Wellness Baseline

The Wonder of Weighted Blankets

So have you heard of weighted blankets? They have been around since about 2008, but are really making an appearance right now.  They are commonly used by Occupational Therapists and can have a calming effect on children experiencing anxiety disorders, or children that have autism, sensory processing disorder or adhd.  I find them intriguing for a few reasons.  

First, when my son (who is ADHD Inattentive like me) was much, much younger (around the age of 2-3 years old) he would end bath time by asking me to "wrap him up like a taco".  It was a game we played each night.  He would get out of the tub and do this little dance, hopping around from one foot to the other, and say "mom,  mom, wrap me up like a taco, please"! I don't remember what started this, but the way this worked was I would lay his towel out on the floor and he would lay down on one end of it and I would roll him up in the towel fairly snug. I'd then scoop him up until he dried off.  Something about the blanket wrapped around him was comforting.  I remember he just loved it.  We laugh about it now.  As a side note, in 6th grade he announced that his dream job would be to work at Taco Bell.  Fast forward to the age of 18 and he still loves tacos, but that's where the taco obsession ends.

I've also noticed that I have always liked to be snug in my bed.  It's the way that I sleep the best.  Even when the weather's warm, I'll turn the temperature in the room down so that I can sleep with a heavier blanket on top.  Also, if I'm sitting downstairs watching tv with my hubby, I always have a blanket on my lap.  It just feels, more comfy.

I've not really ever made the connection between these things and weighted blankets.  I have to say, it does have me curious.  Weighted blankets are not hard to find, but they are pricey! Although if they do what they say they will do, they would be well worth it. As a general guideline, your blanket should weigh about 10% of your ideal body weight if you're an adult.  If you are making or ordering the blanket for a child, it should weigh 5% of their body weight + 1 or 2 lbs.   

A few places to look for a weighted blanket are Etsy and Amazon.  There's even a DIY version that I'm gonna try and make.  You can find the instructions here on the MamaSmiles Website.  I'll do a follow up and let you know how easy or difficult that is and to share the pictures of my completed project.

For more information, check out this short video that I shared last week on my Facebook Page. What's been your experience with weighted blankets? Have you heard of them before? 

Happy Friday! ~Shaun

5 Strategies to Reduce Overwhelm

ADHD and Overwhelm

 1) Take a walk in nature. There is something about being in nature that helps to "reset" the mind. The energy feels different. I found this website interesting re:research that has been done on the benefits of "forest bathing" or shinrin yoku. http://www.shinrin-yoku.org/

2) Schedule a weekly Power Hour. I am a huge fan of this podcast http://gretchenrubin.com/podcast/. Each week, they start the podcast with a simple change to make at home to increase happiness. One of the tips was schedule a weekly Power Hour, just to take care of those things that have no specific deadline but are annoying "tolerances" in our lives. I find that the Power Hour helps me to greatly reduce overwhelm.

3) Wear headphones and/or listen to music when you need to knock out a specific task in a timely manner. I'm a fan of the app Focus At Will (https://www.focusatwill.com/), but there are free options if you Google "music to help you focus".

4) Do a brain dump. List out every single thing that is on your mind that needs to get done. Set a timer for 10 minutes and have at it. After you have the list, break each item into manageable chunks.

5) Selective hyperfocus. Allow yourself to hyperfocus on the things that will have the biggest positive effect in your life. Those BIG to do's? Schedule in a hyperfocus day and get it knocked out. The relief that you feel may be well worth the singular focus for a day.

Feeling overwhelmed? Sometimes a good 1:1 chat can help. I'm an ADHD/Wellness Coach that offers free 45 minute mini-sessions.  Click the image below, pick a time.  It's that simple.  I'd love to talk and find out where you're headed. ~Shaun