NEW! Thriving with Borderline Personality Disorder Course

Are you a woman struggling with Borderline Personality Disorder? Are you unsure how to manage strong emotions and improve your relationships? Then you must check out my course! I am a mental health professional who has been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, and I understand firsthand the stigma surrounding the illness and how difficult it can be to manage on your own. That is why I created a course specifically for women to provide you with the necessary tools to take control of your BPD and improve your life. Come join me!

JOIN NOW: https://coursecraft.net/courses/z93Rr/splash

Interview with Waco Survivor David Thibodeau

his week I had the pleasure of sitting down with Waco survivor and humanitarian, David Thibodeau! We discussed all things Waco, Black Lives Matter, social justice, and equality. David’s story and his humanitarian work are very inspiring, and I hope that you enjoy our interview as much as I did!

To listen to the full interview, visit: https://anchor.fm/releasingthephoenix/episodes/Interview-with-Humanitarian-and-Waco-Survivor-David-Thibodeau-ef65hn

To learn more about David and the truth about the Waco siege, visit: www.wacosurvivors.com

Interview with Waco Survivor and Humanitarian David Thibodeau

Ashley Nestler: Hi David! Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me. Why don’t you introduce yourself for those who may not know you.

David Thibodeau: Hi, my name is David Thibodeau. I guess that’s a good place to start. They just recently released a six-part series on Netflix that was originally released a few years ago, actually under the Paramount Network and it’s entitled Waco. It’s a series about the Waco siege in 1993 at Mount Carmel that resulted in a fire and numerous deaths. The series is from a survivor’s perspective (my perspective) and from the perspective of one of the FBI negotiators who was there in 1993. The series revolves around a guy named David Koresh and some of his followers — the people who were with him at the time that the building burned after the 51-day siege. I’m one of the survivors of the siege, and I was in the building for the entire siege 51 days. I’m one of the nine fire survivors that came out on April 19th, 1993. So, I’m a witness to every single thing that happened from inside of the building.

AN: Wow, I just can’t imagine what you had to go through during those 51 days, and that only nine survivors came out. Are you still in contact with the other survivors?

DT: Sure. I’m still in contact with many of them, but not all of them. Some of them have moved out of the country, and people are scattered pretty much throughout the world. Also, I want to add that I there were more than nine people that survived the siege. There were 23 of us that came out during the 51 days, including some older women, and quite a few of the children. It just wasn’t until the fire when there were only nine of us that came out. So. I think altogether 35 or 36 people survived.

AN: Oh okay, that makes sense. With everything that you have been through, what are your feelings about the George Floyd protests, police brutality, and the movements that have erupted in recent years, such as the Me Too movement?

DT: Well, I’ve been following Black Lives Matter, honestly, before Black Lives Matter. To me, the destruction of indigenous peoples throughout the world by the forces that be is despicable. I’ve followed events that have happened in the course of the history of the world all the way to America and us taking over this country and basically destroying the American Indians and destroying their way of life for our own greed. My dad is a history teacher, so I’m no slouch when it comes to history. History has always been a thing for me and understanding it is paramount. I’ve always related more to the underdog and I have a deep relation with the American Indian movement and the American Indians in general. I always have.

I think being a part of Waco is something that was a massacre as well. As far as I was concerned, it was a massacre for religious beliefs more than anything else. There are several different avenues of thought that I have on that one, if we’re going to get deeper into Waco, but you know, my story and the story of the survivors is the one that has not been told because it has not been allowed to be told the FBI. Basically, you know the old saying the Victors always rewrite the history. Or, as I should say, write the history. The protests now with George Floyd, and the George Floyd case as a whole is probably one of the only cases in modern history where that’s not happening. I think that technology has helped to document the truth and allowed people to fight the system, which is amazing.

A lot of things have changed in recent years for the better. Women’s rights are becoming more prevalent and women are having the bravery to speak up, especially if they’re being abused. A lot of women have been scared for years and years and years to say anything because they knew how they were going to be treated. And just to have that kind of bravery. It’s such an inspiration to see how this generation has led. I’m very happy about it, but at the same time, there’s going to be a lot of issues that take place right now. I’m worried that this could end in more violence because people are mad enough and want our society to change, but I am hopeful that positive change will come of it.

AN: What are your thoughts on how protesters have been treated by law enforcement throughout the George Floyd case?

DT: This is a heavy one as well. People are looking the cops directly in the eye, standing on the front lines with no weapons looking at them — a bunch of armed people with weapons, shields, and batons — and the people are screaming in their faces. That doesn’t happen often. That’s something that’s been building for a long, long time. So, we’re going to have to see how the American authorities handle all of this. I have to say that I’m pretty nervous about that.

AN: Do you see this time as a time of deep trouble in our country?

DT: Well, scripturally, every prophet talks about the time of trouble that’ll come at the end of the days, right before the kingdom of God is to be set up or they talk about this time of trouble being worse than any other time of trouble since the beginning of time. However, I don’t often get into scripture with people due to the sensitive nature of it. I talk, you know, like a real person, because I am a real person. The Bible at one time in my life was paramount. I spent a lot of time studying it, but I live in the real world.

But the problem with people asking if we are in a time of trouble is that if there was ever a time of trouble, it probably should have been World War II or, or if you want to think about it from a scriptural standpoint, it was probably during the time when the Romans went into Jerusalem and ransacked it and took it over. I’m pretty sure all the Jews at that period of time thought that their Messiah was going to come and save them.

Every generation thinks that they’re living in the end days, so I don’t like to be one of those people that says this is it, because nobody truly knows. Scripture says that no man knows. So, I just think it’s very interesting. I hope that it doesn’t happen now, but I know there’s definitely some things going to change in this country. There’s just no doubt about it. Something has to change because people are just so fed up, as they should be!

AN: Have these current events been bringing up your memories of the Waco siege?

DT: Yes, absolutely, because at Mount Carmel, we were all people of light. You know, a third of the people in Mount Carmel were black and most people don’t even know that. They wanted to be teachers of the scripture and they met David and they learned more from him in one night than they had in their many years of studying at their seminary schools. They ended up leaving their schools to come study with David. So, you know, I heard that story over and over and over again. But the point is, a third of the people that died at Mount Carmel were black. Where was the ACLU then? Where was anyone to be found to help us?

