"Why is everything working against me, my head's so noisy. I just want it to stop shouting"
Can you relate to this feeling?
Our sensory environment has a huge impact on our mental health wellbeing. Sometimes we can all feel this way but not really understand the reasons why.
As shown in Bonnies example above, it can be an accumulation of many irritants together that makes us feel this way. - Stressed, Worried, Tired, Anxious and Fearful.
Let's set the scene...
For example, you're not sleeping well as there is too much light coming into your room. The bedsheets are baggy, twisted and itchy and you've been woken up in the wrong way with a repetitive, loud and annoying alarm or the dripping of a tap! Your home is unorganised and your bedroom is messy so you can't find your keys, often you get frantic trying to locate them.
Last nights dinner is still out and your whole home smells of cold Spag-bol and your clothes too.
As the day goes on these sensory irritants just keep coming... you're running late for a meeting and you catch every stop light en route. Maybe your tube is delayed and you are stuck in a hot, suffocating tunnel with hundreds of other irritated people. Just a handful of everyday situations that we encounter all the time!
Day by day, these patterns repeat in many different ways. Likewise, as a population of both Neuro-typical and Neuro-diverse people (children and adults) we all react in different ways to them. Spectrum disorders such as Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), Attention-Deficit-Hypo-Disorder (ADHD) Autism, Dyspraxia, Dyslexia etc... all have extra needs to be considered in managing senses.
These spectrum conditions can create extreme reactions to sensory overloads and lows. Noisy minds can even ignite the Fear, Fight & Flight responses. Please click the link below where you will find much more information surrounding this topic in an Article collaborated on by myself, Kate Burt- HOUZZ Editor, Pippa Jameson- Stylist, Author of The Sensory Home & consultant and Stephanie Kyle- Architect & Design Consultant at Maber. Along with other experts we delve into experiences and share top tips for Sensory Living.
So, What can we do? ...
It's true that we are not able to manage and eliminate all sensory irritations. However, in our own homes and lives we do have a level of control that can make a positive impact.
Understanding our senses and our sensory triggers is absolutely key in managing them effectively.
Lets Talk Senses - what are they?
Sight, Sound, Smell, Taste and Touch - These are just 5 quick words to say but they are our only connections with the world around us.
So all of our senses have a direct impact on us, our wellbeing and happiness. If just of them one is damaged, the others are heightened.
They are incredibly powerful! for example. Listening to music while studying can help you later recall what you have learned when hearing that music again.
Smells can bring back fond memories of people and places, and a loving warm hug can melt away most worries and is a miracle medicine. I personally love being outside and the sound of crisp, crunching leaves, the cold air on my face and being surrounded by all the seasonal colours from a brisk Autumn walk. Then returning home to a crackling fire, candles on and hot coffee.
What can we do?- The plan!
As an Interior Designer and mother of a Neuro-diverse household, I have firsthand experience of how we can improve our own environments and create Sensory aware homes.
Over the coming months into 2024 I plan to bring together the best advice and top tips, including interviews and experiences on creating a sensory haven for each room in our homes. These will be budget friendly ways to add or make adjustments including the use of Colour & Pattern, Smell, Lighting, Sound, Textures, Sight and Organising Spaces- (tidy house encourages a tidy mind) and also cover ways of bringing nature and the outside in! Positive environments create calmer and contented lives. Here's whats to come!
Starting with "OUR WELCOME HOME" - How does your home Entrance make you feel?
Followed by: Lounge/Living/Kitchens/Dining/Bathrooms/Working from home/Outside.
-Please let me know if you want anything else included!
Join us on this indulgent Sensory journey and let's see and share all the outcomes together.