Therapeutic Tid Bit of the Month: Tuning In
In past issues of The Schmooze, I have covered many reasons why April is such a challenge. From stress-related tax deadlines and the numerous food-centric religious celebrations to the onslaught of bathing suit ads. It’s no wonder that in last year’s Schmooze I quoted T.S. Eliot’s famous line, “April is the Cruelest Month.” But the good news is that some stability is returning to schedules with spring break almost over and with it all of the chaos and expectations to just go wild.
So April’s tidbit of the month is to try tuning in to our gratitude for our resiliency. What are some ways we can appreciate and acknowledge our abilities to stay centered and/or regain our balance?
Activity: Tuning In
Objective: Find at least one way to tune in to your gratitude for your resiliency and or ability to re-center after a tumultuous and challenging time.
Materials: Paper, pens, pencils, markers, collage materials, (optional) and gratitude.
- Take a moment and imagine your inner thoughts as if they were different stations on a radio. For example 94.1 AM is anxiety about mid-terms. 100.3 AM is concern over your child’s post college plans (OK, I made that one about me!) 74.8 AM is your negative judgement about your body. These are different frequencies that make up our negative inner monologues.
- Think back over the month of March and all of the challenges it presented and select one time when you handled a difficult situation with resiliency.
- Take a few minutes to write down the situation and the outcome. Don’t edit this, just free write.
- Now imagine you can change the band of your “negative radio frequency” from AM to FM or go to a different collection of albums on your i-Pod. Using what you just wrote about, see if you can think of the name of the radio station that would represent this resilience frequency. What music would you find on this station? What are some songs from the play list?
- Now using either art materials or if writing lyrics and music is your modality of choice, create a song, logo, or a commercial that would advertise this radio station. For example: 95.7 FM KCALM or if you are on the east coast WINS Featuring Sly and the Family Stone’s Number One Hit, Thank You for Letting me be Myself Again!
Have fun with this. Really visualize it as your radio station where you can tune in to your positive internal voice…trust me…it IS there!
This expressive arts directive is from contributing author Dr. Deah Schwartz. Once a month, Dr. Schwartz shares a therapeutic art therapy activity or idea to facilitate exploration, increased awareness and healing in the areas of body dissatisfaction and eating disorders. Some of these activities may need to be facilitated over more than one session, or modified for different ability levels, size of group, budget and size of work space. These directives may be used in individual or group therapy sessions or as self-help activities. Sometimes the activity itself is nothing new or brilliant but the OBJECTIVE of the directive is unique and specifically tailored to exploring issues related to body image and disordered eating. ENJOY! Fun is the main ingredient! You can learn more about eating disorder therapy here.