Why Do Counselors Recommend Journaling?

Have you ever wondered why some people who you know are in therapy tend to have a notebook and a pen on hand? That is most likely the suggestion of their therapist or counselor.

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Journaling, also known as journaling therapy or writing therapy, entails the therapeutic utilization of journaling activities and worksheets to produce awareness and alleviate mental health conditions caused by internal and external conflicts. The Center for Journal Therapy describes journaling as the intentional and voluntary use of insightful writing to improve physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional health and well-being. While there are a number of professionals who focus solely on writing therapy, several psychotherapists and counselors incorporate journaling into their sessions.

Journal Therapy And Simply Keeping A Journal

Journaling therapy began in the 1960s through Dr. Ira Progoff. With his works, the therapeutic possibilities of journaling became more popular. Before this, the primary role of journaling was to document experiences and events from a narrative side. Maintaining a diary was not thought of as therapeutic. But today, journaling is considered to be a stand-alone instrument – just like music or art therapy. Journaling therapists and counselors can be taught through programs sanctioned by the Federation for Poetry Therapy. Additionally, counselors or therapists that an approved program has not trained can still utilize journal therapy with individuals who come for sessions.

Journaling As A Form Of Therapy

Among the most distinguishing factors between journal therapy and merely keeping a journal is capturing thoughts, emotions, or experiences. Journal therapy permits an individual to talk with, write, and evaluate their problems and concerns. Therapeutic writing makes use of activities and prompts to assist them in therapy or counseling. This further enables individuals to be intentional, insightful, and introspective about how and what they write.

How Journal Therapy Works

Journal therapy is mainly used with individuals in counseling to improve awareness and intuition, enhance growth and transformation, and further promote their sense of self. Using different exercises and worksheets, a journal therapist assists an individual in treatment to achieve his or her life goals. Writing down how you feel often helps alleviate tension and decrease stress.

While journal therapy can be utilized in several ways, most counselors or therapists have some general processes. They may require the individual in counseling to start the session with a writing activity to document his goals for the session. A counselor can use journaling as a form of communication between the counselor and the individual in counseling. At the end of the session, the counselor may designate the individual in counseling some assignments discussed in the next counseling session.

A woman journaling on a journal

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There are several reasons you think you need a counselor who utilizes journaling as part of the treatment. Psychotherapists state that they used journaling techniques with individuals who have trouble processing their behavioral and thought patterns. Counselors and therapists can find the same benefits when they use journaling with individuals in their care who have difficulty monitoring their progress.

Journal therapy and therapeutic writing are effective in treating several conditions, which include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Grief and loss
  • PTSD
  • Substance abuse
  • Low self-confidence
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Eating disorders
Journaling is meant to make your life better than ever even without being vocal about your issues

Journal Therapy Activities And Reminders

There are numerous effective and creative means that writing therapy can be utilized in treatment. Some of these ways are used occasionally, as in therapeutic writing or for the complete treatment progression. Some situations or journaling activities and reminders that one can see in counseling or therapy include:

  • Letter writing. An individual in counseling is urged to write a letter about different concerns that he wants to address. People can opt to write to anybody, including those they know, someone that they might have lost, or even to parts of themselves if they want.
  • Journaling With Pictures. Here, people select personal pictures and spend time journaling answers to various questions about the pictures. Questions can be something like, “How do you feel when you are looking at this picture?” or “Is there anything you want to say to someone, to a thing, or a place in this particular picture?”
  • Sentence Stems. The counselor offers a range of open-ended sentence stems for the individual in counseling or therapy to finish. For instance, the counselor can suggest, “I have difficulty sleeping when…” or “The thing that I’m most concerned about is….”

