Many people talk about scrapbooking as a creative outlet that is therapeutic.

Jennifer Larson

True, the creativity allows us to decompress after a busy day, but we can also use our scrapbooks to help us make sense of our lives a little bit more directly.In particular, I use my scrapbooks periodically to change my attitude toward the stressful things in life, which right now involves parenting two young boys.

Here’s how you can do the same:

1. Approach your schedule with humor on a page.

One summer I double booked my boys for activities, so I spent a couple weeks driving back and forth for a few hours. When I went over the schedule with the boys, I always ended by saying, “And then Mommy collapses.” However, they heard me say, “And then Mommy claps.” To commemorate the schedule so that I would never do this again, I made this LO, including the boys’ funny misheard word. I now laugh at that chaos.

2. Say what you really want to say on a page.

Some things we feel very strongly about, but for some reason we can’t say them. It will make you feel better if you put it on a page! Here I took a typical competitive conversation my boys had and put it on a page with what I feel like saying when they bicker. (I never would actually say it to them, mainly because it always annoyed me hearing it growing up!)

3. Look at something difficult in the best light possible and make those the only words on the page.

My boys’ sibling rivalry increases my blood pressure. After a particularly squabbling week, I sat down with this picture I loved and gave it the title “Work in Progress” to remind me that my lessons now will show up eventually-I hope!

4. Scrap that busy, chaotic, absolutely insane schedule you have

Obviously I didn’t pay attention the first time I overbooked my boys, because I did it again this spring. I again scrapped our crazy schedule, this time with a more pointed reminder to myself that just because I can fit it all in, doesn’t mean that I should. Hopefully the lesson will stick now.

Thank you for reading some of my suggestions for scrapbooking the craziness to make something better out of it. I hope these methods will help you make sense of the chaos when life is most stressful.

Jennifer Larson is a high school English teacher, Maine native and current Minnesotan, wife to the biggest Star Wars fan in history, slightly tired mother to two boys (the second and third biggest Star Wars fans), and a fan of mysteries and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Jennifer started making cards in 1999 but became enamored with scrapbooking after attending a class at a local scrapbook store. She describes her style as linear but whimsical. Jennifer designs for Ella Publishing, Sketch Support, and GCD Studios. Her blog is Midwest Scrapgarden and she is on Twitter and Pinterest as Buffyfanlarson.