The holidays can be a trigger for those who have any unresolved trauma or grief. Having to see family can bring up all sorts of feelings, memories or sensations.
Also during the holidays, we can get overly busy and overcommit ourselves to too many things.
The path to self kindness is through pausing when unsure about what choices you want to make and practicing self care.
You may already have a list for self care. Let’s work on taking your self care to another level! (If you don’t have have one, check out Rockstar’s Guide for Self Care before completing this art project.)
Let’s make a self care box that has supplies in it to help you to de-stress and reconnect to yourself!
1) Creating a Self Care Box
Here are the supplies that you will need:
- A medium sized paper box
- Magazines (that you want to collage with)
- Glue Stick
- 3×5 index card
- Glitter Glue
- Art supplies that you like to use
On the outside of the box cut out, draw, paint, and decorate the outside of the box with images, words and concepts that make you feel supported.
2) Find physical objects that represent self care
When choosing objects to use for this, you can have symbolic things like trinkets, stones, or talismans that represent what you want to bring into your life for self care.
- A stone that says, “Breathe” on it, or a stone/ crystal that represents some concept that you want to bring into your life
- An infographic of yoga poses
- A quote that grounds you in yourself
- A talisman that helps remind you of self care. I like to use a coin that has the serenity prayer on it, personally.
You can also put actual physical things for self care in the box such as:
- A bath bomb
- Bubbles or a small jar of Playdoh to remind you to be playful
- Your favorite type of relaxing tea
- A small piece of chocolate or candy that is your favorite
3) Take the 3 x 5 card and make an “in case of emergency card”
During the holidays, this 3 x5 can be your most helpful ally. With many of my clients, I have them make an in case of emergency card for themselves when they are having a hard time or feeling overwhelmed, so that they have something to refer to.
On this card write down the things that help you to feel calm and reconnect with yourself: Place that card into your wallet or purse so that you can have it at all times to remind you of the options that you have.
- Grounding techniques
- People you can call for support
- Internal resources that you have built
- Chants, prayers, or mantras that make you feel safe and grounded
- Breathing techniques
Practicing self care could be the kindest gift that you can give yourself this holiday season and help you to survive and thrive through anything that you experience.
Don’t forget to put your oxygen mask on first this holiday season and everything will be manageable and be even better than you imaged.
Take care of your self!
Celine Elise Alvarez, LMFT is an art therapist and a marriage and family therapist. She believes in working holistically, and finding a client’s strengths to help them to thrive and make changes in their lives through inner growth work. You can connect with her at Inner Growth Therapy.