To truly relax is hard when the world is constantly yelling for our attention.
For those who react to sensory input it’s easy to become overwhelmed and feel like a bottle about to pop.
For those who crave sensory input it’s hard to ignore the desire to feel, see, experience the world long enough to sit still and relax.
Let’s face it, with or without Sensory Processing Disorder, it’s hard to relax in this world!
I am the queen of nervousness. The battle to stay relaxed or to be relaxed is an on going fight and I admit it that I am horrible at setting aside time to have quality relaxation, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t learned a few tricks that work.
So here’s just a few that work for me, and might work for you too:
1. Music- Whether you are listening to music or physically playing music, music is the most relaxing thing on this planet. I may be partial being a musician, but I have noticed that people all over the world find music to be soothing, enjoyable, peps them up, and slows them down. For some rock music soothes them, for others, the pluck of a steal string guitar. Spending quality time listening to or playing an instrument helps you psychologically, and that’s a fact.
2. Laughter- Laughing is another way to relax and help our bodies. Yes, hard to believe watching a Friends episode or a Bob Newhart show helps you relax, but it has been proven that laughter lengthens your life span, relieves stress, and let’s face it… it’s pretty fun to laugh.
3. Being still- Now I know, being still can mean a lot of things, but what I mean by “being still” is taking some time to be still during the day. Spend an half an hour reading a book in bed or on a comfy couch. Make a concerted effort to be under a weighted blanket or lap pad. Maybe watch a good Tv show. Anything that means you aren’t going anywhere, because we spend too much of our life on the go. Be still for a while… there’s a reason why it’s a part of a bible verse, because it’s important!
4. Take a walk outside on the grass- Why am I so specific? Because studies have found that walking across a grassy field is more relaxing to the senses than walking on pavement. For some reason the pavement of a sidewalk or street is not the same as walking along slightly bumpy, smooth grass. I didn’t think it was true, until I tried it a couple days in a row, and I felt much more relaxed afterwards than walking on a sidewalk. Weird!
5. Spend time in the sun- If you don’t like the glare, wear some sunglasses, because whether you like it or not the sun is a very helpful for our mood. It relieves stress, increases vitamin D (as long as you don’t take a shower afterwards for two hours or so), and much more. It’s also warm and warmth is a good way to encourage relaxation.
6. Run your hand through something- Get a plastic bag and fill it with sand, or beads. Feel a smooth stone or squeeze a Koosh ball. Rub a smooth ribbon or the binding of a blanket. Anything that lets the tension out.
7. Take a break- What ever seems to be bugging you right now, take a break from it. If it’s clothing, change into something more comfortable. If it’s a sound then wear headphones, earplugs, or vacate the location for a while. Some things we have to be exposed to everyday, but we should allow ourselves to take a break from those things once and a while. It’s Ok.
8. Healthy escapes- One of my favorite ways to relieve stress is to ignore my life for a little while. That’s why movies, TV shows, books and other story centered entertainment are there. Because life is stressful, boring, etc and we are only human. The trick with these is to not abuse them… too much of a good thing is never good, so be wise with your time and be healthy with your escapes.
There are many, many more, but these should get your started. If these seem so obviously true, then think of this list as friendly reminder, because we often forget the simple solutions.
Learning to judge your stress level and when/how to relax can be difficult, but keeping a watchful inner eye at your SPD and your life will help you live a better life.
How do you relax? Please feel free to share your suggestions or write a comment of at least one word on my site (a smiley face will do) to let me know how I’m doing.