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Ways To Regain a Sense of Calm and Control In Every Day Life


Mary-Kay Davidson-Taylor, MS OTR/L

Pediatric Occupational Therapist

Kidz Therapy, LLC Owner


Four years have passed and the pandemic left many of us with: 

  • an out-of-our-control feeling (adults and children alike)

  • possible fear of something we can’t see that could severely hurt us or even kill us

  • chaos, for children that even parents and/or our medical system could not rectify or control and left many of us (children, adolescents, teenagers, young adults, and adults) feeling unnerved, on edge, and looking for a way to have some control in our lives

  • finding ourselves getting sick with other viruses or illnesses even as the pandemic calms 


We are now striving for normalcy and a feeling of safety in just living. This experience over the past 3 years has created an incredible stress level that may have left many of us with a heightened baseline level of frustration tolerance.


So what may we do for ourselves and our children? What do they need now? 

Calm. Structure. Predictability. 


We may need to help ourselves and our children do things that give a sense of control. 

Activities that are calming, repetitive, and have a specific beginning and end that leave us with a sense of accomplishment, no matter how small, without any level of competition, winning or losing, or pressure. Activities that peak interest, but have no sense of urgency. Here are a few ideas and suggestions to help achieve calm, a sense of control, and accomplishment: 


  • have an area that is ordered and organized with maybe some hues of blue (a color often associated with calm, safety, serenity) and, thus, calming

  • puzzles, legos, paint by numbers, cooking, solitaire, crafts with specific instructions from beginning to end

  • raking, cutting grass, cleaning cars, vacuuming, cleaning a sink, painting a structure

  • throwing clay on a pottery wheel, sculpting 

  • playing an instrument, a keyboard, singing, karaoke 

  • IF they are allowed screen time, suggest calming and accomplishing game called cozy or simulation games such as: A Little to the Left (sort, stack, and tidy up the house); Customize your kitchen; Unpacking; Lawn mowing simulator, Fish keeper, Cooking simulator; Power washing simulation games; Landscaping simulation games

Enjoy the outdoors and your time together! Be present with your children without distraction as much as possible so they know they are not having to compete for your attention. Smile and have fun with novel activities! 




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