MINI-SERIES: SELF CARE FOR ADHD BRAINS
When we think self care, we might imagine getting a massage at a day spa, doing some retail therapy or a trip to the hairdresser. While these are definitely ways to care for our bodies and self-give, they involve going to busy or stimulating environments where it's hard to switch off.
People with ADHD often report that they have hypersensitivity or highly sensitive nervous systems - with moderate or extreme sensitivity to touch, light, sound and smell, as well as easily experiencing overstimulation in conversation, and claustrophobia in crowds or energetic environments.
So, really, at the basis of all self care needs to be the core self care act of tending to our nervous system, particularly when we've been around groups of people or high-energy/intensity environments a lot, and are over-stimulated.
I call this core level of self care nervous system nourishment.
One of my favourite ways to nourish my nervous system is by creating a 'sensory cocoon'
Sensory cocooning is simply a way to create an intentional low-stimulation mini-world for yourself, no matter how busy life gets around you.
A sensory cocoon is a no-fuss, free way to nourish your nervous system, and best of all you can do it almost anywhere (including leaving work and sitting your car!). You just need a spot with some level of privacy and a few of the items below - most of which you should have already (or simply make substitutes).
Here's how to cocoon and nourish your nervous system!
Grab these items you have in your house:
- cushion & blanket (optional if you're at work/in your car)
- eye mask/scarf
- phone *on do not disturb*
I recommend noise cancelling headphones for the best possible somatic experience, otherwise any good quality headphones should work fine. Headphones do help create that 'isolating/cocooning' experience.
Types of sound you can try in your sensory cocoon
There are so many options out there when it comes to sound bathing, so try out a few and see what resonates with your mind & body. Let your body guide you through this sensory experience and listen to what it likes or finds relaxing.