Deal With Stress

Creative Stress Relief: Make A Collage!

creative stress reliefIt’s the holidays let’s make a collage!

Making a collage can have many benefits such as reducing stress while creating beautiful art. As art therapy, I like to have some of my adolescents make collage journals that represent the future lives they would like to achieve. I find this inspiring and to start I would have my client use a regular journal in which they will write out any unprocessed feelings during that week etc.  Furthermore, to gain a visual aspect of their desired future I give my clients magazines for the purpose of cutting out photos that either represent them presently or how they would like to be represented in the future.  Collages can have many purposes. They can create new ideas for yourself and allow you to make new goals in life.  A collage can also be a standpoint to see where you are, where you want to go and how you may be able to get there.   I’ve noticed how my clients really enjoy making collages and they tell me it calms them and keeps them distracted over the weekend during down time.

Some tools you will need in order to may your collage may include the following: magazines, old newspapers, photos, construction paper, glue or tape, stickers, color pencils or a paint brush set.  Collages could make fun wonderful gifts by taking photos of friends or family members and putting them into a picture frame or by making a big statement and completing your collage on a poster board.

To make your collage unique use colorful paper as a background and stickers.  If you have photos of yourself, family or friends you can glue them on a cardboard and put it inside a frame to hang. If you’re the type that likes to get extra creative, use a paintbrush set to paint the background or frame that your collage will go inside.  Using soft colors can be relaxing for your environment and helpful in reducing stress.  Meditate and daydream while creating your collage out of magazines and do not be afraid to fantasize.  Once you make your inspirational collage your dreams become opportunities to explore those options.  Looking at your inspirational collage is a positive reinforcement that will be a constant reminder of your future goals.

Benefits of making a collage:

Making collages can be relaxing, reduce stress and be used as a positive distraction.  You can even create themes from your collages such as birthdays, weddings or holiday vacations.  This is a special way to share your memories and you can make collage projects into fun social events by inviting a friends or family members to join you in a collage making party.  The holidays are a special time to work on a collage project.

Some ways you may want to prepare for a collage may include clearing off a big table (covering it with newspaper), organizing your photos stored in a box, have magazines, scissors, glue and any other items such as construction paper handy in a box or containers. Tell yourself “I’m an artist” and let go of any fear of creativity and express yourself. This is your opportunity to take your art and put it into a collage so be spontaneous and have fun.   This process will help you to relieve stress and increase your self-esteem.

Author Bio: Marlena Hunter, M.A. is currently providing psychotherapy in Los Angeles and Orange County, CA.  She has a Master of Arts degree in Psychology, specializing in Marriage and Family Therapy and has gained several years experience in several clinical settings.

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