Stimming, fidgets, and other helpful tools

Stimming is a term used to describe a repetitive behavior used to self sooth or emotionally regulate.There are a wide variety of stimming behaviors, even in our home each person has their own unique way to emotionally regulate.

Growing up I had two ways that I self regulated. I would either draw m’s on the back of my teeth with my tongue over and over again. I also would count things in the room with just my eyes. I would bounce from one object to another skipping one in between. I always preferred odd numbers because I could land on the last item in the room.

CC has a very obvious stimming routine that he does every day. He jogs from one end of a room to the other, while making a whooshing sound. Sometimes he spins his arms in circles while doing this. Usually he will do this for about 15 minutes at a time, several times a day. Being able to homeschool my children allows him to take a mental break after each assignment and self regulate.

KC has had a few stimming behaviors over the years. She used to rub a mole on my arm when she was younger. Or frantically tap the keys on an old computer keyboard. When she is stressed she currently picks dead skin off, dirt under nails, etc.

As an adult I have found more socially acceptable stims that seem to be more effective. One is eating sunflower seeds. I repeatedly break the shell off in my mouth and eat the seed. It is extremely satisfying. I specifically get the Kettle flavor because it has the least amount of salt and doesn’t hurt my mouth. I also like these rings. When I need to fidget, I roll the ring up and down my fingers. It is relaxing. Another item I use for self soothing is what I call a hug shirt. Most women use these to shape their body in a desirable appearance. I feel amazingly calm while wearing one of these. I typically get a size too small. I also like my new spinner ring. There are many different styles, but this is the one I own. I almost forgot my earbuds. These are great to keep my hands free, I really struggle to stay still. I have to keep moving. Also, if I am somewhere that is overstimulating by the sounds, I simply put the earbuds in and it blocks most of the sound. I can still make out some conversation. Here is a version I own.

My kids also enjoy weighted blankets, which are now more affordable at Walmart.