Distractions & Fidget Toys

For Christmas I was given an Amazon voucher as a present. I then totally forgot about this and then remembered in mid January I had this voucher and thought about some different ways I could spend it…

I find it hard to not fidget or get distracted by things. I find it hard not to get distracted from even the most simplest things like other people’s conversations, loud noises or music.

On top of these I find different environments and new places can send me into overdrive – so something as simple as a toy to fidget with in my pocket can be super helpful.

I remembered once having an awesome toy called a Tangle. Essentially it’s a plastic loop which can be fiddled with and worked in different ways to make different shapes. I like to wrap and unwrap mine around my fingers in my pocket. They can be used by one or both hands easily so ideal for using discreetly in a pocket or under a table.

The Tangle comes in pretty much every colour imaginable and are just brilliant to fidget with! I bought mine from Amazon (UK) for £ 5.95 and they come in different sizes too.

So that was some of my voucher spent! I then had another think about something else I could use to distract myself or just use in a creative way to relax. Recently on social media I had seen lots of videos going round featuring amazing creations made from little magnetic balls. See this video below if you aren’t sure what I am talking about:

https://www.youtube.com/a shared?ci=MQ-4CbEgyNU

The idea is that these magnetic balls provide a creative outlet which is stress relieving and actually quite relaxing! You can be super creative with them or just create patterns and shapes with them – ideal for using on a tabletop or at the end of the day to calm down a busy brain.

Let me know of any other fidget toys you know of or that have helped you!

200 Blog Posts!

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My last post discussing being sensational was my 200th post on my blog! I also now have over 260 subscribed followers of my blog so I thought I would take the opportunity to thank everyone for following – it means a lot that people actually read what I say and I absolutely love reading the emails and comments I get.

Don’t forget to check me out on Twitter and Instagram: @21andsensory

New Year, Same Me.

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Happy New Year! Hope everyone had a relatively calm and enjoyable time off. Also hope you all received nice presents (Anyone get any good sensory / therapy toys?)

So I noticed last week that there’s been a lot of New Year resolution’s and ‘fresh beginning’ stuff on the internet. People have been reflecting on 2016 and there’s lots of talk about ‘making everyday count’. That’s all fine and well but all this talk of change has got me thinking:

It’s 2017. But I’m still the same old me.

A new year won’t change who I am or magically improve my sensory problems. I don’t mean for this to sound negative and actually, in fact, I think it’s a positive. I remember always joking with my mum about how many doctors and therapists would ask me ‘If you could wave a magic wand at your problems…’ I won’t bother even finishing that sentence because the reality is that’s never going to happen and would only frustrate me further.

So I decided putting all these thoughts together that my own little unique New Year’s resolution is to challenge myself to embrace who I am more. I shouldn’t have to worry about being judged when I need to explain to people who just don’t understand the way I am and don’t ‘get’ me, and neither should you! So why not challenge yourself? It’s only day 9 of January and it’s not too late to have a go 🙂

To round this New Year’s post off I felt like writing a little insight (which happens to just link nicely with the main image above!):

I am always forgetting and then realising again that I will always be a little bit ‘sensational’.

And do you know what?

It’s more than okay to be sensational. 

(Drawing by  check out her work if you haven't heard of her!)

 

The Electric Toothbrush 🏁

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I bought an electric toothbrush (*shock horror*) and I am slowly getting used to using it. I have always found brushing my teeth particularly hard because it always seems to be overwhelming sensory-wise. I have to brush quickly and I apply a lot of pressure as I can’t stand light touch. My teeth definitely look better as a result of having an electric toothbrush as it really can brush places that I can’t reach so well (just wish it wasn’t so loud!)

If I really think about it I have always been rubbish when it comes to brushing of any sort. Brushing my hair, brushing my body with my sensory brush, I’ve always found it difficult to manage and deal with the odd sensation of brushing. However I have tried lots of different brushes, which others might find helpful in order to help desensitise your body (try googling the list below!):

  • Baby Gum Brushes (these pop over your finger)
  • Baby teething toys (ones filled with liquid)
  • Tangle Teaser Hair Brush (much easier to manage)
  • Wilbarger Body Brush (therapy brush)

Have you found any good brushing coping mechanisms or tools that work for desensitising yourself? Let me know in the comments below!

Change…and why it’s difficult.

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Change is super hard. It messes with routines and structure, it makes me overwhelmed, emotional and generally just feel ‘out of sorts’.

Get ready for a little ramble…

So why am I writing about change?  I want to try and explain how change effects a sensory person (like me!) and I also want to discuss a change that I have had recently.

Change can (and usually is for me) a nightmare. It messes with my mind and my body. I like to know what I’m doing and where I need to be during the week.

Okay so… I have a new job. As I am writing this I have been at my new job for just two weeks. Everyone is super lovely and helpful but I’m finding it hard to speak up for myself and fit in. I feel a bit all over the place inside and just a bit worried all the time. It’s not the job as such that worries me – it’s more the change in scenery, environment and meeting new people (obviously) that worries me.

There are around 50 people where I now work – this means there are a lot of new faces and names to remember 😂 I am also the youngest in the company which is fine but everyone is much more experienced than me which puts me down a little bit (I know it shouldn’t!).

My manager is aware that I am dyslexic but it’s my processing speed that is annoying me – it takes me much longer to do things and my SPD has started to sort of flared up because of the new change and new environment.

I know I will be fine and I really love the job I am doing as it’s in the same field as my degree that I studied and it’s what I am passionate about. The problem I have (and have begun to realise over the years) are that there are two of ‘me’….

  1. The ‘normal’ calm okay Emily
  2. The totally overwhelmed ‘sensory’ Emily

This is a problem because I cannot control which Emily will wake up each day. This is the best way I can explain living with SPD. It can come in waves and there can be good and bad days, weeks, months and sometimes particular years (especially when I was growing up). My mum is always reminding me time and time again to keep on top of my ‘sensory diet’ and she is always right – things like body brushing, chewing baby toys, stretching and gaining sensory input from things like yoga balls, and even walls – definitely helps a sensory being!

Why not check out my DIY Sensory Box post from a while back here

Ps: I know I have been a bit quiet on the blog recently (the new job has been a bit overwhelming!) and I have a few emails to reply to (from some lovely people) which I will get back to soon I promise!