You know, I was raised with National Public Radio, PBS, and I thought the intellectual sows, as I like to call them, would want to know the truth about the Waco siege when it happened. But nobody wanted to hear the truth. The media just talked about how we were a bunch of religious nuts with guns, which was absolutely crushing. That was the attitude from the intellectual side that blew my mind. The fact that when I came out, I wanted to talk about my experience, and people who I admired wouldn’t hear it.

It’s shameful is what it is. People accepted what the media told them about us and moved on. They didn’t bother to talk about the infrared video at the back of the building at Mount Carmel where there were shooters, literally fully automatic weapon fire, right next to the tank shooting into the back of the building as people were trying to escape. They didn’t talk about any of that.

AN: I know that you have said that many of the documentaries out there on Waco don’t represent the truth as you know it. What documentaries on Waco do you recommend for people who want to learn more?

DT: There are so many documentaries out there that I’ve seen over the years, but there’s really only two decent ones. The first one is Waco: The Rules of Engagement, and the follow up, Waco: A New Revelation. Those two are phenomenal.

(You can purchase both documentaries on David’s website: www.wacosurvivors.com)

AN: How did you go about publishing your book back in the 1990s? Was it self-published?

DT: No, actually, in Los Angeles I found a literary agent, but my book was turned down by 23 different publishers before it was finally accepted. At the time, only a few people were even interested in the book or my story, and I eventually slowed down with my work of getting the truth about Waco out because I felt like no one cared. But I didn’t expect any of this to happen with the series and how people are talking about Waco again! It baffles me, but I am glad people are finally listening.

AN: Have you struggled with your mental health since the Waco siege?

DT: I taught, I gave lectures and talks all over the country for a while after Waco, but again, it was only the radical right elements that wanted to even hear what I had to say. So even that was frustrating. But the point came where I saw the infrared video for the first time when they were filming The Rules of Engagement.

I gotta tell you, it affected me in such a deep way. They gave me a copy of it to show people, and I was giving talks at this point that was in front of an audience four or 500 people. And I was showing the infrared for the first time. And I was showing where the fully automatic weapon fire was. I just lost it in front of the audience, and I knew that I was not in control of my anger. At that point, I had always been controlled in front of an audience. And, so, when that had happened, I said, okay, I can’t talk about this publicly anymore. Something is happening to me, and I don’t know what it is. And you know, that had to do with the anger. A lot of that was PTSD, but this was before anyone knew what PTSD was. This was back in the nineties, early nineties. I didn’t know what was going on. I just knew I was a very angry individual, and I experienced periods of what I call a darkness but what others might call depression. But my anger has been the biggest challenge.

AN: Where can people go to learn more about Waco, your book, and the documentaries you mentioned?

DT: I have a website called www.wacosurvivors.com that includes various FBI transcripts between David Karesh and the FBI during the siege. I also sell my book and the documentaries I recommend, as well as the Waco series, and I autograph everything. The website is the best destination if you want to learn more about the truth of what happened at Waco.

To learn more about Waco and purchase a signed copy of David’s book, visit: www.wacosurvivors.com

Interview: What Body Positivity Icon Lindley Ashline Wants You to Know About Your Self-Image

Recently, I had the pleasure to meet and work with a wonderful lady named Lindley Ashline who is the body-positive icon of my dreams. She is the owner and creator of The Body Love Box (a body-positive, LGBTQIA+ friendly and racially diverse subscription box) as well as a photographer who helps women feel secure and beautiful in their bodies. Please enjoy my interview with her below, and be sure to stay up to date with her on social media!

About Lindley

Lindley Ashline (pronounced LIN-lee, she/her) creates artwork that celebrates the unique value of bodies that fall outside conventional “beauty” standards. Lindley is also the creator of Body Liberation Stock and The Body Love Box. She lives outside Seattle with her husband and two feline overlords.

1. I absolutely love the fact that you use photography as a liberating force to celebrate larger bodies. What made you decide to start a photography business with this mission?

I’d been involved in the fat acceptance movement (of which the body positivity movement is an offshoot) since around 2007, and a nature photographer since 2002. So when I started pursuing portrait photography seriously in 2015, I knew that I wanted to serve people in larger bodies. Fat folks were (and are) drastically underserved in the photography market and face the same levels of prejudice and stigma when looking for a photographer as we do in all other aspects of life. Most photographers have no idea how to work with or pose larger bodies and don’t provide a safe and comfortable environment for fat people. I’ve even heard of wedding photographers turning down clients due to their body size.

While I was training in preparation to open my own photography business, a very fat friend had an experience in which she agreed to model and be photographed in a very vulnerable way by a photographer who then didn’t even publish any of her photographs or include them in his portfolio, leaving her feeling used and neglected. Hearing my friend talk about that experience really solidified my desire to provide a completely safe, judgment-free, celebratory space for people in all kinds of marginalized bodies to get in front of a camera. It also illustrated why the overall experience is so important in making people who don’t often see images of people with bodies like theirs feel supported, so I built my sessions based on that.

Depending on where each person is on their body acceptance journeys, seeing themselves in images can range from a challenging to a jubilant experience, and I’m so happy and proud to be the photographer who gets to facilitate that journey for so many people.

2. You are also the creator of The Body Love Box, a subscription that I think is so important for the body love and fat-positive movement. Did your work as a photographer influence your passion about supporting other fat positive artists through your box?

It did. As a small business owner in a body that experiences a lot of stigma, I know what it’s like to struggle with both the universal travails of running a small business and the weight of marginalization on top. It’s been such a fun opportunity to support a whole bunch of artists, crafters and small business owners who are fat, people of color and members of the LGBTQIA+ community. It can be a really, really big deal for an artist to get an order for 50 or 100 of their items! And because I don’t haggle or ask small businesses for items for free or at cut rates (unlike most subscription boxes, which run on free or heavily-discounted items), but pay a reasonable wholesale rate, each artist gets a real living wage for their work.

3. What inspired you to create The Body Love Box?

For years, I’d been collecting body-positive items (like little art prints, buttons and stickers) to give my photography clients. When subscription boxes became really popular, I did some research and realized that no one was offering a fat-positive subscription. And though I’m no longer offering monthly subscriptions, the original idea evolved into what’s now the Body Love Shop, which is fast becoming a central shopping location for body-positive, fat-positive and HAES products and artwork, both as individual items and as part of Body Love Boxes.

