Posts Tagged ‘self regulation’

Creating a Self Regulation Comfort Kit >> Relaxation Bottle

March 17, 2014

Over the last few months, I’ve been researching and collecting different sensory based activities and ideas (mostly on Pinterest) to support self-regulation and creative ways to foster relaxation in children & adolescents.  My long term goal is to create some kind of comfort kit that includes a variety of these hands on tools that I can use in my group work with school age youth impacted by trauma.

For more information about self-regulation, trauma, and children, check out these posts:

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I’ve started to move from the “collecting ideas phase” to the “making & experimentation phase”, embarking on trying out these ideas myself to see how they might work.

My first self-regulation comfort kit accessory I’ve started to work on and play with is a Relaxation Bottle. I became inspired by this idea through discovering this helpful post. I thought this type of relaxation bottle could be a soothing and fun way for group members to calm their minds and bodies, as well as help bring their attention to the here and now through focusing on the inside of the bottle.

I gathered these simple supplies: A plastic bottle, extra fine glitter, glitter glue, and clear tacky glue.

Creating a Self Regulation Comfort Kit >> Relaxation Bottle | creativity in motion

Then I followed these steps to make my prototype:

  • Fill the plastic bottle 3/4 full with hot tap water
  • Add glitter glue, loose extra fine glitter, and about half a bottle of clear tacky glue

The combination of the glitter glue and clear tacky glue creates a sparkly solution for the fine loose glitter to gently dance in. It is important the water you use to fill the bottle with is hot, as this will melt the glitter glue and will prevent clumping inside the bottle.

Group members could first release some physical energy through helping shake the bottle and then watch the glitter slowly settle to the bottom of the bottle. Discussing the impact of this activity in relationship to the youth’s body and awareness of sensations they experienced would also be interesting to learn more about (and express through art!).

 A helpful final touch will include making sure the bottle’s cap is permanently attached with some kind of superglue to keep the solution from getting out!

Creating a Self Regulation Comfort Kit >> Relaxation Bottle | creativity in motion

Having done this first test run, I think my next attempt will try a slightly smaller plastic bottle (it would be cool to have individual bottles for each group member to use), as well as include more glitter glue to make the solution inside a little thicker (I used a smaller sized bottle), but overall… the relaxation bottle idea was fun to make and I think will make a great addition to the toolkit I’m creating.

I will keep you posted on other self-regulation comfort kit accessories I try out as this experimentation phase continues!

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Related Posts:

Inspiration from the 2013 TLC Childhood Trauma Practitioner’s Assembly

My Trauma Informed Pinterest Board

Top 10: Impact of Trauma and Neglect on the Developing Child with Dr. Bruce Perry

Finding Safety through Art: Relaxation Inspiration

June 18, 2013

Over at Lani’s 14 Secrets yesterday, the Monday challenge was devoted to cultivating relaxation- a very nice way to start off the week!  The challenge’s prompt included creating an art expression that reflected a state of peacefulness & relaxation.

For me, when I make art and I am in that creative head & heart space…a sense of calm and pause embodies me that nothing else can quite do.  I created this artist trading card size image to represent this sense of stillness and balance the creative process renews in me:

Finding Safety through Art: Relaxation Inspiration | creativity in motion
This prompt also inspired me to do some reflecting on the ways I use creative expression with the traumatized youth and women I work in art therapy to best help support a sense of relaxation, peace, and empower their inner strength to create this safe space.

The experience of safety, which is often fluid and can change very quickly with survivors of domestic violence. This often makes it difficult to feel at ease and take refuge from a brain constantly scanning for potential danger and a body geared up to defend against the next threat.  Self regulation, managing strong emotions related to fear & worry, and self soothing are areas of challenge, as well as transformation that can benefit from using art as part of this process.

Finding Safety though Art  | creativity in motion

Sometimes in my work this can involve, but is not limited to introducing sensory based art interventions to restore a sense of power, safely contain paralyzing emotions, and experience the creative process as a here & now safe place to take risks, discover ones strengths, support emotional safety, and instill hope.

Other experiences I introduce for helping “calm our bodies and our mind” can involve guided imagery, deep breathing, body movement, and therapeutic books. This book simply called Relax I enjoy using in group with some of the younger kids I work with.

 Also check out these books and CDs by Roger Klein and Jeffrey Allen to help promote self regulation, positive self affirmation, and tools for relaxation:

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Related Posts:

Survivor’s Hand: Finding Safety through Art: #ICANWECAN

Finding a Safe Place: Creating Safety for Domestic Violence Survivors through Art

Experience Matters: Inspiration from the 2012 TLC Childhood Trauma Practitioner’s Assembly

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