Are you always anxious? Do you feel that your anxiety has got the best of you? What about your child? Have you ever seen it in them or have they mustered the strength to tell you?
Anxiety can be very difficult to deal with. . .not just for kids with autism and sensory processing disorder but for everyone. Life is hard and while it’s very normal to feel anxious from time to time anxiety disorder can break us down mentally, physically and emotionally.
First, be open and transparent with your child. Encourage them to talk through what they are going through and help them relieve the anxiety by some of these initial practices
- Mindful deep breathing. Not only is this an ancient practice with significant benefits mentally but also causes us to stop and be totally present in the now. When we follow our breath and focus on it, we realize that we exist. . . that we are here right now and no trouble, problem, worry will take away our existence right now. Here's a great book on the topic as well that I've recently been reading called the The Power of Now
- Get active. Go outside, play, run, play fetch with the dog, get muddy and messy. Discover things in the backyard! Anything that gets the heart pumping. Exercise is one of the best ways to relieve anxiety as it releases a chemical called endorphins which if not activated can lead to more stress, pain and you guessed it. . . anxiety. We love to use this trampoline for our backyard and this really make exercising fun!
- Sensory resources and toys. Toys, games, weighted vests, blankets, stretchy sacks, fidget toys and more can all help reduce anxiety and turn focus on playing and relaxing! Below is a list of some of our favorite products that help lower stress and anxiety!
- Fidget toys - Fidgeting occurs when stress is high. So offering toys that help kids fidget and helps them play can be a good avenue to reduce the stress. By the way have you seen our FREE LED fidget spinner we're giving away? We want to help you and your child reduce your anxiety so here's one spinner on us!
- Noise canceling headphones - Loud noises can be a struggle for many of us but can especially be so for children with autism and SPD. These headphones can be a great way to help them stay in their focus zone and not be bothered by so much noise. Our favorite is from a brand called HearTek and they are very inexpensive.
Weighted blanket - These heavy blankets are amazing! They feel like a big hug and apply lots of deep pressure for you kids.
Check out the science behind Deep Pressure Stimulation. If you’d like a free weighted blanket, follow us on Instagram as we hold weekly giveaways and ship them out quickly!
- Calming Music - This can be any relaxing music your child likes. We’ve found our children like classical music and this helps them a lot. You can find plenty of music on Spotify, Apple Music, Soundcloud, YouTube and more!
- Playdoh - Playdoh is fun for all ages! Kneading, building, stretching can all help calm down kids. It’s very inexpensive and helps in many ways.
- Essential Oils - The wonderful smell of essential oils can help put us in a great mood. There are so many scents to choose from, and they are inexpensive as well. Our favorite essential oils brand is DoTerra and you can find them on Amazon and their own website here. They even have a compensation plan if you join from their website. Use the oils and sell them through your social channels, friends, teachers, etc.
- Sensory Sack - Stretch, roll, hideaway, toss and turn in these stretchy sensory sacks! Similar to the weighted blanket these apply pressure to your kids and help them regulate their sense perception. It’s less weight than the blanket for when you’re out on a picnic, at the park or in the classroom.
We love all these products and resources! Which ones have helped you? Which have you used or are planning on using?
If any of these tips have helped you, we would appreciate if you share it with one friend! This helps us greatly in spreading the word about autism, sensory needs, ADHD, down syndrome and many other disorders!