Today my fellow Gifted Homeschool Forum bloggers around the globe are tackling health and wellness issues for gifted/twice exceptional (“2E”) kids. This post is my contribution to the blog hop. (A complete round up of posts can be seen here.)
This particular topic is important because this population of youngsters (and adults, for that matter) often experience certain challenges when it comes to self-care. For some gifted individuals, their overexcitabilities may make routine visits to the dentist a struggle on multiple fronts–from fear and anxiety to genuine physical over-sensitivities to lights and noises. To ease worry, parents can choose carefully their healthcare provider, schedule a “preview” visit with staff, and share a copy of this page from GHF with advice from compassionate care providers.
Other gifted people who are so fixated on their own interests or work/school responsibilities may succumb to what I call “Absent-Minded Professor Syndrome” and forget or consistently delay routine care and exams. Calendar apps, electronic reminders, and even Post-It notes can go a long way to help resolve this problem, which is primarily an issue of executive function.
Personally, as a gifted adult with an extended family with lots of gifted people ranging from moderate to profoundly gifted, I think the number one challenge for us what we call “hanger” (hunger + anger=hanger a.k.a. “being hangry”). I’ve read other people pin this problem to overactive bodies and minds that burn fuel faster, but I think executive function plays a role, too. We gifted folks sometimes get so distracted that we forget to eat, blood sugar drops and then tempers flare. For some reason I personally have always had the biggest problem with this on vacation, maybe because I lose the regular rhythm of my day.
Part of our regular daily rhythm as a homeschool family includes physical activities that induce a state of flow, or complete absorption in what one is doing. Such activities may include martial arts, yoga, tai chi, walking, hiking, and even walking meditation (my personal favorite). More energetic spirits may enjoy vigorous sports to “get the wiggles out,” yet I think the elegant restraint of martial arts et al induce an added measure of serenity that stays with us long after the session is over, making routine tasks and challenges easier to manage. The trick with activating flow is that one must feel confident and challenged at once. For kids, martial arts work extraordinarily well because slow, steady advancement is a built-in rewards system. And some kids may find that reading or games with complicated rules (like chess) helps bring about a state of flow.
What are your favorite methods of self-care? What works well for your children? For you?