How To Build a Sensory Bin

sensory bin with colorful toys
Everyone gets stressed and overwhelmed. One way to regulate big feelings is to use sensory interventions to help calm your body and mind and process your thoughts. If you use sensory approaches to help control your emotions, you can make a sensory bin whenever you feel anxious. Keeping all of your favorite sensory toys in one spot makes it easier to deal with emotions when you're feeling overwhelmed. Here are four steps to get your sensory bin started: 1. Identify your primary sense Everyone has senses that are more sensitive than others. Think about which of your senses are most perceptive to [...]

Sensory Tools and Toys

sensory intervention items
Using sensory interventions can help regulate your body when you're in a stressful or overwhelming situation. By utilizing one of your senses, your mind and body can focus on a specific stimulus, which will ground you and calm your thoughts. Sensory tools and toys can help with this. How do sensory interventions work? The first step to successful sensory intervention is to assess which of your senses is most perceptive to stimulation. Once you choose between touch, taste, sound, sight, and smell, you can focus on that sense as a grounding exercise. Stimulate the primary sense you've chosen any [...]

Sensory Interventions

a large head with circles inside representing the five senses
Everyone gets stressed out. Kids and adults alike can have trouble regulating their emotions when they are in an overwhelming environment. This is called dysregulation, which happens when the body's threat response is triggered. Sensory interventions can help! Sensory Interventions When you're feeling stressed or overwhelmed, your body goes into a threat response mode, where you feel like you can't control your emotions or process your thoughts. This is where sensory interventions come in. A sensory intervention is something you can use to distract yourself from a stressor. It could be [...]

Mental Health Books

mental health books
To celebrate Mental Health Month, we asked our therapists to give recommendations for books related to mental health. Looking to improve your everyday life? Want to learn more about different mental health issues? Diving deeper into the art of therapy? Healing from trauma or addiction? Raising little ones and want to get them started off on the right foot when it comes to mental health? Our providers have great suggestions for all of that! Here are the mental health books they recommend. No matter where you are in your mental health journey, there's a book to help you. Choose the route that [...]

Dealing with Stress in Children

Stress squiggles inside a thought bubble
Stress is a normal part of life. It affects everyone from babies to the elderly. However, stress manifests differently in children and adolescents. Stress in children might look a little different, but there are still tools you can use to cope. What is stress? Stress is a physical and emotional response to a situation that is perceived as demanding or threatening. Where does stress come from for kids? Stress can come from a variety of sources for children and adolescents such as: Changes in their home life Conflict with peers School demands Societal pressure perceived through social media Any [...]

Holiday Stress: Dealing with Family

Family sitting at dinner table in background of a Christmas tree
Holidays are synonymous with family gatherings. Whether that excites you or causes a knot to form in your stomach, there are always family members you might not want to deal with. Help alleviate some of your holiday stress with these tips on dealing with difficult situations during family holidays. Questions to Ask When Handling Conflict Is this my battle? Asking yourself, "Is this my battle?" can help you decide if this should land on your shoulders. If you are concerned with how your children are parenting their kids or with how your sister is being treated by her husband, consider if the [...]

Halloween: A Tricky Situation

Child in costume holding a pumpkin basket with parents sitting on couch in background
Among the goblins, ghouls, and other ghastly beings that emerge during the month of October is something else truly haunting: a child who’s been traumatized by something they've seen during Halloween. Children may react negatively to costumes, decorations, or movies that are unfamiliar or too scary to process. Bad dreams, stomachaches, and headaches can indicate that the child has more fright than delight. They may become more clingy or nervous, suddenly be afraid of the dark, or not want to go trick-or-treating. How To Tell When Halloween Is Too Scary & What To Do Parents should watch their [...]

12 Fun Ways to Regulate Big Emotions

Playful regulation blog header image
Little bodies can be stressed with big emotions. Frustration, anger, and anxiety can bubble up quickly and be hard to rein in without the right tools. Learning how to regulate these feelings can be fun! Lots of regulation strategies for kids can actually look just like play. Children can experience a variety of mental health issues, including: Anxiety and Depression Attachment Disorder ADHD/ADD Autism Spectrum Disorders Early Childhood Mental Health Issues Behavior Issues Childhood Trauma Sensory Processing Disorders/Difficulties And More Many Village counselors are specially trained to [...]

How Worrying Can Get the Best of Us

Girl thinking about future with worrisome scribble near her head
As humans, we tend to worry. We worry about what might happen tomorrow, next week, or maybe even later today. If we draw breath, we’re susceptible to worrying. While none of us are alone in the worry-wart business, worrying is unique to mankind and to the future. We don’t worry about what happened in the past, only the effect of those events on the future. I also don’t believe we humans will ever be free from worrying; rather, managing worry appears to be the challenge. Sometimes our worries are well-founded. They prompt us to take action – hopefully positive action – to reduce, redirect, or [...]

Accepting Reality When You Know You Can't Change It

animated woman opening curtain
Sometimes in life we end up in situations we can’t change. Radical acceptance is all about fully accepting reality in situations that are beyond your control. This doesn’t mean you approve of the situation, are giving up, or that it isn’t painful. You are still allowed to (and should!) feel however you feel, but by accepting that it is what it is, you give the problem less power over you and you can begin to move forward. Practicing radical acceptance has been shown to reduce feelings of shame, guilt, and anxiety, and it can reduce distress in dealing with negative thoughts or events. Mental [...]