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These activities will help youth build emotional resilience and learn to identify emotions. They can be done alone, but work best with friends over a video chat such as Skype, Zoom, Facetime etc.

Duration: 60 - 90 Minutes

Mindfulness Activity 1

Time: 5 minutes

Trivia question: Canada can be cold. What is the coldest temperature recorded in Canada?

A. -1000 degrees Celsius
B. -102 degrees Celsius
C. -63 degrees Celsius

Mindfulness activity: Imagine that your pointer finger is a candle.

  • Hold up your candle, and take a deep breath in. Hold it there…
  • Now blow out the candle on your finger as slowly as you can.

Mandala Colouring

Time: 20 - 25 minutes

Required supplies:

  • Mandala colouring sheet
  • pencil crayons or markers

“Mandala” in Sanskrit means “circle”. A mandala is a spiritual and ritual symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism that represents the universe. The circular patterns symbolize the idea that life is never ending and that everything is connected.

  • Choose a mandala design. If you don’t have a printer, try drawing your own mandala.
  • Split your mandala into four sections. Choose one section to represent yourself, one to represent your friends, one to represent school, and one to represent home.
  • Choose one section to begin with. Colour that section of the mandala to show how you feel about that area of your life. For example, if you are comfortable and happy in that area, you might choose yellow to show that. If things are a struggle, you might choose a darker colour. Allow yourself to choose the colour that you feel is right – interpret the colours in your own way.
  • Repeat this process for all four sections.

Mandala Sharing

Time: 10 – 15 minutes

For this activity, connect with one or more friends on a video chat like Skype, Zoom or Facetime.

When you have finished colouring your mandala, talk with your friends about your four sections. Share what colours you chose represent to you. Listen while your friends explain their mandalas.

What is Emotional Resilience?

Time: 10 – 15 minutes

You can do this activity with a friend over a video chat such as Skype, Zoom or Facetime. If you can’t access one of these, connect with someone who lives with you.

Look at the definitions of emotional resilience below, then talk about the discussion questions together.

Emotional resilience is:

  • a person’s ability to adapt to stress and hard times.
  • refers to a person’s ability to adapt to stressful situations or crises.
  • the skill of managing stress and stressful situations
  • about removing the struggle to manage your emotional reactions
  • the ability to spring back emotionally after suffering through difficult and stressful times in your life.
  • the armor you need for life
  • something you are born with, but it can be learned and developed
  • something that involves related skills:
    • a sense of self-esteem and confidence;
    • a belief in your ability to deal with change;
    • a collection of social problem-solving approaches.

Discussion questions:

  1. How do you define emotional resilience?
  2. How does managing our emotions help with being resilient?
  3. Give an example of a time when you showed emotional resilience during a stressful situation.
  4. What emotion do you find most difficult to manage? How can you be more self aware of this emotion?
  5. Ask your own questions about emotional resilience and see what your friends think.

Mindfulness Activity 2

Time: 5 minutes

Trivia question: How many provinces and territories does Canada have?

A. 10
B. 13
C. 15

Mindfulness activity: Notice how your belly feels. Breathe fast for 10 seconds. How do you feel? Better? Worse? The same?

Accepting your Emotions

Time: 20 – 25 minutes

Note: You can do this activity with a friend over a video chat such as Skype, Zoom, Facetime, etc.

This activity is best done in groups of four or more, but you could also make it work with just one pair.

Divide into pairs and sit far enough away from the other pairs to get a sense of privacy.


  • In your pair, pick one person to go first.
  • Take 10-15 minutes to describe an experience where you felt like a victim. Explain the emotions you felt as a result of your experience in as much detail as possible, thinking about your specific feelings at the moment and how it impacted you afterward. Discuss as a pair, then switch roles.
  • If you are running this activity in a group, bring everyone back together and have a group discussion using questions like:
    • What did you think first when you were told to share a difficult experience with another person?
    • How did you manage to share it? How did you feel when you shared it with someone else?
    • How did you feel after admitting and accepting your emotions?
    • Does this exercise help with accepting how certain experiences make us feel, and that it is okay to feel a certain way after negative experiences?
    • Did you feel more at peace after accepting your emotions from this experience?
    • Would you consider using this exercise to evaluate and admit your emotions after negative experiences?

Trivia Answers

Mindfulness Activity 1: C: -63 degrees Celsius

Mindfulness Activity 2: B: 13 provinces and territories