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What To Do About Sensory Overload

What To Do About Sensory Overload

People are becoming more open about the difficulties they experience with their senses.

People on the autism spectrum, both children and adults, frequently struggle with sensory issues in their day-to-day lives.

However, due to a condition known as sensory processing disorder, more and more adults are opening up about the difficulties they face with their senses.

Children and adults of any age can identify with the symptoms of the disorder, despite the fact that it is not recognized as a legitimate medical diagnosis.

Once they become parents, many adults who have never previously suffered from sensory issues report that they suddenly find that their brains become “stuck” more frequently than before.

Having children is a challenging task in and of itself.

However, if you try to block out and process the constant noise inside your home, you are sure to have a sensory breakdown.

This is something that can happen to any parent.

Do not suffer in silence if you notice that you are exhibiting some of the common signs of sensory issues, such as a lack of focus, anxiety, or irritability.

You can’t put off dealing with your sensory issues indefinitely!

Being a parent can involve an overwhelming amount of sensory input from the world around you, but there are ways to deal with this.

When you are feeling overwhelmed by the amount of sensory information available, give some of these coping strategies a try.

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What To Do About Sensory Overload

Deep Breathing

Don’t pass judgment until you’ve given it a shot.

At first, taking ridiculously deep breaths may not seem like a good idea, but they can be very helpful.

When your brain is unable to process a large amount of sensory information at the same time, you may frequently experience feelings of being overloaded, irritable, and anxious.

Focusing on your breathing is an effective way to reduce feelings of anxiety as well as irritability.

To start, take a breath in for four to six seconds and then let it out for the same amount of time.

Not only will this help you slow down your breathing, but it will also help you concentrate on counting while you are inhaling and exhaling.

You should keep doing this until you begin to feel a decrease in your irritability and anxiety.

Safe Space

Everyone has the right to have a secure area within their own home.

A location that you can retreat to whenever things get too stressful or whenever you are experiencing anxious feelings.

On the other hand, many parents have a hard time separating themselves physically from their children.

The presence of an excessive amount of noise in the home is frequently the reason why parents experience sensory overload (screaming, crying, toys, electronics, etc.).

Your children are simply acting their age, and no one is to blame for it.

However, the brain is having a very difficult time processing all of this information.

If you notice that you are becoming more irritable or anxious as a result of your children climbing on you or loud noises, you should make an effort to remove yourself from the environment.

This does not imply leaving your house completely and going somewhere else with your children.

This means finding a place in your house where you can go to get away from everyone else and have a few moments of peace and quiet to yourself.

Wherever your children are unable to disturb you for a few moments at a time.

The kitchen is where I feel most comfortable and at ease there.

When I start to feel overwhelmed, I remove myself from the situation by going into the kitchen and closing the door behind me.

Because it has a baby gate, it gives me the opportunity to take a few moments for myself to do some deep breathing and even eat a couple of pieces of chocolate without my children climbing on me or picking on me.

Ear Plugs

When it comes to sensory issues, ear plugs are a lifesaver.

Not only do they work well for children, but they also work well for adults who have issues related to their senses.

Ear plugs are something that I now consider to be an absolute necessity in my life and I truly believe that I would be unable to function properly without them.

I now wear them at home multiple times per week in order to relieve anxiety caused by the noise in the environment.

Earplugs will prevent some of the noise from reaching your ears, which will help you feel more at ease.

On the other hand, they are ideal for parents because you are able to keep an eye on your children while still being able to hear what they are doing if they are in sight.

When my children go to their rooms, I am unable to hear what they are saying.

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Weighted Blanket

When the symptoms of sensory overload are at their worst, using a weighted blanket can be an extremely helpful tool.

You should get a weighted blanket if you find that you are unable to concentrate on anything, that you are extremely irritable toward other people, or that you are on the verge of having a panic attack as a result of the sensory input.

Deep pressure from a weighted blanket can help you feel more at ease and provide you with a sense of increased protection.

Change The Temperature

Altering the temperature around you, as opposed to only focusing on the sensory input that is bothering you, has the potential to jolt your brain back into its normal thinking pattern.

Many people describe a sensory overload as their brain being “stuck.”

You can adjust the temperature by going for a walk, stepping outside for a few minutes, or splashing cold water on your face.

Other options include leaving your house for a few minutes.

When you first start to notice the symptoms of sensory overload, changing the temperature is the best thing you can do for yourself.

Identify Triggers

This is difficult to accomplish, but it is absolutely necessary in order to address the issue of sensory overload. Something that causes you to feel overwhelmed is referred to as a “trigger.”

It’s different for each and every person.

For me, a sensory trigger is whenever there are an excessive number of competing noises.

For example, while I’m trying to get some work done, if my eldest son is tearing through the house, my youngest son is babbling, and there’s a TV on in the background, then…

It’s too much for me to handle, and I’ve noticed that I’ve been getting more and more irritable, and even downright angry, as a result.

When you are going through a sensory overload or a complete sensory meltdown, you should always think about what was going on in your environment before you started having symptoms of sensory overload.

This will help you avoid having a complete sensory meltdown.

It won’t be immediately obvious how to proceed.

You will eventually be able to identify the factors that set off your anxiety, and once you do, you can implement some coping mechanisms to reduce the impact of the triggers on your brain, such as wearing earplugs or adjusting the temperature.

Turn off any unnecessary noise

Do you ever get lonely and use background noise to fill the void? I’m guilty of this!

My kids do not care or sit and watch what’s on TV, but sometimes I keep it on as background noise so I feel a little less lonely. (Motherhood is tough sometimes).

However, TV or music in the background along with all the competing noises from your children only adds to the sensory input your brain is trying desperately to process.

That’s why one of the earliest ways to help sensory overload symptoms is to turn off any unnecessary noise in your environment.

While you can’t mute your children, you can turn off any electronics and toys (hopefully) that are aiding the overall noise around you.

what to do about sensory overload

Final Thoughts

Overstimulation of the senses is not a myth! Unfortunately, the majority of the effects of sensory overload are being felt by mothers all over the world.

I’m not trying to imply that every mother has problems with sensory processing… However, more and more people are starting to take notice of them.

Dealing with sensory issues can be challenging, and it can take some time to both recognize the symptoms of sensory overload and figure out what to do about it.

It is not an easy condition to live with, and I did not become aware of my own sensory issues until after my eldest son was given a diagnosis of autism.

After that, I began to investigate all of the sensory data that was causing me discomfort.

In addition, the noise and stress only increased as a result of the increased demands, both physically and emotionally, that come with being a mother to more than one child.

More sensory input results from a larger number of children. Especially noise!

The best things you can do for sensory overload are to first recognize the symptoms of sensory overload and then make an effort to recognize the sensory triggers that cause it for you.

If you have ever experienced feelings of overwhelm, stress, or even outright anger for no apparent reason, this is a significant indication that your brain is struggling to process all the sensory input that it is receiving from the environment around you.

Instead, your brain gets “stuck,” and you find that you are unable to concentrate on anything other than the never-ending sounds of electronic devices, children’s toys, and children wailing and sobbing.

Thankfully, there are ways to alleviate this ‘sensory stress’ on your mind.

If you try some of the tips that were presented above on how to deal with sensory overload, you should feel better soon!

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