The end of March marks the start of the ‘testing’ season for student’s in the elementary, middle, and high schools. These high stakes tests are stressful for everyone, but imagine the stress your loved one might be experiencing knowing these tests are looming in the near future. Your loved one may appear more irritable or extremely giddy. Your loved one may want to sleep more or have more energy than you’ve ever seen. You may be eaten out of house and home or begging your loved one to eat just something. Stress looks different on everyone, but what is a parent or caregiver to do?
Helping your loved one cope with high stress situations is a life lesson that will span the ages. Helping your loved one not only cope with the stress, but providing much needed relief can make these days and weeks less ….. stressful.
You know your loved on the best and can probably tell their stress level just be the look in their eye. Unfortunately, being able to relieve that stress may take more convincing and patience on your part.
Create a ‘stress-less zone’. Make a special corner of a bedroom or living room the ‘stress-less zone’. A comfy pillow and cozy blanket may be the needed tools. Consider some music (some students prefer the louder the better rather than quiet music) and lighting (dim or bright) as the invisible walls of the ‘stress-less area’. Aromatherapy may be an option to add to the stress-less zone. Expensive oils may or may not be needed; consider an old t-shirt with familiar perfume or cologne on it or a stuffed animal with powder on it – any smell that is soothing to your loved one.
Create a ‘crash zone’ for your loved one. An old mattress or gym pads on the floor or a mini trampoline may provide just the place to for your loved one to ‘crash’ into at the end of the day. Old school blow up punching doll or an actual punching page may prove to be effective tools to de-stress. A few empty cardboard boxes that can be stomped and crushed may also be great additions to this area.
Create a ‘silent zone’ for your loved one. An area that is void of all stimuli. An area in the corner of a closet may be just the spot to recenter and decompress. Make the area as simple as possible with a mat or a single pillow. Remove as much visual and auditory clutter as possible. A place where silence is truly golden.
Create a ‘zone’ for your loved one that is combination of the few mentioned here and those that you know work best. Take the time to designate the space and materials to creating these ‘zones’. Your loved one may not be able to express how much it is appreciated or how they enjoy their special zone, but you will know by the look in their eye.
Yours in Speech,
Lakeshore Speech, LLC.