Tamera Anderson-Hanna is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Certified Addiction Professional, Certified Rehabilitation Counselor and became a Registered Yoga Teacher while coping with breast cancer in 2015. She owns Wellness, Therapy, & Yoga in Florida where she provides personal wellness services and coaching and she is a public speaker on wellness-related topics. You can connect with her at www.wellnesstherapyyoga.com.
A vision board helps us to not only embrace the present moment, but also remember the goals we are working towards.
A healing vision board may boost your mood and allow you to focus on the journey ahead, rather than dwelling on past or current setbacks. Don't get me wrong, I believe in mindfulness and being able to make the best out of the present, but vision boards help us connect with goals and allow us to focus on our journey forward toward healing. They can make for a supportive focal point when in the hospital or other places, which are not always cheerful.
I have begun to offer more vision board workshops in my local community, and still have some events coming up later in the year. This got me thinking about the importance of having a vision board for peers who are healing from cancer and their family members.
With the following guidance, you can develop a vision board aimed at supporting your healing. A vision board can be made on poster board or any piece of paper you feel is large enough. I suggest individuals begin a vision board by boldly writing, "I am" in the center of the poster board. That phrase is powerful, positive language. Once you write “I am” in the center of the board, it helps affirm that the constructive words, colors and images that you’re putting on the board are owned by you as something you want to be focused on. You can draw, write or cut out letters to create words you want to use to describe your life and wellbeing in a constructive manner. Words such as “fierce,” “healing,” “passionate,” “energetic” or “joyful” can be supportive and constructive, but there are many others you can choose from. Pediatric patients and others who may be young at heart might want to add some emojis to their board.
You can then add pictures or images found on the internet or in magazines. Add to the vision board images that represent your health and wellbeing goals. You can include pictures and words for ways you want to spend your time, things you are adding to improve your diet, exercise you may have begun or want to begin, work you might go back to or want to further pursue, and maybe you even places you want to travel to in the next year or two. Writing down realistic goals can be powerful, but having a healing vision board can sometimes help you to connect and envision successes.
Having a vision board serves as a great reminder of things which are important, and that we can still look forward to once treatments are complete or as we make progress. Maybe you even have a picture of the bell you will ring when your chemotherapy treatments are over. The idea is that you can add any picture that is inspiring to your healing. In my office, I keep cards I have received from former clients, groups I have worked with and family and friends. It is to reinforce a similar concept. It is nice to reflect upon things we have accomplished, but the vision board is about using positive imagery to help us realize there are things we are working toward getting back to or improving upon as a result of having cancer. Fortunately, for many of us, treatments and the uncomfortable process of healing will not last forever. A vision board helps us remember to embrace the now and things we are working toward to make the best of each moment.
This can be a supportive project not only for yourself, but also for family members. I would love to see or hear about what you will include for inspiration on your vision board. What inspiring and constructive words will you use to describe yourself and healing process? Have fun and include colors. Once your vision board is done, place it in a spot where you will see it daily to reinforce the goals you are working on. If you are doing this as a group, share a little bit about what you picked and why. This might be a great project for pediatric survivors and support groups to share.