4. Do you ever feature your photography in The Body Love Box?

I do! Two of my fine art photographic prints — “Unicorn Summer” and “The Wind on My Skin” — have been included in Body Love Boxes. They’re now available for purchase individually in the shop.

5. What are your thoughts about the “Health at Every Size” approach?

I’m not exaggerating when I say that Health at Every Size, or HAES, changed my life. Those of us who live in fat bodies are told constantly, explicitly and implicitly, in a thousand different ways every day that our bodies are aberrations. They’re inherently unhealthy. They’re gross. They’re noncompliant. They’re a visible symbol of our sinful, gluttonous and lazy natures.

Spending a few years in the fat acceptance community gave me the confidence to reject many of these messages and beliefs, but medical shame was so hard to shake. From the university health center doctor who told me (without asking about my eating habits or family history) that I would have diabetes within 10 years unless I lost half my body weight, to the doctor who later prescribed me a medication off-label to try to make me lose weight (and lied to me about it), I’d been told by too many authority figures that my body was bad.

When I first encountered the HAES framework, I was pretty skeptical. Sure, my body is inherently worthy, but it’s also fat, and that just can’t be healthy, right? But I’m a person who likes numbers and evidence, and HAES immediately challenged me: If weight loss is the only way to be healthy, why doesn’t it work? Why do so many weight loss attempts fail? Why doesn’t a single method of losing weight work in the long term?

Like most of us, my beliefs about health and body size had been gleaned from a lifetime of news articles, advertisements, salespeople, and just-so stories. Turns out? None of those sources was actually based on science. We just don’t have a way to make fat people thin in the long term, and in fact, weight cycling — losing and gaining as we go from one diet to another — may actually be worse for us health-wise than just staying the same size.

So if I couldn’t make myself thin, how could I possibly be healthy? That’s where HAES really stepped up. The HAES approach says that no matter what kind of body we live in, we can pursue healthy behaviors without pursuing weight loss that’s doomed to fail. Following the HAES and intuitive eating philosophies have both helped me work toward body acceptance and improved my health in many different ways.

6. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that is often connected to larger women, and those affected by PCOS are often stigmatized (myself included). How do you think we can increase awareness about PCOS and end stigmatization?

It’s incredibly important that we, as a culture, acknowledge that, like type 2 diabetes, PCOS isn’t a punishment for your body size or your food intake. Both smaller- and larger-bodied people have PCOS, diabetes, heart conditions and every other illness humans experience. There are no diseases that only affect fat people.

Today, PCOS awareness seems to suffer from both a lack of awareness and too much awareness. People in relatively small bodies often have trouble accessing diagnosis and treatment, since PCOS has been labeled a fat woman’s issue. And as a fat woman, let me tell you that now every doctor who’s heard of PCOS wants to diagnose me with it, purely due to my body size, despite my complete lack of PCOS symptoms.

Ending the stigma associated with PCOS is going to require that we dismantle diet culture because as long as we believe that we can reliably make larger bodies smaller (we can’t) and that body size is an indicator of health (it isn’t), we’ll continue to see weight stigma deprive both large and small people of proper PCOS care.

There’s a fabulous article at Wear Your Voice Mag that goes deeper into the issues caused by adding diet culture to discussions of and beliefs around PCOS.

7. What is your advice for larger women who are looking to increase their self-confidence?

There are many different ways you can increase your confidence, but for me, one of the most important was to change my “media diet:” the images and messages we take in over time.

Take a few days and just observe what media sources you take in, and how you feel about your body and other bodies after being exposed to each one.

  • How does Instagram make you feel after scrolling for a while?
  • How about Facebook?
  • How about the magazines at the checkout stand?
  • How about the magazines that arrive at your home?
  • How about the ads on the bus or subway?
  • How about TV shows? TV advertisements?
  • How about the radio?

You’re allowed to consume whatever you want, in any amounts you want! I am definitely not saying you need to cut yourself off from the world. Just be aware for a few days of what you’re taking in, how it makes you feel about your own body, and how it makes you feel about other bodies — positive or negative.

Then, start adding in some sources that talk about bodies positively, and sources that feature bodies that look like yours. Just seeing bodies that look like ours can make a tremendous difference in what we see as normal and good.

8. Our country is heavily focused on diet culture and the “battle of the bulge” (a term that I find highly insulting). How do you think that we can fight the stigma surrounding individuals in larger bodies in a culture that is so focused on dieting and body weight?

This is such a complicated topic! How do we change an entire culture? How do we stop oppression? It can seem really overwhelming.

But the good news is that this kind of sea change is really made up of a million small choices, and we can make some of those choices — and changes — ourselves.

Changing the way that you personally see bodies, your own and others’, makes a big difference. I’m also talking on Instagram every Monday about concrete actions you can take to change culture and end weight stigma.

9. How do you see the fat-positive movement growing in 2020?

This is an interesting question, because in many ways the body positive movement, which was built on (and occasionally takes unfair advantage of the work done by) the fat acceptance movement, claims most of the media and social media attention these days.

One of the ways I see real fat acceptance growing is in the revitalization of NAAFA, the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance, which has existed for over 50 years and was one of the original forces working to end weight stigma and promote rights for fat folks. I’m seeing some really exciting internal work at NAAFA to involve younger members, redo the website, make the work that’s already been done more accessible and available to use, and get new projects rolling.

NAAFA’s long history, media contacts and ability to advocate with governments for fat rights are incredibly valuable. Membership is open, so check out their site to get involved.

10. What are some wise words that you can give women who are struggling with their self-image?

Wherever you’re at today, that’s OK! If you can’t stand to look in a mirror, that’s OK. If you can’t imagine what body love or acceptance look like, that’s OK too. Body positivity can seem like just another impossible goal that’s put in front of us, but you know what? If you can look towards feeling neutral about your body, that’s a great place to be, too, and it’s way more achievable for many people.

Keep up with Lindley here:

Body Liberation Photos:

Body Love Box & Shop:

5 Tips for Coping With Borderline Personality Disorder Through COVID-19

See the resources at the end of this article if you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, homicidal thoughts, self-harm, or abuse. Help is only a call or text away. ❤

I have dealt with the effects of Borderline Personality Disorder for the majority of my life, and I am finding my symptoms to be especially challenging during this time.  Being forced to isolate at home has spurred on my intense mood swings, impulsivity with online shopping, and my feelings of abandonment.  I frequently feel abandoned if someone doesn’t respond to my messages in a reasonable amount of time, and I tend to read between the lines of text to find an undertone that is often nonexistent.  I also find comfort in buying things, and with a plethora of down time at home, I am struggling with online binge shopping.  One of my biggest struggles with BPD, however, is my experience with extreme dissociation.  I have been struggling with dissociation while in isolation that is so severe that I am losing time and having trouble with remembering what day it is, or the events of the day before – or even a few hours prior! 

