What comes to mind when you hear the words self-care? Is self-care something that is an integrated part of your life or something that you recognize the importance of but fail to prioritize?
As the stress, loss, and unknowns of the coronavirus pandemic continue, therapists know more than ever that we must focus on self-care – both our own self-care and encouraging it in our clients. This crisis will continue for many months and we cannot simply try to power through or distract ourselves. Many of us have had our normal routines disrupted, may not have access to some of our normal self-care activities, or have let things slide as we try to balance increased challenges coming up.
I am sharing this activity to encourage you to recommit to self-care, think about how you may need to make changes to your self-care, and to have a tangible reminder of what self-care is most helpful for you. And as you work through this prompt, remember that self-care is not just fun or relaxing activities (like watching a good movie), it’s also the harder things that can feel like work but end up helping us feel better in the long run (like setting boundaries, exercising when we don’t feel like it, and accomplishing that task we have been putting off).
Create a collage about your own self-care plan. Use magazine images, print pictures from the internet, or drawn and paint. Feel free to combine words and images.
If you or your clients don’t have access to your normal art supplies or collage stash, remember that this might be a great time to try making a digital collage. (Canva.com is a free design program that would work well for this.)
Need ideas for self-care activities? Check out my previous self-care post that includes a downloadable list of self-care activities, as well as my favorite art-based activities to do for self-care – “Art and Self-Care.”
Journal Writing Prompt
Take some time to reflect and write about – What gets in the way of your own self-care? What can you do to overcome these obstacles and prioritize self-care? What motivates you to practice good self-care or what is your motivation to do better with self-care? Are there beliefs and messages from yourself or others that you need to shift when you think about self-care?
Be well, stay creative, and take good care of yourself!
These art and journal prompts about self-care are included in my new book The Balanced Mind: A Mental Health Journal. If you want more writing and creativity prompts to support positive mental health, head over to the Guided Journal page of this site to see sample pages and order your own copy.
I’d love to hear your thoughts! Do you have another idea how you would use this activity therapeutically? And if you give it a try (either with client or for your own fun art-making), I’d love to hear how it goes.
Carolyn Mehlomakulu, LMFT-S, ATR-BC is an art therapist in Austin, Texas who works with children, teens, and families. For more information about telehealth and online therapy, individual therapy, child and teen counseling, and art therapy services, please visit: www.therapywithcarolyn.com.
This blog is not intended to diagnose or treat any mental health conditions. All directives, interventions, and ideas should be used by qualified individuals within the appropriate bounds of their education, training, and scope of practice. Information presented in this blog does not replace professional training in child and family therapy, art therapy, or play therapy. Art therapy requires a trained art therapist.
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