We all need some solitude from time to time and need to carve out a bit of sanity space purely for ourselves..... without anyone else encroaching up on it. Finding that space however can sometimes be a bit tricky.
Take my Sanity Space (AKA craft room) for example... it gets hijacked all the time by my teenagers. They come to borrow glue sticks, raid the paper stash, print stuff out and use my sewing scissors for cutting paper!!! Hubby has also been recently frequenting it more and more often lately....to write his book!
But what about a special space for Heni? She can't exactly be left alone to chill out (unless she is in bed with the cot sides up as she needs to have someone with her all the time)...but it is equally important for her to have a special relaxing place that also provides her with a nice change of scenery.
A few years ago we decided to buy her a garden swing. Not the sit up/ sit in type, but one where she can lie down and stretch out... a nice alternative and change from having to sit most of the time in her wheelchair or feeding chair. I looked around on the internet for quite a while before I found "the one" and ordered it from a company called Die-Shaukel http://www.die-schaukel.de/en/lifestyle-swing/lifestyle-standard-swing.php. It looked like it would be fun and comfortable for her (and maybe when she wasn't using it we might be able to encroach on her space and have a go too! This is the design I chose.
|Picture from die-shaukel web page|
We attached the fixings up on the wooden arbour at the side of the house and have hung the swing beneath the grape vines. When the vines have grown and spread... (about this time of year)....you get dappled sunshine as you swing back and forth.
|Looking up from the swing through the grape vines.|
In addition to the visual stimulation from the vines above, the swing provides other benefits. It can provide an increased body awareness and help with sensory and proprioceptive integration (awareness of position in space). It can help increase toleration of stimulus and has an impact on the vestibular system which can help with balance. Most importantly it is relaxing and calming and is just a lot of fun! If you want to look further in to the benefits of using a swing and the different types of swings.... you can look here.
|Ready for a nice lie down!?|
Of course as you can see this swing doesn't have any sides to it and therefore adult supervision is a must. Heni can quite easily roll from side to side on the floor and so could roll off the swing...not a good idea! When I am the one with her I usually get on the swing with her and have a lovely cuddle.
|looking at the vines above and enjoying the fresh air.|
The view forward is also pretty lovely with the rose arch currently out in full bloom
Heni always loves time on her swing. She just looks very content and happy. Here are some of the photos I took this afternoon when we went out side to use it.
As I mentioned before... everyone in the family likes to have a little share in the fun. Often, when I can't seem to find Daughter Number 2 or The Hungry Boy, and no one is responding to my calls... one of the first places I look is outside on the swing. Here is the hungry boy having a relax and read after a hard day at school!
Heni's birthday is coming up soon and I am thinking of creating another outdoor space that she can visit in the summer time. I'm thinking along the lines of a trampoline base with a "teepee style" covering... also hanging from somewhere, so that it moves... keep a look out for a project coming up!!
I'm sure that it will also get hijacked by everyone else, but hey, if it's not being used by Heni it may as well be used by the others....
.... and if everyone can invade my "sanity space" upstairs..... then its only fair that I should be able to use it to chill out too?
Do you have anywhere in your garden for a swing.... or could you create a special chill out zone somewhere?