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Make a Worry Box

A worry box is a tool that can help children or adults to express themselves and manage their worries. Firstly, it's a way to limit the time spent worrying which helps you feel in control. It is also a great way to concentrate on creative ways to get round the problems.

What to do

1. Get an empty cardboard box, e.g a tissue box, and decorate it. Make it yours. This is an opportunity to express yourself in any way you wish, either about what ‘worry’ means to you, or maybe about things that help you feel calm and in control of the worry.

2. Write or draw anything that is bothering you, worrying you or getting in your way on a piece of paper and post it into the box.

3. Once a week, empty the box and sort into two piles

A - Worry that has gone away or been dealt with B - Worry that is still around

4. Now, problem solve the worries that are still bothering you. Write down all possible options for responding/managing it including all the stupid ones.

There are two particularly brilliant things about Worry Boxes:

  • Once it is in the worry box, it is contained. It is being looked after so you don’t need to stress about it again until it is time to empty the box and look at the worries.

  • When you do empty the box, you get to see how many problems you have already sorted, and you get to see the patterns in the kinds of worries that like to bother you. That gives you a chance to unleash your creative problem solving skills on them and find ways round them.

I have recommended this technique to many of my patients, both children and teenagers. It really is helpful to see how many worries are short-term and when you come to open the box you will find that you have already managed many of them.

I wish you and your family all the best and hope that you find this helpful.

Dr Helen Care

Clinical Psychologist at A Confident Start in Oxfordshire

This Children's Mental Health week by Place2Be has found 1 in 9 children as having a mental health issue with many more struggling with remote learning and lack of social opportunities.

Here's a message from their Patron, The Duchess of Cambridge:

“This year’s Children’s Mental Health Week is all about expressing yourself – about finding creative ways in which to share your thoughts, ideas and feelings. So whether that’s through photography, through art, through drama, through music or poetry – it’s finding those things that makes you feel good about yourself."

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