So I’m trying to figure out a (healthy and productive) way to distract myself during therapy. Not distract from the work, but do something to calm my nerves and channel some of my anxious energy into something that won’t require me to actually think.
My T has a ton of “fidget” things- cubes, putty, spinners, marbles and stones etc. I could never use any of them. But last week she had a new thing and I found it to be a really good distraction for my hands and helped me think-
Magnetic Fidget Toy Rollable Magnets Fidget Toys For Anxiety Stress Helps Focusing Link Removed
I don’t know if that’s the kind of thing you’re looking for. But I found them really soothing but not repetitive like the spinners and cubes.
I have to have a prop. It used to be a water bottle and I’d just kept drinking it constantly (a great way to stay hydrated! Lol) Now, my current t has tea so I hold that and drink that. When it’s gone I play with my shoe. He sometimes looks at my shoe as I’m holding it and I wonder what he’s thinking hahaha. But it works for me!
What a wise and creative idea! I don’t have intentional distraction items but do have some transitional rituals. I take off my jewelry at the beginning, so that I can put it back on when we are transitioning out. It’s kind of like my “armor” out in the world. Sometimes I take out my prayer beads and hold them. Otherwise I play with the buttons on my jacket, if I keep it on my lap. I might bring something else to occupy my hands next time...maybe play dough or some magnets. Thank you for this idea.
I choose a shell out of my collection each time I go to therapy. I especially like the smooth ones with interesting shapes. I also bring something soft like a small blanket or shawl. One time I brought a stuffed animal. Also my warm drink equipped with a plastic stopper is very important.
I have a smooth rock that a close friend of mine gave me. I keep it in my pocket all the time. It's definitely a grounding tool. I feel more grounded just knowing its there. Yes, I use a fidget spinner when walking outside (it's amazing how fast they can go when fuelled with anxiety).
My therapist encourages me to always have a water bottle anywhere I go. If not to drink, then to hold. No one ever stops to comment on my water bottle.
I think it's perfectly normal to need a distraction of some type while in session or out. I would imagine most therapists are very accustomed to this.
Grounding rock for sure! My Mental Health Mentor collects rocks and turned me on to this when she gave me some special ones she'd found while combing the beaches. I have them in my purse, car, shopping bag, you name it. I call them my pacifier ocean rocks and just feeling their texture and weight/solidness in my hands brings me back to myself and grounds me in the present. Highly recommended!
Hahaha I have both a smooth rock and a really quiet spinner! @stp2012 and @Julesy you guys are on my level. My pocket rock has been with me every day for the better part of two and a half years :) my old therapist gave it to me and I find it really comforting.
I just need something that distracts me a tiny bit more. The rock is perfect for grounding and sometimes the spinner is good, but not always. Hmmmmm
Sometimes my T and I play Uno while we talk. It’s been super helpful for me, especially when disclosing some harder, grosser stuff. It’s nice knowing he’s not looking at me 100% of the time! And it adds a few lighter moments (like when one of us calls out Uno) in a really dark, difficult session. I’d imagine it might be too distracting for a lot of people, but for me it helps me relax and open up more.