Scrapbooking for Emotional Wellness & Self Esteem
Scrapbooking heralds surprising psychological benefits, bolstering self esteem, self-healing, and self-expression, according to Jeanine Thibo Karns.Today I’m giving you a sneak preview into our book on Holistic Healing for Drug & Alcohol Addiction: A Hands-On Guide for People in Recovery & Loved Ones. You may think scrapbooking has no place in the realm of addiction recovery, but in fact, scrapbooking helps people in recovery feel accomplished, and encourages project completion. Additionally, scrapbooking improves working memory and may be used as a means to fight cravings!
Without further ado:
Scrapbooking for Addiction Recovery
Akin to journaling for recovery, scrapbooking is an enjoyable diversion from the troubles of the present. Scrapbooking allows us to transport ourselves out of our immediate concerns, whisking us to think nothing of the composition, color coordination, and construction of beautiful works of art. Engaging in scrapbooking allows people in recovery to immerse themselves in the things they love. Scrapbooking is not limited to simply documenting life’s celebrations and transitional periods. You can construct an entire scrapbook around your favorite animal or hobby. You might consider creating an entire scrapbook with your favorite quotes, levels of achievement in rehabilitation, symbolic representations of aspirations for the future, and your family and loved ones who are guiding you through recovery.
In combination of these elements, you may elect to construct a scrapbook with elements of your holistic healing path. You may have sections dedicated to the development and alignment of your chakras, entire pages of favorite crystals you’ve worked with, a visual reminder (and perhaps a map) of your personal bauga, and Feng Shui guide. The possibilities are endless! If you have tombs of personal journals, you may consider emblazoning them with your favorite knick knacks, scrapbook paper, cut outs, pictures from the internet, or odds and ends you have laying around your house. One of my best friends, irina, and I collect random baubles we think will be useful for scrapbooking, and then have manic, all-night scrapbooking fiestas.
Immersing yourself in scrapbooking allows you to focus on the construction of your personal fate. Scrapbooking may be used as a tool of manifestation, and to point your mind in the directions you wish to go. For instance, constructing a sort of “remembrance” scrapbook may be useful to help stave off cravings. Including all of the things you wish to accomplish after a successful recovery, and having visuals of your family, pets, and loved ones, can help you commit your mind to continue down the path of healing. In recovery anytime you can entice and use all of your senses, do so! Utilizing the full spectrum of your innate awarenesses will impart a powerful imprint on your psyche, as opposed to a singular visual reference.
Enlivening the Scenes in Your Creations: Scent, Touch, Sound, Taste
To entreat our most primeval sense of smell, dab scented oil, perfume, or encase smoke from your favorite candle or incense around your completed scrapbook page to encase the scent. The subtlety will remind you of when you constructed your book, and may help you feel more comfortable and whole.
Stimulate your sense of touch my gluing textured decorations into your scrapbook. My personal favorite is dried flowers (which also crinkle), but you can use fabric, felt, smooth buttons, shells, raised decorations (like 3D sticker) or anything else you can think of! (Irina is obsessed with different types of ribbed bottle caps).
If you want to get superbly creative to entreat sound, you can purchase a push device which allows you to speak into it, and repeat one of your favorite daily affirmations to correspond to each theme in your scrapbook. Maybe you chose to create a chakra book, or a collection of pages on the skills you wish to develop, the metaphysical properties of your favorite stones for crystal healing, or a collection for your bucket list. The possibilities are endless! For a less time consuming way to entreat sound, think again of textured elements like multicolored cellophane (commonly used in fairy wing costumes, you know the stuff).
I’ll admit, I’m struggling to incorporate taste into scrapbooking, other than visual references to your favorite foods. And no, you shouldn’t lick your scrapbook. Redolent evocations may be induced by using food themed oils. (Think sugar cookie scented oil and pumpkin pie around the holidays.)
Psychological Benefits of Scrapbooking
Karns boasts scrapbooks “create purposeful action when everything else seems out of control,” and promotes the “exploration of ideas and emotions, clarification of thoughts, and recognition of how experiences and environments impact the individual.” Looking at scrapbooking as a cathartic exercise to help cope with emotional therapy sessions, or off-days is more than a mindless arts and crafts project; scrapbooking helps you rebuild connections with the things you love, and gives you a creative font of self-expression. It may even lend itself to helping you strengthen your relationships by hosting scrapbooking get-togethers. You might even venture to get out on the town and look for MeetUp scrapbooking groups.
Robert Reiner, PhD. illuminates, “The act of performing a craft is incompatible with worry, anger, obsession, and anxiety. Crafts make you concentrate on the here and now and distract you from everyday pressures and problems.” Reiner goes on to say scrapbooking prompts similar effects to meditation and deep breathing.
If you’re not keen on constructing a traditional scrapbook, you might try your hand with smaller projects implementing the same methodology with an alternate medium.
Altered Journals & Smash Books
Altered journals are just as they sound; instead of emblazoning a scrapbook, you simply “scrapbook” in a journal! Completing journals takes less time, assuming the journal you use is smaller than a scrapbook, and allows you to carry it with you easier, for a motivational pick me up! Alike people who carry around knitting needles to fight off anxiety or depression, many carry their altered journals (sometimes called smash books, just take a look on Pinterest) with sets of markers, stickers, scrapbook paper, and other knick knacks to scrap on the go. Creating an altered journal includes all of the benefits of a scrapbook, but simply allows you to create on a smaller scale.
About the Author
Alexandrea Holder is a South Florida native working toward double Master’s degrees in Psychology and English. She finds the psychological aspects of addiction and mental illness fascinating, as both are prevalent in her family’s history. When not researching and spreading addiction awareness, Alexandrea enjoys sparring, artistic pursuits, and admiring puppies online.