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  • In this journaling method, the counselor and the individual in counseling will initially select two parts, opinions, or positions within the individual in counseling or outside sources. The individual will then create a dialogue between these two objects. The process can apparently improve awareness about a mental struggle or provide alternative viewpoints about it. For instance, the counselor can suggest the individual in therapy write a conversation between his past self and his future self.
  • List of 100. The journaling counselor asks the individual in counseling to list 100 things that relate to a selected topic or subject. This process can most probably lead to the repetition of specific patterns or items that the counselor and the individual will evaluate and discuss. Examples of list prompts are 100 reasons to wake up each morning, 100 things that I want to achieve in my life, or 100 things that make me happy.
Will you also try using a journal for your mental health?

Counseling And Music Therapy

What is music therapy? Who benefits from music therapy? Does music therapy really work?

A woman wearing white blouse listening to music and enjoying with her eyes closed as part of her music therapy.

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Listening to music is one of the most popular ways to relax and be reenergized. You could come home from work and then put on your favorite songs while distressing, or you and your spouse play your wedding playlist, and memories are relived. Listening – not just focusing on the notes – can have a satisfying effect. Some types of music can also encourage listeners, potentially through meaningful lyrics or perhaps an amazing acoustic solo. Imagine a performer or sports enthusiast who utilizes music to inspire and motivate.

No matter what the reason is for a person to listen, music is a powerful stimulant, capable of generating a profound reaction within listeners and connecting with their feelings. As the field of counseling progresses, together with updated methods and forms of thinking, several people have attached themselves to the influence of music as a clinical instrument to be used in client collaborations.

On the other hand, these counseling sessions are not about just listening. Therapists and their clients could make music as a form of expression. They could sing or role-play to provoke a therapeutic surge. Music therapy is a sanctioned area of study where counselors can accomplish certification. There are evidence-based suggestions for music therapy, which could also be utilized in managing several conditions.

Music Therapy

The complexities and hands-on application need a better understanding – from environments most suitable for the counseling sessions to the strategies used and the studies and logic behind everything.

According to the American Music Therapy Association, music therapy is the evidence-based utilization of music tools to achieve personal goals within a remedial relationship by a licensed professional who has finished an approved music therapy program. Some outcomes that music therapy can work with include enhancing a client’s openness to participating in treatment, physical rehab, functioning as a channel for self-expression. Sessions involve more than simple absorbing of music but rather comprises productive vocalizing, composing, listening, instrumentation techniques aimed at positive results through mediation.

How It Works

Music therapy: A child wearing blue sweater and her music teacher singing joyously while playing the piano as part of music therapy

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One benefit of music therapy is that a number of client settings can utilize it. Still, certain client groups are most open to its structure and stimuli. These include kids, adolescents, adults, and seniors who have mental health issues, those with learning disabilities, individuals with acute or chronic pain, and individuals with substance abuse. Lately, the music therapy field has expanded its reach to prematurely born babies, individuals with Parkinson’s disease, senior clients with dementia and aging symptoms, and those with cerebral palsy and autism.

It is vital to remember that clients are not required to experience performances or some musical inclination. Obviously, counselors and therapists themselves should be knowledgeable with instruments (percussion, strings, etc.), along with the requirements needed for counseling, such as evaluating clients and recommending treatments.

The Conditions Managed With Music Therapy

Conditions and illnesses that can be efficiently managed with music therapy are dependent on the client and the environment, although several diverse symptoms can similarly be managed with music therapy.

Neurological conditions may be associated with mood disorders, as experts reported in a current study on music therapy, making these individuals vulnerable. In that specific trial, participants with depression were involved in music interventions. The group discovered that musical activities are treatment options that are logical and with no side effects and are effective in easing behavioral and psychological complications. Music therapy was also shown to improve self-esteem and social interactions, and better communication skills.

Music Therapy And Pain Management

Pain management is also an area where music therapy can be beneficial. A study printed in the American Journal of Orthopedics detailed that music therapy reduced pain symptoms in individuals who were recuperating from spinal surgery. This gained the attention of counselors and other patrons as music therapy poses a substitute treatment option devoid of the risk of drug dependency, potentially helping deal with the increasing opioid abuse problem.

Music therapy has expansive benefits for perioperative patients as well – individuals who were preparing for surgery, going through an operation, or in the recuperation phase – because music has dopamine-producing effects that are comparable to the effects of opioids, only that the risks are much fewer.

