Sensory Tips to Survive the Festive Season
This time of the year can be a connecting, magical, fun, overwhelming, frustrating, restful and hilariously crazy time! Today we want to give you some tips to survive the festive season, using your senses. We know that the December holidays can be a mixture of amazing and frustrating experiences. If you live in Cape Town, traffic definitely increases exponentially and a 10-minute drive can take you an hour. Last minute shopping might have you dashing to the mall, along with thousands of others, navigating your way through Christmas decorations and Jingle Bell songs. If you have children you will find that they are picking up on the festivities – which means more energy! We haven’t even mentioned the big F yet… FAMILY! Spending holidays with your family can be stressful at times.
All of the above might have you wondering how you are going to survive the festive season. Not to fear – we are here to share our TOP 3 TIPS TO SURVIVE THE FESTIVE SEASON, using your senses!
- Our number one tip is: Remember to take a sensory break. All the sounds, smells, tastes, colours and movement of the festive season can overload your senses. Make sure you take 10 – 15 minutes every day to unwind and calm down. This break can be anything from taking a quick walk outside, closing your eyes and taking deep breaths, turning down the radio and driving in silence or any other sensory break you feel your body needs.
- Our second tip is: Spend time in nature. Many of you will be going to the beach or camping near a mountain and this provides the ideal opportunity to get outside. Spending time in nature means you will probably walk, run or climb, which will use your movement systems to self-regulate. The silence of nature is also a great auditory break. And the natural colours give your visual system calming input. The importance of nature can not be over-stated. So whether this means a walk on the beach, or park run at Johannesburg Zoo – get outside!
- Our third tip: Adopt an attitude of gratitude. If we focus on the things we are grateful for, we are less likely to become stressed and overwhelmed. We can literally change the pathways in our brains to improve well-being this season. Sitting in traffic because you left shopping too late? Be thankful that you have friends and family to get gifts for. Fighting over what’s to make for Christmas lunch? Be thankful for the delicious food that you have when others don’t. You can even take the next step and volunteer your time somewhere where you can give back to someone in need. Or donate old clothes and books to a place near you. Focusing on what you have to be grateful for, and giving back to someone less fortunate, is after all what this time of the year is all about.
Any more tips and ideas to share with us on how to survive the festive season? Let us know!
Do you want your own, personalised guide to well-being simply by using your senses? Find out more about our Sensory Matrix here: http://sensoryintelligence.net/sensory-matrix/
Written by Karlien Terblanche, a specialist facilitator with Sensory Intelligence® Consulting, with a special focus on adults and corporate groups. She holds a Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Stellenbosch and specialises in the field of mental health. She has extensive experience in the area of sensory integration in adults and is currently exploring sensory mindfulness as a preventative strategy in mental health and wellness. She is passionate about working with both individual clients and groups and aims to guide her clients to reach their full potential. She fully believes every person can become the hero of their own story.