What do you do if you’re having a really stressful day, or if there is a stressor that you can’t seem to cope with? It happens to all of us at some time or another. Personally, my latest stress comes from some really noisy neighbours. I really don’t enjoy getting too stressed to be able to sleep, do you? Well, to find a solution I thought of my OT background and began to try out a few ideas to improve a sense of calm.
Before we continue,
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Are you sensitive to noise? Noise pollution actually has quite a number of negative effects to health. For now, we are not listing the problems to health but rather looking at how to relax and achieve a sense of calm. What kinds of activities help you to feel more relaxed, more at ease and calm enough to face the day or to enjoy peaceful sleep? Have you ever stopped to think what activities are calming for you? We all have certain activities that make us feel happy, others that make us feel sad, some that are energizing, some that are calming. However, we don’t all stop to put those activities into the necessary categories.
Finding Activities that Instill A Sense of Calm
If you are a busy mom and your household is getting tense, edgy, upset or just needing to wind down for the day, there are times it helps to have a useful reminder of what kinds of activities will help your household. Fortunately, you don’t need to put in too much effort. It’s already been prepared for you in a great set of cards that offer visual cues of what activities can help to bring about a sense of calm.
The set includes 25 activities that are either sensory or motor or possibly both. A few examples are: –
- reading a book
- hugging someone (usually someone you are close to works best, though hugs in general are wonderful)
- listening to music
- do some exercise
- talking it out
The cards have an image with a word or words above or below the image. Providing a wonderful visual cue that is self-explanatory. The set has been designed by a physiotherapist and is available through Fun and Function:
– toys and tools for kids with special needs
It can be a great family exercise to go through the set of cards and select what activity will suit each child. Or you can take it in turns e.g. Jonny can take a card of a task that everyone will do for the next x minutes. Then you can have Sally take her turn. You can decide whether the turn will be in the same evening or each night have a different child pick their card of the choice activity to calm down for the evening.
Of course, if you only have one child then either you can alternate with your child or let the child choose a different card each night. Or the same card a few consecutive nights. It can be a fun part of your evening routine to prepare for restful sleep.