Music therapy: An old man wearing earphones listening to music and smiling while looking up as part of his music therapy

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The music association documented the ways that music therapy can present in various settings. For example, in hospitals and other medical facilities, music therapy can be utilized for sedating and relaxing purposes in conjunction with anesthesia. Additionally, music therapy can be intellectual and sensory stimulation in nursing facilities to keep geriatric clients active cognitively and physically.

Music Therapy: Finals Thoughts

Music therapy is frequently used in these situations and settings to enhance social connections. As for schools and colleges, music therapy can be utilized for personal learning programs and as an instrument to develop nonmusical skills such as communication. In psychiatric scenarios, on the other hand, music therapy can be used in problem-solving and conflict resolution.



Frequently Asked Questions About Anxiety Hotline


With all these uncertain feelings I have right now due to isolation, I somehow realize things. Unfortunately, I have been battling anxiety and depression this entire time, and nobody seems to care. Many of my friends and relatives tell me that I should get over it and that I am only overacting. Perhaps some of the signs and symptoms I endure can’t seem to convince them that I am mentally ill.

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At times, I feel like the more I surround myself with people I care about the most, the more I go down deep in the pit of loneliness and hopelessness. Honestly, I want them to be around. I want them to tell me that they understand what I am going through and that they are more than willing to listen and help me with my mental health struggle. Unfortunately, all I hear are complaints, judgment, and criticism. Do I deserve that?

The mere problem with my anxiety and depression is not the mental illness itself. Rather, it is the coping strategy that I genuinely want to try ever since I experience these emotional and mental dilemmas. I want to express how I feel. I want to let the people close to me know that I struggle with psychological issues, not something I intend to have. Sadly, none of them would spend time and listen to me. None of them take me seriously, and none of them understand my mental health needs.

Luckily, I found these frequently asked questions that I used as a guideline to know more about this depression and anxiety hotline. Let me walk you through what I figured out.

Is there a stress hotline? 

If you’re experiencing financial, relationships, or any form of stress, you can call the crisis hotline. It offers help when you are in dire need of someone to talk to and get reasonable and solution-based advice. The numbers to call are 1-800-684-2324 or 740-369-3316.

Is there a panic attack hotline? 

Yes, there is. Those who experience panic episodes can call 1-800-64-PANIC. It helps so much to have someone to talk with – someone who understands what you are going through, especially during a manic episode.

How can I get immediate relief from anxiety? 

For instant anxiety relief, stand up slowly with your shoulders pulling back. Your feet should be planted widely and evenly apart, and your chest open. Begin to breathe deeply. In this posture, along with deep breathing, you are assisting your body to remember that you are not in a dangerous state at the moment and that you are entirely in control of your body.

Who do I speak to about anxiety? 

A psychiatrist has been specially trained to diagnose, manage, and treat mental health disorders. The psychiatrist is capable of prescribing medications, providing psychotherapy, and treating anxiety disorders.

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How do doctors treat anxiety? 

Customary management for anxiety disorder entails therapy and psychological counseling. It may involve psychotherapy, including cognitive-behavioral therapy or a combination of counseling and therapy.

How do I talk to my doctor about anxiety medication? 

Tips to follow when talking to your doctor about your anxiety medications:

  • Be honest and specific, and respectfully ask your trusted doctor to be honest as well.
  • Ask him why they prescribe certain medications and if there are other available options.
  • Ask him about the possible adverse effects that you could present with.
  • Inquire when you are expected to see the benefits or other possibilities of taking the medications.

What is a drug that calms you down? 

Benzodiazepines, also called sedatives, hypnotics, or minor tranquilizers, are the most commonly recommended psychoactive medications worldwide. Its calming effects are often accomplished without taking the medications.

How do I cope with anxiety? 

Coping strategies for anxiety include:

  • Spending quality time by yourself and with loved ones
  • Getting sufficient amounts of sleep
  • Maintaining a healthy diet
  • Avoiding too much caffeine and alcohol, as these aggravate anxiety
  • Practicing meditation and deep breathing
  • Staying physical active

Who prescribes anxiety? 

