if the terrain calls for ice gear - then there is no substitute or shortcuts.
The high end brands have decent lightweight ice axes, and typically, you can leave one hiking pole at home, and use the ice axe instead. roughly the weight delta is negligeable.
assuming you misjudged the terrain, have no ice axe, and you need to self-arrest while sliding to your demise, here are some things you can try:
1) fan out your arms and legs in an X pattern, increase friction surface, slows down your slippage, think the opposite body shape of a bullet or a luge.
2) if you are face down or stomach down, then try to dig your boot tips in the snow, and to some extent, dig in your hands (hope you are also wearing gloves)
3) if you are on your back, try to bend your knees and dig in your heels
4) if you are sliding downhill and head first, try to switch so your head is higher than your feet, because if you bump a rock with your foot, its ok, but a head bump could knock you out.
5) if 1 thru 4 fail, yell out loud "I should have listened to the BPL guuuuuuys"