However, understanding these symptoms, and others, about myself has brought me insight into how to handle my BPD while in quarantine, and I hope that my story helps you as well.

                Borderline Personality Disorder presents differently in every survivor, but it is typically marked by 9 diagnostic criteria as referenced in the DSM-5:

1) Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment

2) A pattern of unstable and intense relationships

3) Unstable sense of self

4) Impulsivity in at least two areas that are self-damaging (such as spending, sex, substance abuse binge eating)

5) Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilation

6) Mood instability (short instances of irritability, euphoria, anger, etc.)

7) Chronic feelings of emptiness

8) Difficulty controlling anger/intense/inappropriate anger

9) Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms

                Reference: DSM-5, 2013

To be diagnosed with BPD you must meet 5 of the 9 criteria, but it is possible to experience more symptoms.  BPD symptoms can be particularly trying when we are in isolation because of the stress that we are experiencing during this time, and self-care is more important now than ever for our mental health.  While my symptoms have been particularly severe, I have found some things that have helped me to manage them that I would like to share with you.

Tips to Manage Your Mental Health in Isolation with BPD

  1. Limit Your Media Consumption

                Constantly seeing updates on the Coronavirus online or on the television has been one of the most damaging things for my mental health.  I tend to fixate on my media consumption when I am experiencing high stress, but this has caused me more stress and severe emotional reactions that often result in self-harm urges.  Identifying this has helped me to realize that I need to limit my media consumption.

                One thing that I do is check the Coronavirus updates in my area in the morning, then I tune out for the rest of the day.  Other people in my household notify me if there is anything paramount that I need to know during the day, but for the most part, this limitation of media consumption has been very beneficial. 

2) Make a Schedule for Yourself (Add in at least one thing that brings you joy)

                Creating a schedule while we are in isolation is so important.  If you work, you can schedule your time to make sure that you have dedicated time where you work, but also dedicated time to complete any other responsibilities.  However, it is extremely important that you set aside an hour or so (less is fine!) each day to do something that brings you joy.  If you are alone, maybe this is watching a favorite TV show, working on a craft project, playing games, or virtually visiting with a loved one.  Or if you are at home with family, maybe this is playing games together.

                Creating a schedule with some fun activities will help you to keep track of your days to make sure you are getting everything you need to get done, done, while also attending to your mental health.

3) Create a List of Your Favorite Things

                I have an entire notebook dedicated to my favorite things, most of which include my favorite TV shows, books, movies, and songs.  These forms of media have always helped me to feel less alone, while helping me to manage my thoughts and PTSD flashbacks and delusions.  Creating this notebook was very therapeutic because it reminded me of all of my favorite things, while providing me with a resource when I am in a crisis to remember things that bring me joy.

                You can put anything at all in your list that brings you joy; it doesn’t have to just be my examples!  This is a great exercise to do when you are feeling down to help improve your emotional state – or when you are feeling good to be able to create a resource for yourself for when you may be experiencing a mental health crisis or disturbance.

4) Stay in Contact with Loved Ones

                Isolation can increase feelings of abandonment, which is a symptom I struggle with a lot with my BPD.  If you experience this symptom as well, it is imperative that you let your loved ones know that you are experiencing abandonment while in isolation if you don’t communicate regularly and try to set up a schedule for spending quality time with one another.  For example, I have set up times to have a phone or video call with my friends, and my family at home and I play games every Friday night to keep each other company.  Having set times to socialize has really helped me with lowering my feelings of abandonment. 

5) Keep Mental Health Resources Close

                Sometimes, my BPD symptoms can become so severe that I reach a point of crisis and helplessness.  To help me with this, I have put up a list of my local crisis phone numbers, the national suicide prevention line, a page of questions to ask myself when I am feeling down (such as, have you eaten?  Have you taken a shower? Etc.)  Having these resources up help me to have options when I am in a crisis and may not be thinking clearly.

I hope that my ideas help you!  If you are living alone with BPD or need any associated support, please comment on this post and I will be happy to support you.  Let’s stay connected!

Resources: 

Childhelp (1.800.4ACHILD)

Provides 24/7 assistance in 170 languages to adults, children and youth with information and questions regarding child abuse. All calls are anonymous and confidential. 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1.800.273.TALK )

Support and asssitance 24/7 for anyone feeling depressed, overwhelmed or suicidal.

National Domestic Violence Hotline (1.800.799.SAFE)

National call center refers to local resources; Spanish plus 160 other languages available; no caller ID used.

National Sexual Assault Hotline (1.800.656.HOPE)
(Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network – RAINN)

Nationwide referrals for specialized counseling and support groups. Hotline (1.800.656.4673) routes calls to local sex assault crisis centers for resources and referrals. Spanish available.

Befrienders Worldwide

Worldwide resources for suicide counseling and support.

World-Wide Suicide and Crisis Hotlines

Listing of crisis lines around the world for anyone feeling depressed, overwhelmed or suicidal.

Now Matters Now

Suicide prevention website offering videos on other people’s experiences, mindfulness techniques and coping skills.

National Parent Helpline (1.855.4A.PARENT)

Helpline for parent and caregiver support.

National Human Trafficking Hotline (1.888.373.7888)

National and confidential toll-free hotline to report trafficking or connect with anti-trafficking services, 24/7, available in 200 languages. Text also available for survivors: text HELP to BEFREE (233733) from 3pm-11pm. 

Helplines for Victims of Crime
(Office for Victims of Crime)

List of national helplines for any victim of a crime including: sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and more.

3 Subscriptions for Your Next Date Night In

HAPPY MONDAY, EVERYONE!

I hope you all are doing well.  I received my COVID-19 test results back, and they were negative!  So I am quite happy about that.  It looks like I just have the flu, which, for once, is more than welcome news.

