity page

First Aid Kit activity page

Once you have printed off the colouring pages, gather whatever arts and craft supplies you would like to use or have lying around the house!

Set some time aside and find a quiet space so that you can begin to unwind and get the most out of this activity. These can be decorated and crafted however you like.

Backpack Activity:

Have a think about all of the things you carry around with you in your ‘backpack’. As a carer, often your own feelings and the weight of your caring responsibilities are sometimes put to one side. Give yourself a chance to think about what you carry around with you, whether this is emotional or feelings focused or it could literally be the physical items you tend to keep with you (i.e. medication or supplies you might need to keep with you in order to carer for your loved ones). Begin to draw, paint or craft these items in your backpack.

This can help you collect your thoughts and think about how you carry your caring responsibilities around with you and give you chance to let these out onto pen and paper. This is for your eyes only unless you wish to share with someone.

First Aid Activity:

Now that you have had a think about what you carry around with you,  think about what you could keep in your ‘first aid kit’ to help look after yourself and help to make the weight of the backpack that little bit lighter. For example, you might draw some music notes if music helps you to unwind, it could be something that reminds you of friends and family, you could paint a picture of all of the support you have in place or things that you like to do which is good for your wellbeing.

Remember: Do what you enjoy the most and make them as colourful, or as word or picture focused as you like. You do not need to be an artist to give this activity a go!

Finally, reflect on how you could start to implement more of the activities that you have thought about that help to promote your own well-being.