The psychiatrist is a mental health professional who is specially trained to diagnose and manage mental health disorders. He is capable of prescribing medications and providing psychotherapy to treat anxiety.

What are the six types of anxiety disorders? 

The six major forms of anxiety disorders include social anxiety disorder, separation anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, specific phobia, panic disorder, and agoraphobia.

How is anxiety diagnosed? 

For anxiety disorder to be diagnosed, the doctor does a physical examination, inquires about your symptoms, and orders blood tests. All these will help him identify other conditions, like hypothyroidism, that may be present, causing your anxiety symptoms. The doctor may inquire about other medications that you are taking as well.

Is anxiety neurological or psychological? 

Anxiety, depression, and panic attacks are psychological problems. They may be a result of past events, stress, or biochemical imbalances. They are not considered to be neurological. However, psychological problems and nerve diseases can also have comparable symptoms.

What illness mimics anxiety? 

Conditions that often mimic anxiety include:

  • Lyme disease
  • Postural orthostatic hypotension (POTS)
  • Inappropriate sinus tachycardia
  • Endometriosis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Adrenal insufficiency
  • Fibromyalgia

Can a brain scan show anxiety?

A brain scan can potentially show unexpected causes of anxiety, as anxiety can result from several things, including post-traumatic stress disorder, head injury, or neurohormonal imbalances. A brain scan provides clues to possible underlying reasons for your anxiety, which may help determine the most applicable treatment plan.

Do you ever recover from anxiety? 

Overcoming anxiety is truly a challenge, but you can win even without taking medications. Often, getting rid of tension, nervousness, and anxiety is merely a matter of altering your thoughts, your lifestyle, and your behavior. You can begin with a medication-free strategy and then talk with your doctor if your anxiety symptoms have not improved or have worsened.

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Final thoughts

Battling with depression and anxiety is an endless battle. One way to get rid of it is by surrounding yourself with loving and caring people who understand your mental health needs. If the people you are with are not focused on helping you realize your worth, do yourself a favor and look for those individuals that truly take your mental health needs seriously.


Frequently Asked Questions About Signs Of Social Anxiety

People describe me as a loner. They say that I am an introverted person that they often have trouble dealing with. Perhaps that is because I don’t usually laugh at everyone’s joke, I don’t talk much, and I do not intend to butt in any conversation topics not unless I was asked to. At first, I thought what I usually do is just part of my personality. I thought that perhaps my interests are different from other people, so they find me hard to get along with.

Thus, I somehow chose not to mingle with people due to indifference and slowly isolate myself from everyone around me. Unfortunately, that decision is not exclusive to my will. Because recently, I found out that I am dealing with symptoms of social anxiety. If you are not that familiar with it, here are some of the frequently asked questions that might help you understand what the mental condition is all about.

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What triggers social anxiety? 

Social anxiety triggers by negative experiences. The person’s environment greatly influences Social Anxiety. And aside from other negative events in life, family conflict, emotional abuse, trauma or abuse, and relationship issues may be associated with social anxiety—stressful life instances and other traumatic experiences during childhood influence social anxiety problems.

Well, I can’t recall the specific times I dealt with traumatic experiences when I was a kid. But, when it comes to emotional abuse, I guess I am overloaded with despair and sorrow from those who constantly force me to be someone else.

 Can you self-diagnose social anxiety? 

There are ways to self-evaluate social anxiety disorder. However, there is no medical test to check for an accurate diagnosis unless administered by a professional expert. The healthcare provider will diagnose social phobia from a series of symptoms and by examining certain behavioral patterns.

If you think you are dealing with social anxiety symptoms, visit a doctor immediately.

 How common is social anxiety? 

Social anxiety is the second most commonly diagnosed disorder among 15 million American people, where the average age of onset of the mental illness is during the teenage years. The condition can last for many years, and sometimes it stays for a lifetime when it gets worse. Social anxiety prevents an individual from living his life to the fullest.

