MSE Lab Digital Resources

Home-Based Sensory Solutions

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Image from Blessing Manifesting
Daily Calm Live Stream: The Breathing Space

Self-Care for the Caregiver

This issue of Home-Based Sensory Solutions will feature a collection of all of my favorite self-care items, many of which speak to the senses. Whenever I am feeling overly stressed, out of my element or just plain "off" I turn to some of the resources that you will see below. Be it a book, a certain technique or even an app, many of these resources help me to decompress, return to a state of gratitude and balance my brain and body.


This issue is directed to all of the wonderful caregivers, front-line workers, health practitioners, parents, guardians, friends etc who show up daily to support another. I know it has been especially stressful over these past few months. The care you have provided has not gone unnoticed and I hope you can find something that speaks to you within this issue.

The Calm App

The Daily Calm

Calm is an incredible app that I have used both personally, at home, but also professionally in the MSE Lab with clients. From daily meditations to music to sleep support to guided stories, this app truly has it all. Calm offers a 7 day free trial (which you can opt out of after the 7 days if you find it isn't for you). However, over the past couple of months Calm actually live-streamed their "daily calm" meditations on YouTube.


I personally start my mornings with the "daily calm" which is their signature 10 minute meditation. Each day, this meditation focuses on a different theme and is a great way to draw awareness to your breath, mood and set an intention for your day.



I have included one called "The Breathing Space" below for you to try.


Enjoy!


Calm. (October 2, 2020). Daily calm live stream: the breathing space [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSW-kMpnpB0

Daily Calm Live Stream: The Breathing Space

Grounding Technique

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5-4-3-2-1

Whenever I find myself entering into a cycle of thinking that really doesn't serve me, I deploy the "5-4-3-2-1 Coping Technique". Your brain cannot think two thoughts at the exact same time... it is literally impossible! I love the 5-4-3-2-1 technique because it breaks my negative thinking patterns while also grounds me via my senses and changes my attention to the here and now aka. the present.


I know it may seem like a lot of work or thinking, but I encourage you to give it a shot next time you find yourself out of sorts. It is also just a really good way to bring yourself back to the present moment, enrich your senses and reinforce that you are part of something far bigger than yourself!


Destress Monday. (March 20, 2020). Unwind this monday with the 5-4-3-2-1 coping technique. Retrieved from https://www.mondaycampaigns.org/destress-monday/unwind-monday-5-4-3-2-1-coping-technique

Grab your Favourite Book

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The Art of Making Memories

I am a big reader, always have been. I love getting lost in someone else's story just as much as I love to learn. Lately I have really been into reading non-fiction books; books that open up my mind and my soul.


My favorite book right now is called "The Art of Making Memories". The Author of this fantastic little book (I say little, because it really is tiny!) is the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen. He takes you through how to create and remember happy moments in your life. He even has a whole chapter titled "make it multisensory"!


To me one of the key goals and outcomes of self-care work is an increase in happiness and an overall feeling of contentment. This wee book offers you a welcomed break to learn about ways that you can harness, create and remember happy times... something we could all use more of in the present day.


Take a look at the short video clip I have included below of the author introducing "The Art of Making Memories".


Waterstones. (September 19, 2019). Meik Wiking on the art of making memories. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VChqLZZdEj8

Meik Wiking on The Art of Making Memories

Podcasts!

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On Being

If I can't sleep at night, if I'm going for a walk or if I just need a plain old break from work I always find solace in podcasts. Much like the realm of books, podcasts are an invitation into someone else's world or point of view. I love everything from true crime to celebrity gossip to personal development.


One of my all-time favourite podcasts is called "On Being". The host takes you, the listener on a journey of what it means to be human while asking you to reflect on questions such as how do we want to live and who will we be to each other? Just like the 5-4-3-2-1 technique, Krista's podcast reminds you that you are but a grain of sand on the beach... a part of something far larger than yourself.


I personally value this podcast because it allows me the opportunity to step outside of my own problems or stressors, even if it is just for 45 minutes, and focus on other thought provoking material.


Give this one a try, or if nothing else, search out a podcast that does interest you and give yourself permission to take a break and simply listen :)


You can find "On Being" on the app store on any smart device but you can also listen to her podcasts via the computer. I have included the link below.

Get Oily!

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Image from Saje- Ingredient Garden

Essential Oils

Finally, whenever I am feeling especially drained or need a little "pick-me-up" I turn to my essential oils. There is sooooo much information out there and so many different companies that sell essential oils (we all have our preference); but the most important thing is not necessarily where you get the oils but how and why you use them!


Sense of smell has a direct connection to one of the oldest and most primitive areas of the brain; the limbic system. The limbic system deals with memories and emotions. This means that essential oils (which we smell) can have a direct impact on our brain (the limbic system) and more importantly our emotions. How cool is that? Through essential oils you "essentially" (no pun intended) have the ability to positively impact or change your mood!


I tend to use essential oils from Saje, a Canadian company, but like I said, we all have our preferences. However, for the purpose of this digital newsletter I am going to link Saje's website as a learning tool/resource.


Take some time to explore the pure essential oils and their healing benefits. One of my absolute favourite mood boosters is peppermint for its fresh and exhilarating properties. I love to take a drop or two of peppermint in the palms of my hand, rub them together quickly and then cup my hands over my nose and take 3 deep breaths. This simple little routine helps me to reset, take a mindful moment and instantly makes the weight of the world feel a little less heavy. What's your favourite oil/smell?


saje.com/ca