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Anxiety Stones DIY

A while back, I was chatting with a friend and she told me about a craft she did with her son. She told me they used polymer clay to create small stones. She then used her thumb to create an indent in the center of the stone. After the stone was baked and set, her son carried one of these stones in his pocket. Whenever he was anxious or missed his mom, he would run his fingers over the stone and feel the indent of her thumbprint. This helped to soothe him in those moments he was overwhelmed and was an extremely helpful resource when he started school.

My son is in middle school now, but after he noticed me making a few of these stones for myself, he asked if we could make some together. While he was off school for spring break, we set up our supplies and got busy creating.

Together, we ended up making several "anxiety stones". For each stone, we chose three colors and cut about 1/8 off of each 1 oz. polymer clay brick. Our clay had tick marks on it, so we used about 3 tick marks to measure our cut.

For the swirl designs, we rolled each color out individually using a clay roller and stacked them together. We rolled up the colors together, then started folding and rolling the clay to make the pattern. I feel like just rolling the clay out, blending colors together, and creating designs is therapeutic on its own.

If you roll the clay too much, the colors will start to blend together, but that can look cool too. It's really hard to mess this up. Once we were satisfied with the pattern, we rolled the clay into a ball and examined the surface to find a cool pattern. I placed my thumb on that pattern and pressed down gently to make an indent.

Some of the clay cracked when we pressed it down, so we gently pushed the cracks together, then smoothed the clay with our fingertips.

My son really liked the bright colors and chose more of those for his designs. I made some with more neutral tones, but honestly ended up liking the brighter ones better too.

We followed the package instructions for how long to bake the clay in the oven and used a silicone baking sheet to prevent our designs from cracking. In general you can bake polymer clay at 275 degrees F for 15 to 30 minutes per 1/4 inch of thickness. We baked our stones at 275F for 1 hour and this was the result.

To my surprised, the colors stayed just as vibrant after baking. Overall, I found this to be a fun and therapeutic way to spend some time with my sweet boy.

One of the debilitating symptoms I struggle with because of PTSD is social anxiety. Now when I leave the house and know I will be in a social setting, I make sure to bring an anxiety stone with me. Whenever I am feeling anxious or overwhelmed, I can run my fingers over the smooth stone and remember the fun experience I had making these with my son.

If you or anyone in your life struggle with anxiety, try making some anxiety stones together. These are much less distracting to others than some of the other fidget toys on the market today and a very simple tool to keep you centered in an overwhelming situation.

I hope so much that you enjoy this activity. Please feel free to share photos of the anxiety stones you create and any experiences you have in the comments below!

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