Steam trains and sensory meltdowns…🚂

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Yesterday I went to see my work friend who volunteers at the weekend on steam trains! (Pretty darn cool right?!) 🚂

She’s been volunteering for 2 years and I’ve being meaning to come and visit her on the railway for ages. I had a bit of a wobble as I missed the first steam train that she was working on that was due to depart at 11am because the car park was so rammed full I had to park elsewhere and walk to the station.

I got upset (it took me an hour to drive and I was anxious to get there okay and this sort of ruined my routine a bit) so after a *little* cry I was fine and went into the town to have a sit down over a hot drink.

SO after I reconvened with myself (lol) and got myself in a better headspace I walked back to the station for my friends 1pm train! I’m so glad I stuck it out because I had such a good time – my friend let me come up onto the actual steam train to look at the engine and meet the rest of the crew.

I’m sharing this because I think it’s important to be honest with you all and to share what a meltdown is sort of like. How do you manage when you get overwhelmed or your routine changes? Let me know in the comments down below ☺️

The world is too loud today 🌍

IMG_0203Hi everyone ☺️ Here’s a quick little doodle I did (which describes a couple of days I’ve had this week!) you know sometimes when the world around you just feels a bit louder then usual? 🔈 It can affect your mood and for us sensory-beings can lead to overwhelm 🌍

I work in an open plan office which can get loud as people pop by each other’s desks to chat 💬 instead of booking meeting rooms. I can deal with this to some degree but sometimes it gets too much and then I know it’s time for a lil’ walk out of the office for a bit or to the toilets just for 5 to get a bit of quiet 🤫

How do you cope when things get too loud for you? 📢

Happiness = a swing in the garden 🌱

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Happiness = having a swing in the garden 🌱 this is a hanging swing I bought from amazon a while back. I am able to hang it from a secure fixture in my bedroom ceiling or outdoor from this very handy (and sturdy) tree we have at the bottom of our garden! 🌿 Swinging is said to be great for regulating sensory people’s vestibular system and the motion of the swinging back and forth can be calming 🎡

It’s going to be a hot bank holiday weekend here in the U.K 🇬🇧 and I know how lots of people can struggle with the heat both sensory and mental health wise. It’s important that you do you, and by that I mean you do what’s comfortable and what makes you happy. For example, if that’s sitting inside in the cool and enjoying the view of the outside that’s okay.

What’s not okay is peer pressure or questioning from others as to why you aren’t wearing ‘summer clothes’ or ‘getting out in the sunshine’. Not everyone enjoys the heat (and some of us have the added fun of being  very pale and burning easy 🙋🏻‍♀️) so it’s important to be firm but polite in these situations with something like ‘I’m enjoying the weather in my own way, but thanks for checking in on me.’ 🏖 Any other ways you recommend saying this? Comment down below and let’s share ☺️

Sensory Mapping at the Royal Academy of Arts 🎨

Two weeks ago I went to the Royal College of Arts in London to help the very lovely Becky from @sensoryspectacle. I documented my sensory experience within the RCA in order to help Becky later create a sensory map for visitors.

I also recorded my journey into and around London on my Instagram story highlights (which I uploaded to YouTube in the above video) if you’d like to see how a sensory-being got on in the city 👀

Things that are difficult for Sensory Beings…💭

I did a quick little doodle on what us sensory beings find quite difficult to do in our daily lives (Obviously these things aren’t exclusively difficult to just sensory people, these can apply to many different people).

Is there anything that you find particularly difficult to tolerate? Feel free to share coping tips and tricks below in the comments and let’s all help each other out ☺️

What is stimming? 🤷🏻‍♀️

Hi everyone 👋 this is a post in collaboration with the wonderful @agonyautie. Sara suggested working together on a post together all about stimming and what it looks like visually. Here are some wise words from @agonyautie:

‘Stop shaming stimming. Stimulate yourself through your senses. Have fun, Stim freely, be respectful of others and Stim Shame Free. Make sure to stim safely and stim boldly!’

I’ve tried to visually represent in my two illustrations ✏️ the wide variety of things that can be referred to as stims (which is short for self-regulatory behaviour). Stimming helps a person to self calm and process overwhelming environments. Some stims can be quite subtle such as hair twirling or chewing whereas others are more noticeable and can be destructive such as skin picking (dermatillomania) or hair pulling (Trichotillomania) which can cause damage.

It’s important to recognise that stimming safely (whether you are a child or adult) is okay and not something to ever be ashamed of. It should not be looked down on or discouraged. Go forth and stim freely! 🙌

Link to my original Instagram post here