Calm in the Midst of Chaos
When things get crazy in my world, I crave calm and peace. And I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but things are really crazy right now. When chaos is swirling around me, I find myself looking for ways to create calm. Here are some things that work for me that I hope work for you and your family too.
Puzzles: You might have noticed that good old-fashioned jig-saw puzzles are popular right now, and for good reason. Puzzles help people relax. Concentrating on one piece at a time helps lower blood pressure and encourage mindfulness; something desperately needed in times of chaos. Also it’s fantastic to take a puzzle from a mess to a fabulous picture. It’s a physical manifestation of bringing order to chaos.
Doing a puzzle means you have accomplished something difficult, and created something amazing. This holds true no matter the age. Small children can reap the same benefits from doing 24 piece floor puzzles that adults can from doing larger ones.
5-4-3-2-1: This grounding technique has been getting a lot of press lately. Grounding is taking your thoughts away from all the frustrations of the past and worries of the future and centering them squarely in the present. This technique is great for falling asleep or calming children with anxiety.
Have your child sit for a moment and count 5 things that they can see, 4 things they can hear, 3 things they can touch, 2 things they can smell, and 1 thing they can taste. Taking the time to do this allows your child’s brain to break away from the worries and can bring a moment of peace. The picture shows toy ideas that would accomplish each of those things. They can be a starting point for you to find creative ways to do this with your child.
One final option, especially for children (but I’ll be honest, I love it too) is creating a box or basket of different kinds of fidget toys that have different textures. This creates a sensory experience to take children's minds off all the crazy in the world.
You could put stress balls, Koosh balls, Thinking putty, What’zit, Magic Springs, and small games or brainteasers. This basket would be a treasure basket for kids of all ages to find things to have that sensory experience, but also play with and enjoy.
Other relaxing activities include building toys, like bricks and Metal Earth, arts and craft projects to help children express themselves (especially helpful since they may not know how to say what they’re feeling), and physical toys to encourage movement.
I hope some of these options bring peace to your world like they have to mine.