By: Debbie Stone
Let’s face it gang…at times dealing with a sibling can be a real bummer. Add autism to the mix and it can be downright exhausting. My 9 year old son, Dylan is autistic and there are days, even though I’m an adult, I need a time out! Dylan has a little brother, Brandon (age 4) who often feels overwhelmed too. Sometimes we all need to just stop and take a deep breath! As a fan of yoga, I find many of the techniques to be calming as well as a great way to get re-focused. Here are 3 QUICK and EASY ideas to help you go from A MESS TO RE-FRESHED in Just 10 minutes. You don’t need anything fancy, just a quiet space.
1.) Sit quietly cross-legged on the floor with your hands lightly resting on each knee and concentrating on breathing in and out through your nose. Take a deep breath in and slowly release out. The deeper you breathe, the more oxygen flows into your muscles and helps you to relax. Try not to fidget. You want your body at rest while you are trying to clear your mind. Don’t worry if thoughts keep floating up. Just acknowledge them and allow them to float away. This quiet meditation can help even if you only dedicate 10 minutes to it.
2.) One of the most relaxing poses is shava-asana. Here are the steps to do this correctly. Lay down on a yoga mat or carpet keeping both legs a little apart (about 1 to 1 ½ feet from each other). Keep your arms a little away from the side of your body, with your palms facing upwards. Point your left foot to the left and your right foot to the right. You may have your head fall to the left or the right. Close your eyes gently and imagine that the entire body is relaxed. You want each and every organ in your body to relax. Concentrate your mind on your body parts from toe to your head and feel your body is getting lighter. Breathe deeply in and out.
3.) One of Dylan’s therapists introduced him and Brandon to lavender oil. After a long day, soak your feet in a bowl of warm water with a few drops of lavender oil. Don’t overdo it; a little goes a long way. Inhale the scent of the lavender and keep your feet submerged for about 5 minutes. Sometimes, I put a few drops on my pillow as the scent is very calming and tension reducing.
Most of all remember that your sibling is a special person and so are you! Everyone has their trying moments and if you need a break, take one. Realize that they are not being difficult on purpose, sometimes it’s just because they are frustrated and cannot express themselves. Be patient, be kind and remember your autistic brother/sister loves you very much.
Debbie Stone lives in New York and is the mother of two boys, Dylan, age 9 and Brandon, age 4. Dylan has autism and Brandon enjoys being his little brother. Debbie is the founder of Pop. Earth (short for Population Earth), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping children and young adults with special needs. Currently, Pop. Earth is working on developing The Om Holistic Center for Autism & Developmental Disorders. This affordable center will focus on yoga, nutritional support, reiki, NAET and their own Free To Be Me! artistic expression program. Visit them at facebook.com/om.pop.earth