Unfortunately, that is what is happening to me right now. As much as I want to go outside and mingle with different people, I can’t. I get overwhelmed and often panic when people stare at me for no reason. It makes me feel uncomfortable when they keep asking me personal questions. I easily get anxious, and it makes me unable to breathe.

 How does social anxiety affect your life? 

Social anxiety disorder can ruin your life as it makes it harder for you to concentrate on work, school, relationships, or personal life. Anxiety can keep you away from trying new things. It somehow takes away the opportunity for you to grow and be creative. Thus, it leads to a loss of interest in things and promotes unfulfilled potential.

Sadly, when social anxiety hits, you can’t just shrug it off. There is no way you can manage to deal with it instantly. Therapy and treatments also take time.

 How can I help my partner with social anxiety? 

You can help your partner with social anxiety by talking to him and understanding his feelings. Please ensure to take steps to allow every social situation more comfortable for your partner. Help him and be there for him through the challenges of negative thinking. Ensure that you encourage, support, and join him on a healthy, anti-anxiety lifestyle.

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 How can I fix my social anxiety? 

To overcome social anxiety, you need to consider the following tips. You can start with self-care, practice deep breathing every day, create objective goals of what you want to achieve in a day, and keep a rational outlook and stay positive as much as possible. If none of these work, ask a therapist about other things that you can do.

You must make the recovery process slowly but surely.

 What is the best medication for social anxiety disorder? 

There are several medications available for social anxiety disorder. Your doctor may prescribe Paxil or Zoloft. These drugs are inhibitors (SSRIs) that often take down the first few unnecessary and persistent social anxiety symptoms.

 Does social anxiety go away with age? 

No. Though there are chances that for some people, their mental condition gets better as they get older. But for many individuals who happen to suffer from severe anxiety, it does not go away on its own. Sometimes, it takes a significant effort, even with medication and therapy treatment.

 Can you beat anxiety without medication? 

Fortunately, yes, you can cope with anxiety, even without medication. One way you can do that is through mindfulness meditation. It is an effective anxiety treatment that works so well with some psychotherapeutic methods. Many therapists use mindfulness-based exercises to help patients understand their condition and encourage them to self-care and recovery.

 What does the Bible say about anxiety? 

While anxiety can make you feel empty and lonely, the Bible encourages you to understand that God is still there with you no matter what. Fear, Anxiety, and Worry, when you present it to God, will eventually go away because He guards your heart and your mind to complete peace and calmness.

 Does CBD help anxiety? 

Aside from the FDA approving the use of cannabidiol in treating epilepsy, CBD helps address anxiety symptoms. These include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), and general anxiety disorder (GAD). It also helps treat anxiety-induced sleeping disorder or insomnia.

 Is it normal for anxiety to come and go? 

Feelings of anxiety usually come and go, and some only people experience mild symptoms of the mental health condition, only lasting a short time. However, some moments of anxiety are briefer. Usually, it lasts anywhere from a couple of minutes to a few days. And on severe cases, it lasts for about a year and sometimes a lifetime.

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 Is anxiety all in your head? 

Though some people believe anxiety to be just a “thing” in the head, it is more than that. It’s the brain’s way of preparing individuals to face danger so that they can deal with stressful situations instantly. Some anxiety at different periods in time can cause a lot of problems.

 How do I stop worrying about everything? 

To stop worrying about everything that doesn’t entirely need too much attention, you should consider some of the following: Be real with how you feel and acknowledge your mental health needs. That way, you can focus on self-care and positive thoughts. Be conscious of your intentions of getting better and be okay with things being out of your control.

 What are the six common types of anxiety disorders? 

 The common types of anxiety disorder are specific phobia, Agoraphobia, Social Anxiety Disorder, Separation Anxiety Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Panic Disorder.


Mental Health Perks Of Writing Steampunk Novels

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I went through every hardship known to man when I decided to drop out of university and pursue my dreams of becoming a writer.

