Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Therapeutic Scrapbooking

I am a strong believer that everyone can benefit from therapy.  I also believe that being creative and taking time for a hobby is great therapy.  With that being said, I also believe that people that are very ill, both mentally and physically and also the terminally ill can also benefit from scrapbooking.

Recently, I was contacted by Melanie Bowen, a staff writer for The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance, asking  if I would be interested in sharing her article on my blog and I was more than happy to help.

In the past, I  have supported and been involved in fundraising for my local children's hospital with the hospital's therapeutic scrapbooking program.  Also, having a daughter that had a serious accident that caused both physical and mental trauma,  made me realize how scrapbooking is good for the sick children as well as their parents.

I am passionate about scrapbooking and my number one goal is to share scrapbooking with others and to inspire and encourage everyone to try scrapbooking as therapy .  It is my way of giving back to the community and the scrapbooking community.

Thank you Melanie Bowen for letting me share this wonderful article on my blog and I would be happy to help in any way I can to share my passion for this cause and want to make a difference. Here is Melanie's article:

Finding Your Voice: Using Creativity to Inspire Your Inner Voice

When do the sick lose their inner voice? Illness is a constant battle within our bodies. We take care of ourselves as best we can by eating right, sleeping right, and exercising when and how we can, but we forget to afford our mind the same crucial care.

A person is more than muscle, blood and bone. A person has a mind, dreams and emotions. When we get sick, we often put these pieces of our humanity aside, and in doing so, we lose our inner voice. There is no better way to find your voice again than creativity. Creative ambition can give us the chance to not only find our voice again but also reignite our passion for life. 

The Fire of Ambition

Illness can sap your drive to do much of anything, but creativity can light a fire within you. It allows you to set personal goals for yourself and give you the thrill of accomplishment. Creation is a self-motivation powerhouse. After all, the whole point is to love what you are doing. Art therapy has even been found to lessen symptoms of diseases like Alzheimer's and reduce pain. You may surprise yourself with what you are able to accomplish and how good it makes you feel.
A Place That Is Yours

While we may choose to share our expression with others, we can never be wrong in what we create. Creativity offers us an outlet to express anything we are feeling, positive or negative, with honesty and without judgment. This honesty allows us to release anxiety, cope with stress and find ourselves within our pain.

There are no doctors in creativity. There are no family members to fear disappointing, and there are no chores that must be done. It is a place that is yours to do with as you please and discover facets of who you are.

Finding Your Path

It does not matter if you are facing a mesothelioma prognosis or the eternal exhaustion of chronic fatigue; there is always a creative path open to you. Photography allows you to bring the outdoors inside with you and helps you appreciate the smallest aspects of life. The bed-bound can reconnect with their family through scrapbooking.

Do what feels right and makes you happiest. You are not limited to paper and yarn. Try singing or playing an instrument. Gardeners may find peace in creating a healing garden. Most of all, do not be afraid to reach out. There is an abundance of blogs out there that offer not only ideas but also a forum to connect with those like you who are seeking healing through creativity. Hobbies are also support systems in and of themselves. There is a club for practically every hobby imaginable. You only have to look.

Always remember to stay true to yourself. Ignore the critics and be proud in what you have created. While the road may uncover difficult emotions, you will be able to express them elegantly with creativity. Never be afraid to try.

Check out their blog for a lot more information on wellness at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance at http://www.mesothelioma.com/blog/ or "like" their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MesotheliomaCancer

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