Anyhoo, today I wanted to share with you three subscriptions that are excellent for having a date night at home!  With many of us being stuck in self-isolation, going out on a date is pretty much out of the question; but with these three subscriptions, your date night is brought straight to your door.  Practicing self-care through quality time with your significant other is so important, especially if you are isolated together, so try out one of these subscriptions below and start planning your next date night in!

Let me know if you try any of these subscriptions in the comments!  I’d love to hear your feedback. 🙂 

TOP 3 SUBSCRIPTIONS FOR A DATE NIGHT IN

1) FOR THE COCKTAIL CONNOISSEUR

AMERICAN COCKTAIL CLUB

American Cocktail Club

The American Cocktail Club is a premium cocktail subscription box that curates all-natural and world class cocktails. Being part of the Club is like having the coveted seat at a high level mixology bar. This monthly box contain 4 servings curated by award winning mixologists around the USA.

  • The art of Mixology – Simplified! Hand crafted by expert Mixologists.
  • Incredibly unique, natural, fresh, low calorie, low sugar juice blends
  • Each of our flavors is designed to both stand alone, and work in combination—so you can make—or be served—hundreds of different drinks and never make a mistake.
  • *NOTE* We do not ship the Everything Box to Canada. Canadian orders for the Everything Box will be switched to an Everything but the Booze Box & refunded the difference
  • We do not ship the Everything Box to the following states: AK, KY, MS, UT
Visit

2) FOR THE COOKING AFICIONADO

CHEFTRUNK

Do you love to cook with your significant other?  Then CHEFTRUNK is the perfect subscription for your date night!  It is filled with gourmet food items to help you whip up a new and exciting dish together.

CHEFTRUNK – Ingredients to inspire your inner chef

If you aspire to cook like a professional chef, you need to have the right ingredients and products. That’s why we created CHEFTRUNK to deliver a monthly assortment of 3 – 4 special chef tested ingredients to cook with and use to inspire and create your very own signature dishes! There’s also a bonus tool or gadget in each delivery!!

  • Bonus gadget in every box
  • Secret tricks of the trade by a 30 year celebrity chef to the stars
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3) FOR THE DETECTIVE AT HEART

DEADBOLT MYSTERY SOCIETY

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3 Sources of Body Positivity If Self-Isolation Fat Shaming Is Affecting You

Body positivity is so important, especially now more than ever. With the current pandemic and isolation protocols across the globe, there have been a plethora of memes popping up on the internet “poking fun” at fat bodies, and advising individuals to make sure that they don’t “let themselves go” or “get fat” while in isolation at home. As a larger woman who has been in a smaller body and experienced the level of privilege and stigma at each size, and as a woman who is in recovery from, and has been struggling with, an eating disorder that has evolved for over 10 years, I find this fat shaming extremely insulting and damaging.

In our culture, being fat is seen as the worst possible thing that a person can be. I have experienced numerous times in my life, but never more than when I gained weight in my early 20s due to several medications I am on, and instead of focusing on my achievements (like, for instance, how I am a published author, an owner of several businesses, and have my Masters in Social Work) it was my change in body size that was highlighted and criticized by others. I have been told that “I have stopped taking care of myself” and that “I have let myself go” when that couldn’t be further from the truth. My natural body size is larger than what society deems “acceptable”, and it is something that I am still fighting to accept every minute of every day.

There is nothing more damaging than being criticized for ones body and believing that ones appearance is more important than who that person actually is. I have experienced multiple suicidal episodes due to my struggles with my identity, self-esteem, and severe depression, which have been heavily influenced by the harassment I have experienced my entire life in regards to my body.

And that is why I wanted to share three body positive sources to combat the negative fat shaming that is claiming our current atmosphere. You deserve to celebrate the body you are in no matter if it is right now, in the future, or in the past – and self-love costs nothing.

1) The Body Positive Meme



I love this meme because it highlights how you are starting a revolution when you choose to love your body. By loving your body you are rejecting a culture that says “your body can always be improved”.

Not yet ready to say that you love your body? No problem! Start small. Pick one body part and thank it for taking care of you. Repeat this every time you think bad thoughts about your body. You will amazed at how better you feel after challenging your negative thoughts.

2) The Social Media Account: Body Liberation with Lindley

Okay, can I just say how much I love this woman?! Lindley Ashline is a body positive MAVEN. She owns the subscription company “The Body Love Box” and owns her own body positive photography business. She is all about loving your body now and at every stage of your life so that you can live your life to the fullest. Check out her Instagram – you will be changed.

Be sure to check out my interview with Lindley Here!

3) The Body Positivity Video: Demi Lovato on Bulimia and Body Positivity

Demi Lovato and I have a shockingly similar experience. I have struggled with Bulimia for many, many years and I used to kill myself with workouts to try and maintain a body type that was hazardous to my health – but “acceptable to society”. I ADORE how candid Demi is, and she has helped me with my own body image and self-love as well. I hope her interview with Ashley Graham brings you as much inspiration as it did me!

In this time of stress and fat shaming, I hope that my three social media sources bring you inspiration and love!

Please do whatever you can to take care of yourself during this time. You, more than anyone else, deserve your love and affection. ❤

CREATING A COVID-19 CRISIS KIT AND AN UPDATE

HAPPY SUNDAY, EVERYONE,

I hope that you are hanging in there and are staying healthy!  I am now presumed positive for COVID-19 so I have been in isolation in my bedroom to hopefully prevent my family from catching it.  In Colorado, we are officially in a state of disaster, and each day seems to get scarier.  I am hanging in there, but I will admit that I am very scared about what is happening to our world.

That is why I wanted to share with you today something that has really helped me with my mental and physical health and that might help you during this time as well.

Creating a crisis kit is one of my favorite therapeutic techniques to help you protect your mental and physical health.  My personal crisis kit has been a lifesaver on many occasions, and I still keep it out openly in my house so that I can use it whenever I feel like my mental or physical health is declining.  Creating a crisis kit itself, however, can be anxiety-inducing, so please take care of yourself as you read through this article and contemplate creating or modifying your personal crisis kit.

With COVID-19 spreading throughout our world and changing our everyday lives, it is more important than ever that we are proactive about protecting our mental and physical health.  Now is the optimal time to make yourself a crisis kit that will protect not only your mental state but your physical health if you should become sick.  Below are my recommendations for items that should go in your COVID-19 Crisis Kit, but you are free to add anything that you think would comfort you or protect you in a time of crisis.  I recommend that you put all of the items from your crisis kit in a bag, bin, or any container that you can keep in a communal area so that you know it is there when you need it.

