6 Visual ways to reduce stress using a whiteboard
Posted on 5th October 2021 at 10:06
By Julie Wales, Family & Special Needs Counsellor
Are you having family badgering you about what is going on or having anxiety about uncertain routines, which make you feel stressed and overwhelmed?
My ‘magic’ whiteboard idea may help you.
Hubby and my adult children were constantly asking me “What’s for Dinner”? What time are you back home? “Is it time for …….? But particularly for my adult son with special needs it is valuable. He reads his own name on the board and the days of the week he is out doing something, and it gives him certainty and so reduces his anxiety.
Especially around mealtimes when he asks, “What’s for Dinner?” for the 10 millionth time! It’s as if he doesn’t trust if I will feed him or as I suspect more of “Am I going to like what she cooks me?”
Think of the daily schedules for everyone in your family. If it’s anything like my house, those daily schedules amount to a whirlwind of meetings, appointments, practices, social events and more every single day.
I have found my whiteboard organization has saved me so much stress!!
Here are 6 ways to use your whiteboard at home to get (and stay) organized but most importantly to reduce anxieties and uncertainties and develop routines and new skills for someone with learning difficulty.
1. Weekly Dinner Menu
How many times per day do you hear the question, “What’s for dinner?”
It can be so annoying?!?
Take that question out of your family’s vocabulary by writing out the menu for the week on the whiteboard for them to see anytime they want to know “what’s for dinner”! You can put it up for the day, a few days, or the entire week if you’re into working on those meal planning skills (go you!).
That way, everyone knows; nobody will ask, and they know it’s not up for debate.
Chicken fried rice for dinner? According to the whiteboard, it’s happening Tuesday night!
2. Fun or Inspiring Quotes
Think up a fun or inspiring quote to give your family to boost self-esteem. Nothing says ‘I love you’ more than writing those words out on the whiteboard for your family to read bright and early at the start of their day. You can do it! Or I will be thinking of you today when you smash that test!
Give them a reason to smile and be happy with a fun and inspiring quote that they can put in their think-tank and refer to later. If all else fails, draw a quick silly picture to make them laugh even more.
This whiteboard use is perfect for making them smile!
3. Chore Chart
Kids (and even adults) need reminders of things they need to do. Make your job of following up on chores easy by posting the family chore list for the week on a whiteboard in an easy-to-see spot.
List out the names, family members, and their expected chores to be done for the day (or week).
Not only will this idea hold each family member accountable, but it will also help you to keep track of quickly and easily when those chores were completed!
4. Week Planning
This is my adult son’s visual weekly plan, which is attached to my whiteboard. This has really helped him to reduce stress and give him certainty about his routine in the week. Use of feelings helps to reassure.
5. Compliment Day
One of the best uses of the whiteboard is to have family fun. Pick a family member to have “control” of the whiteboard for the day. Designate a section of the whiteboard for them to write out something they appreciate or love about each of the other family members or thank them for something. This can be anything that they want if it’s positive and makes someone smile!
6. Facilitate Communication
Create a Q & A session for your family members to communicate. Or use post it notes for reminders. This always helps miscommunications happening.
When everyone is so busy, it can seem nearly impossible to find time to communicate and answer questions. Use your whiteboard to make it easy for questions to be asked (and answered), even if you aren’t sitting right in front of each other.
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