This year I am going to stress the importance of finding your own personal “sanity clause”. Because the holiday season is a mixed bag of delightful and stressful situations disordered eating and body hate may get re-activated. A helpful antidote for the situation is to remember that the best gift you can give yourself or anyone else this holiday season is a happy, healthy, YOU! If you start now to proactively prepare for the unreasonable seasonable demands on your time and finances by reminding yourself that:
I am enough and I don’t need to be any more than what I am.
I am enough and I don’t need to give any more than what I am able to give.
Then you will spread true joy to your family, friends, and co-workers. So let’s start now and find your own holiday “sanity clause”…
Title: SANITY CLAUSE
Creating your own “totem” or reminder like a “sanity clause” helps us to proactively prepare a useful coping mechanism to navigate through the holiday season without reverting to disordered eating and or body dissatisfaction. Of course this activity is really an affirmation type exercise, but when we use our hands, minds, and spirits (a multi-sensory approach) to create this piece of artwork, it is reinforced on a variety of levels. You are, in fact, making a contract with yourself that when things get difficult you will use this phrase to re-group and re-center in lieu of other less self-nurturing behaviors.
Construction paper, scissors, glue, markers, string. Optional: Air drying clay (that doesn’t need a kiln).
- Sit quietly and ask yourself if there are any quotes or “wise sayings” from someone or somewhere in your life that have a calming effect on you. Most of us have at least one that we turn to when we feel we are losing control of a situation, or grappling with a negative turn of events, or trying to find the humor in a “Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.” Sometimes it is a quote from a famous person, a book, a friend, a song, a movie, etc.
- On a piece of paper write down the phrase or phrases that come to mind.
- Choose one and either using construction paper or the clay, write (or etch) the clause and add any borders or symbols that you choose.
- This is your “sanity clause” so be sure that your finished product is created during a time when you are NOT rushed and you can infuse it with your own healing intentions.
- Hang the finished piece in a place where you can see it first thing in the morning, or create a version of it that you can carry with you, hang in your car, or wear as a piece of jewelry.
This expressive arts activity is from contributing guest author Dr. Deah Schwartz. Once a month, Dr. Schwartz shares an art therapy activity or idea to facilitate exploration, increased awareness and healing in the areas of body image and eating disorders.