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Ideas for Indoor Activities for Mental Health People

Updated February 21, 2019

Working in the mental health field can be challenging, and it can be difficult to find activities for people with mental illness, especially indoor activities. If you are working with a large group of people, it is important to keep everyone engaged and busy. There are some activities that people with mental illness can do inside.

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Arts and Crafts

Art can be soothing and calming. Colouring is a simple task anyone can complete. People with mental illnesses will usually focus on colouring and enjoying the time. There are plenty of other art projects such as clay, painting and making jewellery. Drawing is an art activity that can also lead to group discussions. Have clients draw something, such as their fears or anxieties, and discuss each project with the group.


Indoor games can provide stimulation for mental health clients. Most groups enjoy games like Bingo. You can also have them play charades or hangman specific to mental health categories. For instance, in charades, have them act out a mental health symptom. There are also word searches or crossword puzzles that are mental health-related. You can make that into a game, too, with the group offering a prize for the person who finishes the puzzle first.


If you have some talented individuals, you can sing songs, and, with any instruments or a karaoke machine, you can have a talent show. Even without that, just listening to music has many beneficial effects. Music is a stress-reliever to most people and can be a significant mood changer. Play some popular upbeat music, such as the Beatles. Encourage individuals to dance if possible. Many people will be smiling before long.


There aren't too many exercises you can do indoors, but, depending on your space, you may be able to do some. Exercise is important for people with mental illness because it helps improve mood and reduce anxiety. Some exercises can be done with just a chair. Basic yoga or stretching is a great indoor activity, and t'ai chiuce stress. Walking in place is another indoor activity idea.

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About the Author

Ireland Wolfe has been writing professionally since 2009, contributing to Toonari Post, Africana Online and Winzer Insurance. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in psychology and Master of Arts in mental health counseling. She is also a licensed mental health counselor, registered nutritionist and yoga teacher.

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