Self-calming techniques


There is a mix of techniques for older and younger kids so pick and choose what works for your family. Honestly, mom and dad might need these, too!

  1. Magic Mustache. Place your index finger across your “mustache area” and apply pressure. Count to 10.
  2. Push the Wall Down. Put both hands flat against a wall, shoulder-width apart. Lock your elbows and push against the wall.
  3. Coloring Therapy. More details here.
  4. Zen Drawing. Check out Zendoodles or Zentangles.
  5. Smell the soup (breathe in), cool the soup (blow out).
  6. Take a walk.
  7. Journaling. Provide  safe, secure place for keeping journals and don’t push them to share what he writes but be willing to talk about it if he offers. Allowing him to shred or burn it after writing it may be an option as well.
  8. Reading. The act of reading activates the logical, regulatory part of the brain. Getting lost in an engaging story can also provide respite from dysregulated kids (if you’re a parent) or from the scariness of intimacy (if you’re a child).
  9. Yoga. This could probably be a whole post by itself but check out this kid-friendly resource.
  10. Dancing. Silly dance parties may create great connection, and older kids may benefit from dance games like Xbox’s Dance Central.
  11. Music. Listening to music or creating music. Drums anyone?
  12. Punching bag. Substitute a pillow or large stuffed animal if you don’t have an actual bag.
  13. Yawn. Releases tension and sneaks in a deep breath.
  14. Chew gum. Great proprioceptive input.
  15. Swinging. Great vestibular input.
  16. Tapping.
  17. Calming bottles.

Do you have anything to add to our list? We’d love to hear from you.

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