A sensory processing disorder is not something you simply outgrow, the way you would an old shirt. However, as you get older, your sensory needs will probably change with new experiences. You may develop more strategies for self-regulation over time so that, for example, a slamming door does not impact you the way it used to. Nevertheless, spending time in a sensory space can help you get the input you need for more effective regulation.
Can Adults Use Sensory Rooms?
Many times sensory rooms are geared toward kids, which may lead you to believe that adults cannot use them. However, the benefits don’t cease with age! Provided the tools and equipment are age-appropriate, anyone can find sensory spaces to be a great resource.
Incorporating sensory breaks into your day provides a wide range of benefits, similar to the impact it has on kids. Studies have shown that even a short period of time in a sensory room can leave people feeling more focused and relaxed, less stressed, and better able to communicate with others. You may find yourself able to problem solve more effectively at work, be better equipped to accomplish tasks, and just be more sociable overall. Whether at home or in a work environment, creating a sensory space can be very beneficial.
What Should Be In a Sensory Room for Adults?
The tools you decide to include in your sensory space are going to be unique to your needs. Consider where you want the space to be and how much space you actually have available for a sensory room. Are you looking for something at home or in the office? Is it a large room or a corner?
Our occupational therapists like to incorporate a variety of sensory stimuli. Fidgets and tactile tools provide calming stimulation that you can use while doing another task. If you like the feeling of compression, then a cozy seating alternative such as the Cozy Canoe is great to have available. Weighted lap pads are perfect for taking to your desk so that you can keep calm while working. If there is sufficient space, a swing can both relax and alert your body, depending on how it is used.
Choosing what tools to include in your sensory space can feel overwhelming. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our Sensory Room Design Team to help you find the best options for you!
Using Your Sensory Space
Now that you’re equipped with the knowledge to customize your sensory space to match your age, it’s time to incorporate it effectively. Our team of occupational therapists recommends taking sensory breaks regularly. Whether that is once or several times a day depends on your needs. The key is to make it a regular part of your schedule so that you receive the sensory input you need in order to self-regulate.
Have you used a sensory room? We’d love to hear about your experience! Share it in the comments, on our social media pages, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.