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1) Acetaminophen, Mucinex/Decongestant, Sore Throat Lozenges, Nasal Spray

The recommended treatment for mild coronavirus symptoms is similar to a cold or the flu.  The essential over the counter remedies that have been recommended by doctors are acetaminophen (Tylenol) for pain and to reduce a fever, while Mucinex or other decongestants, sore throat lozenges, and nasal spray can help with respiratory symptoms.

Adding these to your crisis kit will help prepare you if you are to contract the virus, or anyone in your home begins to show symptoms.

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\2) 30 Day Supply of Prescription Medications

Many areas are seeing shortages of common prescription medications, and as someone who takes multiple psychiatric medications, I find this extremely daunting.  If possible, request that your doctor and/or psychiatrist help you fill an additional 30-day supply of all of your medications so that you can be prepared if you have to stay at home for extended periods of time, or there is a shortage of your medication.

If your insurance tries to block these additional refills, you can call your insurance and explain how you are preparing for your extended care while in quarantine, and you can ask that your prescription refills be approved.

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3) Crisis Hotline Numbers

Having crisis hotline numbers and resources in your crisis kit is SO important.  I have provided a graphic below with some of the main crisis hotline numbers, but there is also a website listed for further resources.

Your local health system should also have a specific number you can call with any concerns or questions about COVID-19 and including this number or resource can be extremely beneficial.

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How to cope with losing a loved one | Kids Helpline

4) Phone Numbers/Emails/Contacts for Loved Ones/Support People

When we are facing a mental health or physical health crisis, it is vital to know that we have the support we need so that we don’t feel alone.  I highly recommend adding a physical list of any contact information for people who you can reach out to for support, including loved ones and healthcare professionals (doctors, psychiatrists, therapists, etc.)

When I am in a crisis, I often do not have the mental capacity to figure out who I can reach out to without a visual aid, so adding a physical list of contact information for my support people has been so helpful.

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 5) A List of Your Favorite Books. Movies, TV Shows, Music, etc.

Books, movies and TV shows are some of the most comforting and important things to me in my everyday life, and certain books, movies and TV shows help me to soothe myself when I am in crisis.

If you feel the same way, consider adding physical copies of your favorite books, movies, TV shows, or music to your crisis kit, or a list of them and where you can find access to them (such as on streaming platforms).  My list of comforting books, movies, and TV shows is so long that I did write it all down in a composition book that I added to my crisis kit, and I add to it when I find new media that soothes me.

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6) Heating Pad

Heating pads are so soothing, and they are helpful whether you are physically ill or dealing with a mental health crisis.  If you already have a heating pad, consider adding it to your crisis kit.  Or, you can make your own!

An effortless way to make a heating pad is to take a sock and fill it ¾ of the way with rice or oatmeal, and lavender essential oil if you prefer.  Then, tie it closed and heat it up for 1 – 2 minutes.  This type of heating pad is wonderful to put over your eyes to help you relax, and it is a savior with headaches and migraines.

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7) Soothing Lotions, Candles, Bodywash, etc.

Scents that we find soothing can be so grounding while helping us to relax, which can be both mentally and physically helpful.  I personally am soothed the most by lavender, chamomile and jasmine scents, so I have lotions, bath bombs, candles, and bodywash in these scents in my crisis kit.  Think about what scents soothe you the most and consider adding items with these scents to your crisis kit.

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8) Weighted Blanket/Comfy Blanket

Blankets are a wonderful way to feel secure mentally and physically, and weighted blankets are especially helpful in this way.  If you have a weighted blanket you can include that to your crisis kit, but if not, you can choose a personal blanket that you find comforting to help you if you should fall ill and to soothe your mental state.

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9) Comfort Items

Comfort items refer to anything that brings you happiness or comfort.  These can be stuffed animals (in my case) or pictures of loved ones, favorite places, mementos from trips, collectibles, etc.  Add a few of your personal comfort items to your crisis kit to bring you joy in times of crisis.

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10) Fun Activities

Adding in some activities that you can do to keep yourself busy and soothed is an additional crucial step.  In my crisis kit I have cross-stitch, crochet, and coloring books that I use only when I am in crisis so that they are a special treat.  If you enjoy any small activities that you can include in your crisis kit, such as drawing, coloring, crocheting, knitting, painting, boardgames, puzzles, etc., then this will add some fun to your situation and provide you with a pleasant distraction.

Are there any items not listed that you would suggest for a crisis kit specific to COVID-19?  

The Body Positive Maven: An Interview with Lindley Ashline

Recently I had the pleasure to meet and work with a wonderful lady named Lindley Ashline who is the body-positive icon of my dreams. She is the owner and creator of The Body Love Box (a body-positive, LGBTQA+ friendly, and racially diverse subscription box) as well as a photographer who helps women feel secure and beautiful in their bodies. Please enjoy my interview with her below, and be sure to stay up to date with her on social media!

About Lindley

Lindley Ashline (pronounced LIN-lee, she/her) creates artwork that celebrates the unique value of bodies that fall outside conventional “beauty” standards. Lindley is also the creator of Body Liberation Stock and the Body Love Box. She lives outside Seattle with her husband and two feline overlords.

1)I absolutely love the fact that you use photography as a liberating force to celebrate larger bodies. What made you decide to start a photography business with this mission?

I’d been involved in the fat acceptance movement (of which the body positivity movement is an offshoot) since around 2007, and a nature photographer since 2002. So when I started pursuing portrait photography seriously in 2015, I knew that I wanted to serve people in larger bodies.

Fat folks were (and are) drastically underserved in the photography market and face the same levels of prejudice and stigma when looking for a photographer as we do in all other aspects of life. Most photographers have no idea how to work with or pose larger bodies, and don’t provide a safe and comfortable environment for fat people. I’ve even heard of wedding photographers turning down clients due to their body size.

While I was training in preparation to open my own photography business, a very fat friend had an experience in which she agreed to model and be photographed in a very vulnerable way by a photographer who then didn’t even publish any of her photographs or include them in his portfolio, leaving her feeling used and neglected.

Hearing my friend talk about that experience really solidified my desire to provide a completely safe, judgement-free, celebratory space for people in all kinds of marginalized bodies to get in front of a camera. It also illustrated why the overall experience is so important in making people who don’t often see images of people with bodies like theirs feel supported, so I built my sessions based on that.

