By: Emily Bemmer
Christmas is a time for gathering together family and friends, enjoying delicious food, and celebrating both the traditions and spontaneity that come with the holidays.
However, for both children and adults who experience different sensory sensitivities, Christmas can quickly become an uncomfortable or overwhelming time. People can be hypersensitive to sensory inputs; bright lights, too many or loud noises, strong smells and taste aversions, or from increased physical touch. Especially with COVID restrictions this year, 2020 has meant less exposure to large groups, unpleasant sounds, and an increased capacity to control one’s environment (with work and study from home). This can make Christmas a more difficult time, not only for those with sensory sensitivities, but also for those who experience anxiety, or find extended social activities difficult.
While we may not always be fully aware of those around us who have sensory sensitivities, there are various ways to make Christmas gatherings sensory-friendly for everyone;
Article supplied with thanks to The Centre for Effective Living.
About the Author: Emily Bemmer is a psychologist who works in the areas of depression, anxiety, emotional regulation, life transitions, social skills, and family dynamics.