People have asked about tips for managing some of the more debilitating symptoms associated with Sensory Sensitivities or Sensory Processing Disorder.
I want to make it clear that I am NOT a doctor and am not intending any of this info to be medical advice. These are just some quick tips that can make your life easier.
Make a Sensory Kit – Create a travel kit filled with items that make your sensory issues more tolerable.
Every one is different but I always keep the following in my purse:
- Sunglasses (different darkness levels for indoors and outdoors)
- Ear plugs
- Wireless head phones or ear buds
- Some lotion or scented oil that smells pleasant to me
- Gum or candy
- Something to read/entertain myself if I need a break (I normally use my phone for this).
Get plenty of rest – I know I can enjoy family outings and group settings if I am well rested and fresh.
Eat Healthy – Taking care of my body helps keep my mind clear.
Exercise – When I exercise I have more energy and require less rest in order to function. It is hard to get started sometimes but once I work fitness into my routine I tone up nicely. This is good for my self esteem as much as my energy level.
Don’t be afraid to say no – If you feel the need to speak up about something don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself. Be honest about your limitations, but also be willing to challenge yourself from time to time.
Facing your fears is powerful – It is easy to let the anxiety and what-if’s paralyze you, but when you begin to face your fears one by one you will eventually defeat them. Don’t be afraid of your own life, scared to move forward.
Make note of a quiet space where you can get away – try to scope out quiet spots where you can step away for a break if you decide you need one. Look around for a few options. In a pinch a bathroom can be a perfect sanctuary (assuming you are somewhere clean).
Leave when you need to leave – Don’t stay past the point or up to the point of a meltdown or shutdown. Leaving early looks a lot better than freaking out or imploding.