Depending on where each person is on their body acceptance journeys, seeing themselves in images can range from a challenging to a jubilant experience, and I’m so happy and proud to be the photographer who gets to facilitate that journey for so many people.

2) You are also the creator of The Body Love Box, a subscription that I think is so important for the body love and fat positive movement. Did your work as a photographer influence your passion about supporting other fat positive artists through your box?

It did. As a small business owner in a body that experiences a lot of stigma, I know what it’s like to struggle with both the universal travails of running a small business and the weight of marginalization on top.

It’s been such a fun opportunity to support a whole bunch of artists, crafters and small business owners who are fat, people of color, and members of the LGBT+ community. It can be a really, really big deal for an artist to get an order for 50 or 100 of their items! And because I don’t haggle or ask small businesses for items for free or at cut rates (unlike most subscription boxes, which run on free or heavily-discounted items), but pay a reasonable wholesale rate, each artist gets a real living wage for their work.

3) What inspired you to create The Body Love Box?

For years, I’d been collecting body-positive items (like little art prints, buttons and stickers) to give my photography clients. When subscription boxes became really popular, I did some research and realized that no one was offering a fat-positive subscription.

And though I’m no longer offering monthly subscriptions, the original idea evolved into what’s now the Body Love Shop, which is fast becoming a central shopping location for body-positive, fat-positive and HAES products and artwork, both as individual items and as part of Body Love Boxes.

4) Do you ever feature your photography in The Body Love Box?

I do! Two of my fine art photographic prints, “Unicorn Summer” and “The Wind on My Skin,” have been included in Body Love Boxes. They’re now available for purchase individually in the shop.

5) What are your thoughts about The Health at Every Size Approach?

I’m not exaggerating when I say that Health at Every Size, or HAES, changed my life. Those of us who live in fat bodies are told constantly, explicitly and implicitly, in a thousand different ways every day that our bodies are aberrations. They’re inherently unhealthy. They’re gross. They’re non-compliant. They’re a visible symbol of our sinful, gluttonous and lazy natures.

Spending a few years in the fat acceptance community gave me the confidence to reject many of these messages and beliefs, but medical shame was so hard to shake. From the university health center doctor who told me (without asking about my eating habits or family history) that I would have diabetes within ten years unless I lost half my body weight, to the doctor who later prescribed me a medication off-label to try to make me lose weight (and lied to me about it), I’d been told by too many authority figures that my body was bad.

When I first encountered the HAES framework, I was pretty skeptical. Sure, my body is inherently worthy, but it’s also fat, and that just can’t be healthy, right? But I’m a person who likes numbers and evidence, and HAES immediately challenged me: If weight loss is the only way to be healthy, why doesn’t it work? Why do 95-percent-plus of weight loss attempts fail? Why doesn’t a single method of losing weight work in the long term?

Like most of us, my beliefs about health and body size had been gleaned from a lifetime of news articles, advertisements, salespeople, and just-so stories. Turns out? None of those sources was actually based on science. We just don’t have a way to make fat people thin in the long term, and in fact, weight cycling — losing and gaining as we go from one diet to another — may actually be worse for us health-wise than just staying the same size.

So if I couldn’t make myself thin, how could I possibly be healthy? That’s where HAES really stepped up. The HAES approach says that no matter what kind of body we live in, we can pursue healthy behaviors without pursuing weight loss that’s doomed to fail.

Following the HAES and intuitive eating philosophies have both helped me work toward body acceptance and improved my health in many different ways.

6) Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that is often connected to larger women, and those affected by PCOS are often stigmatized (myself included). How do you think we can increase awareness about PCOS and end stigmatization?

It’s incredibly important that we as a culture acknowledge that, like type 2 diabetes, PCOS isn’t a punishment for your body size or your food intake. Both smaller- and larger-bodied people have PCOS, diabetes, heart conditions, and every other illness humans experience. There are no diseases that only affect fat people.

Today, PCOS awareness seems to suffer from both a lack of awareness and too much awareness. People in relatively small bodies often have trouble accessing diagnosis and treatment, since PCOS has been labeled a fat woman’s issue. And as a fat woman, let me tell you that now every doctor who’s heard of PCOS wants to diagnose me with it, purely due to my body size, despite my complete lack of PCOS symptoms.

Ending the stigma associated with PCOS is going to require that we dismantle diet culture, because as long as we believe that we can reliably make larger bodies smaller (we can’t) and that body size is an indicator of health (it isn’t), we’ll continue to see weight stigma deprive both large and small people of proper PCOS care.

There’s a fabulous article at Wear Your Voice Mag that goes deeper into the issues caused by adding diet culture to discussions of and beliefs around PCOS.

7) What is your advice for larger women who are looking to increase their self-confidence?

There are many different ways you can increase your confidence, but for me, one of the most important was to change my “media diet:” the images and messages we take in over time.

Take a few days and just observe what media sources you take in, and how you feel about your body and other bodies after being exposed to each one.

– How does Instagram make you feel after scrolling for a while?

– How about Facebook?

– How about the magazines at the checkout stand?

– How about the magazines that arrive at your home?

– How about the ads on the bus or subway?

– How about TV shows? TV advertisements?

– How about the radio?

.

You’re allowed to consume whatever you want, in any amounts you want! I am definitely not saying you need to cut yourself off from the world. Just be aware for a few days of what you’re taking in, how it makes you feel about your own body, and how it makes you feel about other bodies — positive or negative.

Then, start adding in some sources that talk about bodies positively, and sources that feature bodies that look like yours. Just seeing bodies that look like ours can make a tremendous difference in what we see as normal and good.

8) Our country is heavily focused on diet culture and the “battle of the bulge” (a term that I find highly insulting). How do you think that we can fight the stigma surrounding individuals in larger bodies in a culture that is so focused on dieting and body weight?

This is such a complicated topic! How do we change an entire culture? How do we stop oppression? It can seem really overwhelming.

But the good news is that this kind of sea change is really made up of a million small choices, and we can make some of those choices — and changes — ourselves.

Changing the way that you personally see bodies, your own and others’, makes a big difference. I’m also talking on Instagram every Monday about concrete actions you can take to change culture and end weight stigma.

9) How do you see the fat positive movement growing in 2020?

This is an interesting question, because in many ways the body positive movement, which was built on (and occasionally takes unfair advantage of the work done by) the fat acceptance movement, claims most of the media and social media attention these days.

