So I decided to create a calm collages! What are they exactly? Basically they are a collage of pictures a that inspire feelings of calmness and relaxation for your client.
You will need:
A pair of scissors
A glue stick
What I do is go through the magazines beforehand and cut out images that I think might be calming or relaxing. I do this so that in session we don't spend the whole time just flipping through a magazine discussing celebrities or agonizing about what actually makes us feel calm.
I also do this because I would rather "screen" (especially working with elementary aged kids) what kind of content they see. I don't want them to have to feel inferior as they flip through endless pages of massive homes and perfectly clean and decorated rooms (how I love you HGTV) or pictures of celebrities before and after shots of weight loss. Ugh. #notcalming
After you've cut out a whole piles of magazine clippings you can just have them ready in case you want to use this intervention at a moment's notice or feel that it would benefit your client if they are feeling especially stressed out, anxious or angry. It's also a great thing to give them before they head into the summer. They can hang it up in their room and look at it when they are feeling big feelings. It's a very fun way for them to access their coping skills rather than just writing down a list in pencil.
You can introduce the intervention anyway you want. Sometimes having them close their eyes and practice deep breathing is a good way to start brainstorming about coping skills that help calm. Or you can jump right in! Depending on how large your paper is, have them pick 5-10 images that inspire the feeling of calm. You can play music or just talk while they choose images and then paste them to their paper. After this is done, I have them discuss why they chose their images. And that's it!
I made one as well for example and because yes I need a calm collage too. With my upcoming exam quickly approaching I too need to be reminded of what relaxes and calms me. My collage includes:
A Bubble Bath
If I was to add one more thing, it would be my puppy Lenny when he is sleepy. He is quite wild when he is not tired so that can be more activating than relaxing. My mornings with sleepy fuzzy Lenny when he is just waking up are some of my favorite!
What things help you feel calm? What are your go-to therapy interventions?