Therapy Toys

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Tangle Jr.

So I got another therapy toy today.

It’s called the Tangle Jr. (not sure why Jr. but maybe there is a version where it’s longer?). It’s supposed to be a fidget toy with nice bumps on it for added tactile sensation.

It’s very pleasing to the touch and I’m hoping this will help me with my anxiety as you can twist and play with it. I find that having something in my hands can help me focus more on calming techniques.

When I had to go in for an same-day appointment with the psychologist-on-call a few weeks ago to deal with my sudden self-harm thoughts, said psychologist in question had given me a list of coping strategies. I find that though they’re helpful in some ways, not being able to tangibly see things really hampered my coping.

That was why I decided to invest in a 2×2 Rubik’s Cube and also this Tangle Jr. As I’m a kinesthetic and visual learner, having something to do and something I can see seems to be more helpful.

I’ve only had the Tangle Jr. for about 10 minutes and I already really like it. I can see myself bringing this to work with me as it’s not only quiet but also small enough for me to slip into my work apron. I find that work is a huge stressor and trigger for me and so when I’m work, I’m more prone to suicidal and self-harm thoughts. I hope that the Tangle Jr. will be able to help me overcome those impulsive thoughts. I do after all, work near a lot of knives and have several times wanted to cut myself with the serrated steak knives.

I also like how I can disassemble the Tangle Jr. and I’ve divided the toy into two. This way, I can bring one half to work and the other half to college. College and work are definitely two huge stressors for me.

As for the Rubik’s Cube. I did mention that I would talk about it if I find it helpful. Well, I do but it doesn’t come without its down sides.

The Rubik’s Cube helps me focus and it helps me when I’m fidgeting but in order for the Rubik’s Cube to be effective, I first have to know the algorithms to solve it because otherwise, instead of it being calming, it messes me up more as I’d be too preoccupied with trying to solve the cube. I do like solving the Cube though because it is very satisfying to see the colors come together and every time I solve it, it feels like it’s the very first time I’ve done so.

The downside of the Cube though is that it gives me the appearance that I’m not paying the slightest bit of attention to the outside world whatsoever – well, because I’m not… But that’s not the point. Fiddling with the Cube makes me look like I’m fiddling with my phone – so engrossed in another task that I’m not aware of anything else. Also, I can’t bring the Cube to work and use it when I get anxious because it’ll seem like I’m playing and wasting time instead of working. So for those reasons, I think the Tangle Jr. trumps the Cube. I still will carry my Cube around with me but at the moment, I’m loving the Tangle Jr. more.

So my dear readers, if you are often agitated or fidgety or just need something calming to help you, maybe you might want to consider a fidget toy like this. I got these two for their tactile feedback and also for how small they are as I needed them for school and work. They need to be discrete enough to be carried around without drawing undue attention and these fit perfectly!

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