According to the dictionary, the word cope generally means to successfully deal with or handle something that is difficult. Another dictionary refers to it as overcoming problems and difficulties.
While I’m not sure how successful I am, I’ve developed decent ways of coping with my severe sensory problems. I am a good coper…sometimes.
People cope in their own way. People with sensory problems like myself have to resort to coping in strange ways. Let’s explore some of those ways in which people with sensory problems cope:
1. DEEP PRESSURE
Those of us with wacky sensory junk have a strange affliction for the sensation of touch. We hate it. We love it. If you’re like me, you can’t stand light touches, but love deep pressure. To fulfill my need for sensory stability, I need a buddy. Usually my sister, the helpless victim to my needs:
Ahh, sisterly bonding at its finest.
Another great way to soothe sensory-related anxiety is to go for a walk or run. The feeling of your feet on the ground can be very stabilizing. But be careful, sometimes walking when overstimulated can leave you dizzy and freaky-looking (see my post about turning into a T-REX).
As I was saying, walking and running can be great.
Unless you are a weirdo like me, and since toddlerhood have been pacing for hours in confined spaces, like a bathroom.
INITIATE LAUNCH SEQUENCE. TURBO ENGINES….GOOO!
Fun Fact: I still do this all the time. Also, I’m still single. AMAZING, I know.
3. ROCKING CHAIR-ING
On the 8th day, God made the rocking chair, so people with sensory problems can experience its glory and power. That day, praises for the chair were sung by all the angels…..all five of them. They sang really loud to compensate for the lack of angels:
The rocking chair and I fell in deep, disgusting love. Cheesy one-liners starting appearing:
The movement of being in a rocking chair is so wonderful – so calming to my sensory system – I feel as if I’m being transported through space, through time even! It’s like the twilight zone, except, it’s not. It’s just me in a chair.
Then something like this happens:
4. BICYCLE RIDING
So this one may not be for everyone. But this works for me….and this is my blog. So there.
I very much enjoy bike riding. The combo of using my legs to push the pedals and using my arms to hold and steer myself provides great relief when I’m overstimulated. I would ride my bike more often, except I live in a fairly rural area of New York. I can’t ride without fear of this happening:
I’ve mentioned brushing in a previous post (Occupational Therapy Adventure). Sensory brushes are great as they provide deep pressure to numerous parts of the body. I like the consistency that brushing provides, and I also like that I can control it myself. What person with SPD doesn’t love control, AM I RIGHT?
The only strange part about using brushing to cope with sensory issues is that it can be rather odd to tell someone about. For instance:
And that’s how the cookie crumbles. I have many other less boring but still strange ways of coping with my SPD, as I’m sure many of you do as well, but I’m going to end it here. Moral of today’s post: if a Hollister model dressed in a fancy suit wants to take you out for a nice dinner date, don’t tell him you have to brush yourself for 40 minutes (even if you DO). This has never happened to me, but when it does, I will be ready. I will be PRE-BRUSHED.