For one, my parents stopped giving me money. They said that they did not want to help me fulfill a “botched dream.” Although it stung to realize that my family had no plans to support my goals, it was understandable. No person in their right mind would usually stop going to school when they were only several months away from graduation.

Since I could no longer ask Mom and Dad to pay for my apartment, I had to look for menial jobs to make ends meet. I became a dishwasher, a busboy, and even a garbage collector so that the landlord would not evict me. However, Lady Luck perhaps turned her back on me because I found my door chained and my clothes thrown right outside of it after two months of being unable to pay my dues.

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Despite all that, I did not crawl back in my parents’ arms. I went from one friend’s couch to another for a couple of weeks while looking for a more stable job. The last thing that I wanted to hear was my parents saying, “We knew this would happen.”

As for my writing dreams, I already finished a fantasy novel at that point. It was about a teenage boy who found out his family had magical powers, but they decided to avoid practicing magic after an accident. I initially thought publishing companies would be fighting against each other to figure out who could publish my novel, but getting rejected by three companies made me realize that it was another fantasy.

Knowing Steampunk Subgenre

After a year of living like that and not getting anywhere close to my dreams, I started thinking of giving up. I told myself, “What’s too difficult with letting Mom and Dad talk my ear off? It’s better to do that and go back to school with a loaded wallet than to continue being practically homeless.”

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However, a day before I decided to go back to my parents’ house, I still tried to publish my fantasy novel. A friend helped me set up a meeting with an agent who supposedly had a lot of contacts. When we met at a café that afternoon, I showed him my manuscript.

After reading a couple of pages, the agent said, “Your narration skills are undoubtedly incredible, considering you have not received formal training in writing. The story flowed smoothly, too, and the characters were interesting from the beginning. But the problem is, there are already plenty of individuals aspiring to be the next J.K. Rowling or at least Rick Riordan out there. What many publishers wanted was a steampunk novel.”

The agent gave me so much to think about after our meeting. However, the biggest question was, “Am I ready to focus on a new genre?” The only thing I knew about steampunk was that it mixed futuristic technology with retro fashion. It felt daunting to write an entire novel about something that I did not consider interesting until then.

Still, because I was in a pinch, I gave it a try.

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Deciding To Write A Steampunk Novel

Writing a steampunk novel was not a smooth ride in the beginning because I was still not thinking outside the box. My editor sent back the manuscript several times for revision, and I wondered again if I should look for another dream. However, she sat me down one day and reminded me that everything was possible in steampunk, as long as there were steam and Victorian flare in the book. I went to sleep while thinking about how I could do that, and then I felt like a different person when I woke up.

I threw the manuscript in the trash and started writing a new novel about a woman who went to look for the hieroglyphs in a gyrocopter. For some reason, I found it incredibly liberating. I became a writer and a reader at the same time and enjoyed creating the book so much. I did not realize the change in my mood until the friend who let me stay on his couch while I was writing commented, “What’s new with you? You’re not gloomy anymore.”

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And he was correct – I did not feel depressed like before. My heart felt light; my head was clearer than it had been in the last few months. After a month, I finished the steampunk novel, and a publishing company picked it up in no time. I could not divulge how much I got paid for it, but let’s say that it was enough to let me relax and write without getting another job for a year. 

Coming Home

I went home to my parents after I got my first paycheck as a writer. I did not do it to boast but show them that I made something out of myself, that my dream was not as far-fetched as it seemed. I was surprised when Mom and Dad hugged me tight and said they were sorry for not supporting me. All was forgiven in the end, and I continued writing steampunk novels since then.


All About Collaborative Arts With The Family


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There is something remarkable that happens when parents work on art projects together with their kids. This is called collaborative ark making, which is an excellent means to bond with your children. It can be drawing games, painting, constructing toys, and many, many more.

There is increasing evidence that doing enjoyable and creative things with the family is right for you mentally, emotionally, and physically. It doesn’t matter how old you are, finding ways to communicate your thoughts creatively offers several benefits. Truth be told, spending time just play around and not think of anything is enjoyable.

