One in every six children has sensory processing difficulties, according to Medical News Today. However, these difficulties can affect adults as well and can make moving into a new home and neighborhood quite tricky - whether you’re the one who is experiencing the matter or your children are. With tactile issues like new flooring to neighborhood noise, one can quickly feel lost handling it all before becoming overstimulated. But thankfully, there are ways to handle a multitude of these issues, from incorporating calming activities into your routine to tweaking minor things to your specifications and making the place feel more like home.
Navigating New Neighborhood Noise
Depending on where you’ve moved to, neighborhood noise can be particularly challenging to adjust to and can even become too much at times. Whether during the day or at night, noises like traffic, dogs barking, or neighbors partying can all disrupt your peace and cause you to lose sleep. However, it can be managed to a certain degree - for example, drowning out some of the noise can be done via incorporating more furniture and sound-reducing curtains into your new home, which will help absorb some of the outdoor sounds.
On the other hand, preventing sensory overload can also be managed by using noise-canceling headphones, which can be particularly useful if the noise is more of a temporary issue, like with outdoor construction or noisy neighborhood parties. And, for the moments when you need to focus or sleep, a noisy atmosphere can be drowned out by a white noise machine. However, if the noise is related to a specific neighbor such as one who has a dog that barks all hours of the day and night, then addressing the issue by starting a conversation may be the simplest answer to the problem.
How Calming Activities Can Help
Should you or your child experience sensory overload due to your new housing situation - regardless of the cause - taking part in a calming activity can be a great way to calm down and stay grounded. Aside from common relaxation techniques like meditation or outdoor yoga, getting artistic through relaxing activities like painting or drawing is another wonderful way to do this, especially if you’re unable to go outside due to weather conditions. One idea is to draw nature, which is well known for being calming, and can be achieved by focusing on a specific animal or insect. And, when done in a room in your new house, you can familiarize yourself with the space while associating it with relaxation.
The Benefits of Small Adjustments
When having just moved into a new home, it’s possible that you may find additional sensory issues within the house that you may not have noticed before - such as tactile sensory issues regarding hardwood floors or too harsh of lighting in certain rooms. However, it’s important to remember that these things can be fixed through small adjustments and make your new house feel more like home. For example, while hardwood floors can be fixed by installing carpet, a quicker fix can be done by putting area rugs to good use. With various textures and styles, there’s a lot to choose from that will help you make the flooring situation as comfortable as possible.
When it comes to the harsh lighting, avoiding sensory issues can also be done by making minor adjustments. Installing a dimmer switch is just one idea that will allow you to adjust the lighting to your specific specifications and is especially beneficial in rooms like the living room, where bright and soft lights can be used when needed. Additional adjustments throughout the house, such as installing blackout curtains in the bedroom will also make a huge difference if you happen to have strong, overbearing lighting coming in through certain rooms like the bedroom. This will help you to get a better night’s sleep, which is particularly important as fatigue and sleep deprivation can cause sensory overload.
If you’ve just moved into a new home and you or your child happen to experience sensory processing issues, it’s vital to keep in mind that these can be mitigated through various solutions. From reducing new neighborhood noise in innovative ways to making minor adjustments to prevent tactile and visual sensory overload within the home itself, there’s a solution for everything.