Welcome! Here at Brain Breather, I strive to provide you with products as well as easy, at-home activities to help your child cope with stress and frustration, an to help you relieve some of your parenting, work, school, or general life stress.
An Idea Born
During my four years of undergrad, I found myself constantly stressed out and on the go. I was a neuroscience major juggling Organic Chemistry, Basic Neuro, and Biopsychology all while attempting to have some semblance of a social life. Needless to say, sleep was not a thing.
Seeing my bloodshot eyes, my disheveled appearance, and my penchant for lashing out, my best friend suggested that I find a way to relax. I told her between exams and papers there was no time for stress-relieving runs or hikes, a funny movie, or anything of the like. The next day, my best friend gave me the greatest gift possible: a small wooden sandbox and a tub of kinetic sand. If you’re not familiar with kinetic sand, it is just like any other sand except that it has the amazing ability to stick together in all kinds of shapes.
My stress was cured (mainly because I dropped neuro and became a psychology major, but that’s besides the point). Every time I sat down to play with my kinetic sand, no matter how short a time, I was guaranteed to feel better. There was just something about feeling the sand and molding it into whatever I wanted that felt peaceful to me. From then on, I recommended the sand to all of my equally stressed out friends.
Five years and two degrees later, I still use the sand, and much more, when I feel myself getting over worked or stressed out.
What Came Next
After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Children’s Studies, I took a year off to figure out exactly what I wanted to do with my life. During that year, I worked as an educational assistant in a first and second grade Autism Support classroom. It was the most enlightening and incredible year of my life. I watched my kids grow and learn as students, but also as little people.
One of the biggest hurdles we needed to cross was teaching the kids how to calm themselves down before their feelings overwhelmed them. This included simple exercises like taking deep breaths, using their words, and walking away, but it also involved more hands on things like using a “glitter bottle,” playing with sensory boxes, getting on the swing, and even using kinetic sand! We had all of these fun and exciting tools in our classroom to help the kids (and sometimes the teachers) calm down and stay focused.
After completing my year in Autism Support, I knew I had found my calling, not as a teacher, but as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Those are the people who help teachers build support plans for students to help alleviate problem behaviors so that they can be the best learners possible.
Fast forward a year and a half, and I graduate with my Masters in School Psychology and Applied Behavior Analysis. I know work as a Registered Behavior Technician in the homes of children with autism, working my way towards becoming a BCBA. Through all of my schooling and work with children, I have picked up innumerable tips and tricks to help kids calm down. As it turns out, these tips and tricks are just as useful for us adults!
Now that I have this knowledge, I see it as a kind of duty to share it with the world.
In today’s climate, we are all too stressed about any number of personal and societal issues. With the increased focus on “the best education” and easy access to the Internet, our children are becoming just as stressed as the adults, and the rise in Autism diagnoses demands easier access to how-to guides and relaxation techniques that can be used in the home.
It’s a true blessing to be able to find something fun and effective to alleviate some stress and let our brains take a breather. That is what I hope to accomplish here. If I can lessen the stress of even one person with this site, I will consider myself successful.
If you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out.
All the best,