Fidget spinners. UGH. Yes I know they are popular. And people believe that they help with ADHD and anxiety. Let me challenge this concept.
If someone is easily distracted, does handing them a gadget that spins around help them focus on what they should focus on? No. It gives another item to distract them from things.
Does the spinning feature calm anxiety? Not really. And how is this ultimately helping to creating coping skills? It doesn't.
Does the spinning feature calm anxiety? Not really. Sure the spinning could be mesmerizing momentarily but not long term. And how is this ultimately helping to creating coping skills? It doesn't.
These are largely distracting and create an unrealistic expectation, that spinning the gadget will make us magically focus or less anxious.
Let's teach coping skills. Deep breathing physically slows the body down, it calms, and it encourages thinking and focusing. Self-talk can change mindset, help identify feelings, and help you become more in touch with yourself.
Communication skills are crucial. Learning to identify true sources of issues and ways to manage issues is a learned skill. As is avoidance. The fidget spinner helps to avoid issues, not address them.
Ours is not a perfect world. Expecting nonstop happiness is unrealistic. Life can be challenging. Instead of teaching there is a pill or a toy, let's teach to expect problems and teach ways to encourage working through problems and overcoming challenges.
And if you still think a spinner is needed, go outside. Grab the original fidget spinner, the maple seed pod.Toss it upwards; watch it spin until it lands.
Now take a deep breath, tell yourself you've got this. And enjoy!
Angela Letzner, M.Ed., LPCC-S
(866) 466-9591 ext. 21
If you are in need of mental health counseling, please reach out to our associates at Behavioral Health Services of Greater Cleveland at one of our three locations: Rocky River, Medina and Solon. Family, individual, and couples counseling are available. Please call (866) 466-9591 ext. 0 for an intake.