I am one of the believers of this concept, as I had done these activities when they were little and up until today when they are teens. I love sitting down with my sons and invent something colorful with them. Often, it would be as straightforward as a stick drawing of our family and our home filled with beautiful flowers, and other times, when we feel like we have nothing to do the whole day, we would take on our fun ideas on our backyard wall and make something out of our boredom – a unique painting of the neighborhood, for example (which we finished in 4 hours!).

Collaborative Art Defined

It is described as any form of art that is made by a group of individuals. It could be as simple as a sketch or as intricate as a mural that entails more than one individual.

Most children are ecstatic about the whole process. I’ve had my own share of excitement molding clay into various shapes and statues with my entire family. But it’s also enjoyable to see each member create art on their own and then incorporates them. The most fulfilling part is that every member of the family is inspired to contribute in more ways than one into the artwork. Collaborative art provides an opportunity to start a new family project that every member helps start and finish.

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Benefits Of Collaborative Art For The Family

When a family works on a collaborative art project, it is strengthening connections and cultivating togetherness. Creating art as a team with a common purpose is genuinely empowering. It is therapeutic and beneficial, particularly when you require a dose of happiness and cheer. I love how these projects offer each family member the chance to discover their own distinct styles and the opportunity to admire the differences of each other’s work as well. You can conveniently combine collaborative art in your family weekend activities. It’s not complicated, supplies are accessible, and it’s suitable for all ages – young and old.

How To Enjoy Family Art With The Family

  • Don’t complicate things
  • Let the kids lead
  • Keep in mind that the process of doing art is more special and relevant than the outcome of the art project. You have fun together, establish connections, and express family love
  • Organize your project in a way that doesn’t cause any mess inside the house. Move your materials to the garden, so you have sufficient space and practically do anything. Be sure to check that each member of the family is wearing painting clothes and have the materials needed so they won’t have to keep going in and out of the house.

Collaborative Projects For The Holidays

It’s just a few months before Christmas, so why don’t you do a family project that you can decorate for the Holidays? If not, you can create beautiful handmade gifts for your next-door neighbor.

Try this just for fun.

Popsicle Sleighs

These sticks are amazing! There are a lot of things that the entire family can make from them. You can let the children save up sticks beforehand so that there’ll be a lot to use during the Holidays. If you don’t have much of these around, you can always purchase Popsicle stick packs at the craft shop.

Source: firefliesandmudpies.com

For this project, you’ll need seven sticks for each décor, five short and two long ones, glue, one shish-kebab stick per décor, broken in two, ribbon, and hot glue, which should not be used by kids.

First, you lay the two long sticks on the table, making sure that they are even. Place the shorter sticks on top of each side of the long sticks, gluing them together, so that they are attached crosswise. When they have dried, glue the kebab sticks parallel to the short sticks in such a way that they are extending up and down the span of the sticks that they were attached to. When this has dried completely, turn it over and glue the last shorter stick crosswise on the top.

You can choose to tie or glue the ribbon to the adjacent stick so that you can hang it on your door or the Christmas tree. If you’re up for it, you can have the kids paint and then instruct the kids to write their names on the sleighs and the year you created them.




Significance Of Journaling In This Health Global Crisis

Since the start of this pandemic, I have tried my best to stay mentally and emotionally healthy. I talked to people about what I feel, and I never try to keep my thoughts to myself. I always ensure that others know how I feel so that I can also become aware of changing my habits if necessary. So far, everything I did helped me to get through this pandemic situation. However, there is one thing I like doing the most, and that is journaling.

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What I Like About Journaling

Journaling has become my fortress during this uncertain time. By keeping a written record of what is going on with the world right now, I feel like I have all the information I need. I wrote down the experiences I had when the outbreak began, how people responded to the virus, and recorded details of information to the current situation. Journaling allows me to write things free-willingly. There are no rules to follow, and I write what’s on my mind even if it is not on a daily basis. Besides, writing does not take a lot of my time. I often write on my notebook for at least 20 to 30 minutes max, and that is all I need to pen down my emotions and experiences throughout this global pandemic.

