Often shower time can mean more time to think about the things that you have to do in the day or to worry about things you didn’t get to the previous day.  It is time to change that.  The mindful shower exercise is a wonderful & simple way to be present in and savor the moment. 

Step into your shower & turn on the water.  Notice the sound of the water.  Notice how different it sounds when you are standing under the shower head versus when the water just hits the shower floor.  Feel the sensation of the water on your body.  Be aware of how it easily flows over your skin.  What is the temperature like? Hot, warm, cool? What sensations do you notice on your skin? What does the floor of the shower feel like under your feet? Take in all the smells – of your body wash, soap, or shampoo.

 If you notice yourself caught up in thoughts, that’s OK.  Notice your thoughts and then go back to just being with the activity of taking a shower.

·         Most importantly, enjoy this activity. The shower is a wonderful opportunity to be present and awake.

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Taking Care of Ourselves: A stress reduction workshop for parents & caregivers of children with special needs

Parenting a child with special needs can be stressful.  It is important to learn to manage that stress instead of letting it manage you! In this workshop you will learn simple stress management and relaxation skills that will enable you to self-soothe.

When: Wednesday May 15, 2013 @ 730-9pm

Where: Watch me Grow, 361 East 19th St. @ 1st Ave., Top floor, New York, NY 10003

http://www.watchmegrownyc.com

Cost: FREE

RSVP via email to Sonali at sonali@sonalizoracki.com

Register now as space is limited!

Would you like to be sitting on a beach right now? Or perhaps walking the streets of Paris? An escape might be just what you need to recharge and de-stress.  If you do not have the luxury of getting away try using the “safe-place visualization” technique.  It is a powerful tool that allows you to soothe yourself by imagining a peaceful, safe place, where you can relax.  Your brain and body often cannot tell the difference between what is really happening to you and what you are just imagining.  If you can successfully create a peaceful, relaxing scene in your mind, your body will often respond to those soothing ideas.

Find a quiet place, free from distractions.  Get comfortable, close your eyes, and imagine that you are in your safe place.  It can be a real place or some place that you have made up.  Use your five senses – sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste – to experience your safe place.  Stay there for as long as you like; soak it all in.

Visit your safe place as often as you need to and share this technique with others!

Taking Care of Ourselves: A stress reduction workshop for parents & caregivers of children with special needs

Parenting a child with special needs can be stressful.  It is important to learn to manage that stress instead of letting it manage you! In this workshop you will learn simple stress management and relaxation skills that will enable you to self-soothe.

When: Wednesday April 24, 2013 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Where: Extreme Kids & Crew, Space No. 1, 40 Brevoort Place, Brooklyn, NY 11216

http://www.extremekidsandcrew.org

Cost: FREE

RSVP via email to Sonali at sonali@sonalizoracki.com or to Emily at emilychurch@extremekidsandcrew.org
Register now as space is limited!

Parents often have to devote a lot of time to meeting the needs of their child with special needs and sometimes, the needs of siblings are either put on the back burner or go unnoticed.

Siblings may have a difficult time coping and may have different and conflicting feelings like worry, jealousy, anger, resentment, embarrassment, and even guilt for feeling all of the above.  The good news is that there are many ways that you can support your typically developing child and maintain a strong family life.

  • Help your child to understand their sibling’s disability in a way that makes sense for their age and own stage of development
  • Check in with your child about how they feel and encourage them to express themselves – consider using art to help your child express how they feel if they find words too difficult
  • Celebrate their achievements and successes – a little positive reinforcement goes a long way
  • Arrange to spend some time alone with your child – take your child to a movie, for a special meal or even for a little playground time
  • Plan fun activities that your children can do together to help strengthen the bond between them
  • Think about enrolling your child in a sibling support group where they can connect with other kids who may share similar experiences
  • If your child appears to be having a particularly difficult time, consider finding a therapist who understands the unique challenges your child is facing

When you self-soothe, you are behaving in a comforting, nurturing, kind, and gentle way to yourself.  It is important to engage in self-soothing skills in moments of distress or agitation so as to alleviate difficult and overwhelming feelings.  I often work with my clients to create self-soothing plans and encourage them to utilize their 5 senses:  touch, taste, hearing, smell, and sight to create their plans.  I ask them to think about things that could soothe them using each sense.  For example, a client may identify stroking their pet as a soothing activity using their sense of touch; and smelling lavender as a soothing activity using their sense of smell.  Clients are asked to list a few activities under each sense and add to that list as they please.  They are encouraged to engage in their self-soothing activities when they experience feelings like stress, sadness, worry, or anger.  From my experience,  clients find their plans to be very helpful.  If you would like to create a self-soothing plan for yourself and have questions, feel free to send me an email at sonali@sonalizoracki.com for more information.