Can you turn the sound down please?

Hello everyone – hope you are all having a good day. I’ve done another little drawing which I thought I would share with you all. I am very sensory defensive when it comes to sound. I am constantly asking my parents to turn the sound/volume down on the TV 😂 It’s always too loud for me 🔈

I’ve also been struggling this week with a busy open plan office at work which is noisy and bustling and generally wears me out! 😱 I also jump at anything even slightly loud (even people sneezing 🤧) I’ve been using my noise cancelling headphones but does anyone else have any other good tips for dealing with loud noises?

Also: I’ve reached 1,000 followers on Instagram! Thanks so much to everyone out there who follows along – my main aim when setting up my blog and Instagram was that if I could help out one person out there by providing sensory advice / tips / support / etc to them then I would be happy!

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Good Distractions (a new drawing!)✏️

 

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Hi everyone! I’m back with another original drawing ✏️ let me know what you think of it in the comments below ☺️ so I thought I’d do a drawing including the things that help me when I feel a bit of a meltdown coming on…

Featured items:

Moleskine journal 📔 – I usually go for a blank paper one for doodle but they do lined and dotted paper ones too.

Drinks and snacks: a good old cup of tea ☕️ an Costa Coffee strawberries and cream drink 🍓 a good old glass of orange juice or squash 🍊 a nice big apple 🍎 some digestive biscuits 🍪 and I had to include some form of chocolate so I went for Cadbury Dairy Milk 🍫

Fidgets: Notebook from Flying tiger covered in amazing sequins you can stim back and forth with 😍 a good old fashioned Rubik’s Cube that I found secondhand 🧠

I also have the most amazing Chewigem berries chewellery necklace! 🍇 I picked the blues and greens theme! 💙💚 it’s very chunky and each bead is covered in little nubs for sensory appeal and greater feedback when chewing. The beads have a heavy sort of weighted feel and I just like to hold and fidget with them. It’s hardwearing so would work well for more robust chewers!

And finally a squishy ball with gel beads in it from The Works Stores which is fab for having in a coat or hoodie pocket! Feel free to share my drawing on social media but please credit me 🙂

Believe in yourself and magic will happen…


Believe in yourself and magic will happen. This is my favourite quote (I wrote it out above!). It’s a simple one-liner that gets to the point. You never know what could happen if you believe in yourself a little bit more.

I have this quote on a necklace – see the photo of it above. The necklace/quote reminds me to keep going even if I’m having a day where I don’t believe in myself at all.

I have real imposter syndrome at work (I’m a creative/graphic designer) and I feel totally inadequate / rubbish / frustrated at myself regularly. I know I have the skills to do my job it’s just difficult sometimes to feel my worth and believe in myself.

I am the design team for my company…there is only me. When I don’t know how to do something Google/YouTube tutorials become my colleagues that I ask for help! And that’s okay – I can’t know everything…nobody can. It’s just remembering that is hard.

How do you fight off imposter syndrome? Any good tips appreciated! 🤷🏻‍♀️

Organisation and Medication

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It’s around this sort of time each week where I realise I need to work out my medication for the days ahead. I got a little medicine box to sort them out properly which is very visual 👀 (Link to it on amazon here.) I’ve arranged the colours like a cool gradient 🌈

I’m not going to lie: I am forgetful when it comes to medication. I couldn’t tell you for sure if I had my medicine even if I took it five minutes ago 😂 (I think I have short-term memory loss). Anyways it’s all about the little things each day which help and organise my life.

Now to watch Brooklyn Nine Nine on Netflix…👮🏻‍♀️👮🏽‍♂️🚔🚨

(p.s how cute is my ‘lil succulent?! 🌱)

I visited a zoo…

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At the weekend I got to visit a zoo (with my fav person) and I really enjoyed seeing so many different animals that I thought I’d share some photos I took. I haven’t been to a zoo in years.

(Short tragic story: last time I went when I was little I cried profusely during a free elephant feeding session during which an elephant touched my hand which freaked me out. Not cool…and my family remind me of this at every possible opportunity!).

