Life with Sensory Processing Disorder

Monday, December 23, 2013

Tips to Prevent Holiday Sensory Processing Meltdown

With all the noises, smells, activities, crowds, chaos of the holidays, it is pretty easy to get overwhelmed, even if you don't have SPD. But for those who do, it can be unbearable. So here are a few of my tips on how to prepare and get through...

  1. Qi Gong - the morning of any big event, I make time to squeeze in some Qi Gong. Holistic doctors believe those with SPD have blocked Chi. My favorite practice is by Lee Holden; Qi Gong for Stress.
  2. Mantra - choose a mantra that is comforting to you and repeat it in your mind throughout the day/event. Some I have used; it is not about me, it is what it is, I can do this.
  3. Deep Breathing - blow hard through open lips, then inhale deeply from your nose. Imagine you are breathing in positive energy and expelling negative.
  4. Good Posture - it is important with SPD to stand straight & tall for your spine & nervous system.
  5. Checklist - have a checklist of things to do, remember, say; so you are prepared & confident.
  6. Music - surround yourself with calming or uplifting music. Whatever makes you happy and relaxed. Mozart is often recommended by doctors & OTs. Have noise cancelling headphones with you at all times.
  7. Loved Ones - surround yourself with those that love you and accept you as you are. Bring a friend or family member with you to any event in which you need support, understanding, or someone to talk to.
  8. Animals - if you can bring a pet or pet an animal, do so for immediate calming.
  9. Solitude - don't be afraid to step outside for a breath of fresh air or escape to a dark, cool room alone for a while to center yourself and breathe.
  10. Positive Thinking - remember why you are celebrating and remember it only is but once a year. Try to pick out the positives in your situation and find some enjoyment in your day.
  11. Laughter - if something goes wrong or not the way you planned, try to laugh about it. Find something to laugh about.
  12. Control What You Can - wear layered tag-less clothing so you can remove something and avoid getting overheated, or put on a sweater if chilled, have an exit strategy, or if you are holding an event, be sure to list a start & finish time on invitations so guest don't stay longer than you wish.
  13. Drink - I am certainly not suggesting you get drunk, but if you like, have one drink to help you relax if you are of legal drinking age and not on any medicines. -unless alcohol overstimulates you or makes you ill, than ignore this tip.
  14. Japa Mala - bring along a mala or rosary and say a prayer or mantra in a private room to clear your mind.
  15. Fidget Ring - wear a spin or fidget ring, or have any type of fidget in your pocket that you can stim to your hearts content without bringing any unwanted attention to yourself.
  16. Skin Brush - in your purse or pocket keep a Therapressure Brush and do some brushing and joint compressions in a room to yourself - repeat every 2 hours.
  17. Rock/Swing/Get Upside Down - if available, rock in a rocking chair, swing on a swing, or in a bedroom lie down with your head off the edge of the bed upside down or do a headstand against the wall.
I will be hosting a small Christmas dinner this year. I already have my checklists and shopping done. Today I am cleaning and wrapping presents, tomorrow I will be making ahead of time a few food items. I can't imagine at some point not getting overwhelmed, however it is but once a year. J

~Wishing all Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!~

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