Last night at the dinner table we all went around and talked about things that helped calm us down. And there turned out to be an interesting link between the things that irritate the heck out of us and the things we find calming.
12yo pointed out that he was particularly sensitive to sights and sounds. Crowds and loud noises bothered him more than anything else. And when he needed to calm down, he would want to be in a dark place (limiting sight) and listening to music (sound).
8yo who is particularly sensitive to touch calms himself with super-soft blankets and pillows.
"What helps you calm down, mom?"
I don't know. What does help me calm down? Beading?
"Knitting used to, when you knit."
Ummm... my spouse. Being with your dad helps me calm down.
"Because he is silent and looming?"
Yes. Because he is silent and looming.
This turned into a very giggly argument between the children on whether the creation of a giant, looming, silent monster would also be a calming influence on me.
But I also realized that I needed a refresher in things (besides Spouse) that help me calm down. (The fact that Spouse was my go-to answer for calm makes a great deal of sense when I look back to my clingiest days when the bipolar hypomanic stuff was not really under control.)
Things that help me calm down
Quaker, teacher, parent,