One of the ways I see real fat acceptance growing is in the revitalization of NAAFA, the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance, which has existed for over 50 years and was one of the original forces working to end weight stigma and promote rights for fat folks. I’m seeing some really exciting internal work at NAAFA to involve younger members, redo the website, make the work that’s already been done more accessible and available to use, and get new projects rolling.

NAAFA’s long history, media contacts and ability to advocate with governments for fat rights are incredibly valuable. Membership is open, so check out their site to get involved.

10) What are some wise words that you can give women who are struggling with their self-image?

Wherever you’re at today, that’s okay! If you can’t stand to look in a mirror, that’s okay. If you can’t imagine what body love or acceptance look like, that’s okay too. Body positivity can seem like just another impossible goal that’s put in front of us, but you know what? If you can look towards feeling neutral about your body, that’s a great place to be, too, and it’s way more achievable for many people.

Keep Up with Lindley

Body Liberation Photos:

Body Love Box & Shop:

Play! Inspiring Creativity with Children in Isolation

Many of us are now being required to stay at home due to COVID-19, and this is so challenging when you have young children at home. While many schools are switching to remote learning, I have noticed how anxious many parents are about assisting their children in their education while keeping them busy in isolation. I empathize with this stress, and that is why I wanted to share with you some resources to help make your time at home more enjoyable for you and your children!

Play is such an important aspect of early learning, and as a professional in child mental health, there is nothing that I emphasize more than creativity in a child’s development and emotional health. Creativity is how children learn about the world, and about themselves, while creating strong connections with others. Play is not only fun, but essential for children, and it can create wonderful quality time for you and your children. (Also, if you are having to work from home, you can initiate creativity exercises with your children to keep them busy while you work!)

Trisha Riche, an elementary school teacher and a tutor in art and academics, wrote a beautiful book highlighting the importance of play and creativity for children ages 6 – 9 entitled “Creativity for Kids: 75 Fun Activities to Promote Creative Thinking and Self-Expression”. In her book she highlights the importance of creativity and imagination and how important both are to a child’s development and wellbeing. I have linked her book in the resources below, along with websites that feature multiple creative activities you can practice with your children at home.

Getting Started with Creative Time

There are a few key things that you can do to start structuring regular creative time in your home:

  1. Create a Specific Time During the Day to Create

This is particularly important while we are quarantined at home. Keeping a daily schedule is a great way to create normality during this turbulent time, and if you set aside an hour or so a day to play and create you can help create essential structure for you and your child.

2. Create a Space in Your Home for Creativity

Your creative space can be a space in your living room, backyard, playroom, bedroom, or even just a set tub full of materials that you pull out when it is time to play and create. Having a designated space will make your creative time with your children sacred and protected.

3. Avoid Judgment of Your Child’s Play/Creations

It is important not to criticize how they choose to play or create. Children are often discovering their world and who they are while they play and create, and emotional harm can occur if your child feels attacked or criticized. Affirmations are so essential during this time to inspire your children, and assist their growth.

Example affirmations:

“The way you are mixing those colors is so unique!”

“I love how much creativity you put into building that tower using those blocks!”

“Your dance moves are so original, can you show me how to do your dance?”

4. Use Your Child’s Interests to Guide their Creative Time

Ask your child what they like to do, and base your activities off of their response.

Examples:

If you child is artistic, then you can create activities that are centered on art, such as drawing or painting if you have the materials. You can also use found materials around the home (such as cereal boxes, wrappers, tape, etc. and allow your child to create art using those pieces).

If your child loves music, then you can play music from your phone, computer, radio, etc. and allow your child to dance or move along to the beat of the music. You can even create instruments using found items (such as putting rice in empty cans and sealing with tape and aluminum foil/paper to create shakers).

5. Use Everyday Items

You do not have to use “traditional” creative materials when initiating activities with your children, such as toys, paint, pencils, paper, clay, instruments, etc. One of the best things you can do is provide everyday items your child might see or use outside of creative time, such as empty boxes, food containers, plates, cups, bowls, food items (beans, rice, etc.) Using everyday items will inspire your child to use their imagination to create new activities or items using items that are otherwise used for something else.

Example Activities

Writing Prompt

If you child is able to write, or create stories by drawing pictures, creating writing prompts is a great way to ignite your child’s imagination.

To create writing prompts, look up random photos on the internet, or in books/magazines, and ask your child to create a story based on any of the pictures that you show them utilizing either words, pictures, or acting out their story. You can also provide your child with magazines or other visual materials to create a collage based on the writing prompt!

Skies the Limit Sensory Jars (Taken from “Creativity for Kids: 75 Fun Activities to Promote Creative Thinking and Self-Expression”)

I absolutely love this idea of creating sensory jars from Trisha Riche’s book!

To create these, gather:

  • any empty plastic bottles or containers that you have available throughout your house
  • small items such as sequins, beads, beans, rice, pebbles, etc.
  • cooking oil and water
  • food coloring (optional)

Have your child fill their bottle halfway with cooking oil and food coloring if desired, then allow them to add any of the small items to their bottle that they would like. Fill half of the rest of the bottle with water (so there is still room for shaking) and screw the lid back on the bottle (glue to the bottle if desired).

Your child’s sensory bottle can then be used for play or a calming tool when anxiety rises! (You can also have your child connect to their senses by having them play with their bottle and identify what they are seeing, hearing, and feeling as they shake it)

Improvisation Activity

Acting is a great way to connect your child to their imagination and inspire connection. To do this activity, gather random items from your home. Then, choose a subject, such as a pirate ship, and ask your child to utilize the items to recreate being on a pirate ship or being a pirate. Guide your child by asking them to imagine that they are on a pirate ship and ask them to identify what they can see, hear, taste, smell and touch – all using their imagination.

Other possible topics: tropical forest, shopping mall, museum, etc. (Get creative!)

Are there any other activities you enjoy to inspire creativity with your children? Share with me below! Let’s make this place a resource for parents of children of all ages

Resources

“Creativity for Kids: 75 Fun Activities to Promote Creative Thinking and Self-Expression” by Trisha Riche

50 Fun Activities for Kids: https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/craft-ideas/how-to/g1389/diy-kids-activities/

50 Best Indoor Activities for Kids: https://www.itsalwaysautumn.com/best-indoor-kid-crafts-activities.html

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