Chase Those Blues Away
What can we do to help ourselves feel better?
by Becky May
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To explore the January blues and how best we can respond to them.
Preparation and materials
- Have available several cloud shapes cut from grey card or paper, several sunshine shapes cut from yellow card or paper and a thick marker pen.
Optional: you may also wish to have available some Blu Tack and a display board.
- Welcome the children and ask them how they are feeling today. Ask them to show how they are feeling by the expression on their faces.
Rather than pointing out individual children, comment on the general mood by saying things like, ‘Ooh, there are lots of smiley faces here today,’ or ‘Oh dear, a few of you look a bit sad.’
- Ask the children whether they have ever heard of something called the January blues.
Ask the children what they think the January blues might be.
Listen to a range of responses.
- Explain that after all the excitement and bright lights of Christmas, January can feel a bit flat. There aren’t many big parties and celebrations to look forward to, the Christmas decorations and lights are all packed away and adults often choose to cut back on treats by eating plainer food and trying to spend less money. Even the weather is often grey and dreary; it can all add up to making us feel a bit down in the dumps!
- Show the grey cloud shapes to the children.
Explain that you would like the children to think of things that might make them feel down in the dumps. As the children make suggestions, write them on the clouds.
You may wish to ask volunteers to come forward to hold the clouds.
- Say something like, ‘Oh dear! What a lot of reasons for feeling down in the dumps! We don’t want to stay down here feeling grey and glum, do we?’
Remind the children that people might feel down at this time of year, so it is really important that we find ways of making ourselves happier when we may be feeling down.
- Ask the children, ‘Have you ever noticed how sometimes, at this time of year, the sun shines really brightly?’
Point out that even though it may be feeling cold, the sun can brighten everything up.
- Show the sunshine shapes to the children.
Ask the children to think of things about this time of year that make them feel happy and might brighten their moods.
(Examples could include bright sunshine, snowy days, new Christmas toys to play with, a special event in the school calendar and so on.)
As the children make suggestions, write them on the sunshine shapes.
You may wish to ask volunteers come forward to hold the sunshine shapes.
Optional: you may wish to display the clouds on a board and perhaps place the sunshine shapes over the clouds.
- Explain that we may find it easy to think of things that make us feel sad and low, whereas it can be harder to think of things that make us feel happy.
However, it’s really important for us to find ways to help ourselves when we are feeling down. Sometimes, it might be as simple as remembering some of the things on these yellow sunshine shapes; at other times, we might need a bit more help, perhaps by talking to a friend, our parents or a teacher. Whenever we’re feeling down, we must remember that we can always talk to someone.
Time for reflection
Christians believe that they can talk to God about anything that is worrying them. This is called praying.
The Bible has a lot to say about being thankful, and about noticing the things that we should appreciate, even when we are feeling blue. In one of Paul’s letters to the early Christians, he wrote, ‘Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances.’ In other words, Paul was encouraging people to celebrate what God has done for us; pray about the things that are wrong in the world, such as things that upset us or cause harm to others; and remember the good things around us that we can give thanks for.
Let’s all take a moment to be quiet and think about some of the things for which we can be thankful.
Pause to allow time for thought.
Thank you for the seasons of the year, for sunshine and snow.
Today, some of us are feeling a bit down in the dumps.
Help us to remember the many things that we can be thankful for.
Help us also to care for each other and to bring more sunshiny days into our friends’ lives.
‘Count your blessings’ by Mark and Helen Johnson (from Songs for Every Assembly, Out of the Ark Music), available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNiNxprFg5w (1 minute long)
‘Happy’ by Pharrell Williams, available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbZSe6N_BXs (4 minutes long)