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How Does Journaling Help Me

Journaling allowed me to track my mental and emotional patterns. It guided all through the bad and most unfortunate times of my life during this pandemic battle. As I wrote down my worries and fears, It helped me realize that I can do a lot of things instead of always complaining. Thus, when I look back on some of my entries a couple of weeks ago on my notebook, I realized there are problems I wrote down that I already overcome.

Journaling also improved my decision-making ability. Thanks to all those struggles I wrote and repeatedly read aloud, I ended up thinking about possible solutions. There was this one time I wrote my financial instability, and I poured on my notebook all my devastation after losing a job due to this crisis. But after that, I realized that instead of continually thinking about it, it would be better to look for an alternative source of income.

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Journaling also made me realize that I should stick to my goals despite all the unfortunate things happening around the world. Yes, I still have the desire to go back to the way things are, but if that is not attainable right now, I must learn to adapt. Writing down the list of things I want to achieve after this whole pandemic crisis helped me stay positive about the future.

Journaling helped me remind myself that there are still a lot of things I can do despite all the restrictions I am experiencing. I once wrote down that I am disappointed about the lockdown because I can no longer be with my friends. But after adding some information about the outbreak, and how it can be dangerous not to follow safety protocols, I thought to myself that everything happened for a reason.

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Journaling allowed me to rant about things without making others feel uncomfortable. The whole idea of writing even the negative things in my life made me more sensitive about other people’s reactions. No one knows how an expressed emotion can affect others. With journaling, I am not only cut backing myself from all the judgments out there due to my negativity. But I am also saving other people’s emotional and mental state by not introducing my impacting concerns.

Tips For Those Who Love Giving Gifts

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Are you that kind of person who would rather give gifts than receive them? Or the type who wants to help out all your friends to come up with ideas and make it happen? If yes, then, I am glad you are here. We share the same passion for finding joy in carefully crafting gift ideas that mean much more than buying something off the shelf. I enjoy putting as much creativity, time and effort as I can.


The simple tips I am going to share, are some ways you can still enjoy your personalized gift habit without spending too much! Here are some of my top tips for all you gift-givers:


Something Useful


Before you go crazy with your washi tapes, ribbons and packaging, always remember to take a step back to evaluate if the gift you are giving will be useful, or appreciated by the receiver.


Gift-giving is fun, but let’s not be wasteful! I know some would like to give gag gifts or humorous ones like a pregnancy test or some skimpy lingerie, and that is okay, as long as you find something the person needs or likes, to go with it. My special rule is never to give a gift that’s 100% useless.


Just keep in mind to keep the useless humorous elements at the lowest cost, and make sure you throw in something genuinely useful!



Hint Of Personalization


Here is where you will love getting creative! There are all sorts of shops that offer personalization services like pen engraving, necklace customization, name embroidery and what not!


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All these specialty stores become your best friend in wanting unique gifts that your friends will cherish. The good thing about these places is even if you buy the same thing for all your friends, having their name on it makes it special!


You can also find things like letter charms and add in the first letter of their name to whatever you are giving. For me, there are few things more fulfilling to me than the process of personalized gifts!



Off-The-Shelf Is Okay


I say that because, for someone like me who values gift-giving very profoundly, at the end of the day, the design is still everything. Design shows how much effort you put into thinking about how you are going to give that person the final product. It means that even if you just gave a bar of chocolate, the way you wrap it, the color of the ribbon, and even the card that goes with it, could elevate your gift completely!


Source: desiringgod.org


Invest in some aesthetically pleasing materials like ribbons of different shapes and sizes, washi tapes and especially good writing materials. Pro Tip – Writing their name in calligraphy, for example, is one of simplest ways you can personalize a store-bought item!




I hope that the tips I have shared make gift-giving even more enjoyable for you! If you were not into gift-giving before reading this, then I hope I was able to show that it can be fun, inexpensive, and highly appreciated by your friends and family. Happy wrapping!