Anyway…it was an interesting environment to visit. Lots of different indoor and outdoor areas and many loud children (not a complaint just an observation!) and lots to see and do. My favourite areas to visit were the incredible sea lion tunnel where we could walk underneath their huge tanks and see them swimming past – check out my @21andsensory Instagram post for the video I took of them.

Also I LOVED visiting the penguins at this particular zoo as we could see them swimming underwater and get up close to them on dry land too! Make sure you click through right to the end for a cute surprise…

Do you have a favourite zoo, park, museum, garden, etc that you like visiting? What’s your fav animal? Comment down below or post an emoji!

The search for noise cancelling headphones…🎧

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You may have seen on my instagram stories that I have recently bought a pair of bluetooth wireless headphones. I’ve been pondering (actually obsessively comparing and watching youtube reviews) on which were the best brand to invest in for months. I haven’t ever owned wireless or noise cancelling headphones but I knew I needed some as soon as more people moved into my office at work. The background noise can get too much and tip me over the edge mood-wise.

So I went for the Sony WH-1000XM3 and I am loving them so far. So it took me a while to unbox them (I’m rubbish at opening new stuff – I still have new shoes I’m struggling to get into!) and I shared the process of unboxing them and pairing them with my phone on my stories (if you’d like to have a look just click on the ‘Sounds’ highlight under my instagram profile).

So far they are SUPER comfy. I was really worried about them sitting funny over my head because of my glasses and the ends of them pinching behind my ears. But I can confirm: they are 10/10 great pick for glasses wearers.

They have active noise cancelling and ambient noise mode settings depending if you are sitting, standing and travelling. ALSO: If you are listening to music and someone comes up to you for a conversation / you walk into a coffee shop to order something you can just place the palm of your hand over the ear cup and instantly hear what’s being said in the place around you! Such a clever feature that also means you don’t have to take your headphones on and off all the time.

I am yet to try them on public transport but even in a quiet environment they’ve been fab. They have 30 hour battery life (38 hours without noise cancelling on), an option to switch to wired connection if they run out of battery and an accompanying app that has oodles of different features and sound configurations to play and test out.

Would you be interested if I did a little review post here on my blog after I’ve used them for a couple of months? Comment down below!

Sensory Hangover

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This post explains what an earth a sensory hangover is. Before you read this: it has nothing to do with drinking / alcohol consumption! 🚫

A sensory hangover is a term I’ve started to use (in my head!) to describe the state in which I am left in after being in an overwhelming place, environment, scenario, etc. The sensory hangover begins on instant return to my house – I can get emotional and feel totally overwhelmed and stressed out.

An example: I was invited to my friends 21st birthday party. It was at her house and it was a surprise birthday party. I hate surprises. I felt awful and sick and spaced out for the first part of the evening while my friend wasn’t even at the party but I managed to hang out with two other girls I knew. Then when my friend came in the room I had to ready myself for everyone shouting ‘SURPRISE!’ super loud, with much clapping, hugging, kissing and music accompanying it all. It was all too much and I made my excuses and left relatively early in the evening. I then got home and cried. A lot. My parents were understanding but I just couldn’t hold my emotions in and I felt completely weird for the rest of the evening and most of the next day. It took a real chunk of my energy out of me and I was left unable to process everything and all messy inside my head.

Now I try to be way more conscious of where I go, for how long, and what will be there that could affect me. I say no more often now (although I have the FOMO: fear of missing out) I know it’s for the better and I am way way happier not going and having a chilled night in. Sound is a huge issue for me and can really quickly bring on a sensory hangover – I feel physically drained and unable to process or compute what people are saying in noisy situations that I just prefer to remove myself from them entirely. 🏃

The sensory hangover can then move on a bit and I have episodes of intense OCD where I will feel the urge to clean obsessively (whether it’s myself or my bedroom or another room in the house). This keeps me busy/distracted/occupied which I find helpful – I really enjoy tidying my room and putting things away every few days.

So…to put it simply: a sensory hangover describes the physically tired, mentally drained and totally spaced out feeling I have after an overwhelming social interaction. 💥(The feeling of a sensory hangover will come over me immediately after an overwhelming thing and can last from a few minutes to even a day in length which = not cool)

Have you ever experienced a sensory ( / autistic-type / call it whatever suits you!) hangover?