I jumped at the chance to try out Calm Strips for my anxiety and ADHD. Here are my thoughts!
OK - What The Heck Are Calm Strips?
I’ll be the first to admit, when I first saw Calm Strips pop up on my Instagram feed, I was skeptical. I thought people are actually selling stickers and claiming they help with anxiety? It seemed too simple, too good to be true.
As I browsed the Calm Strips Instagram page, I still couldn’t wrap my head around how they worked. I was intrigued, however, and wanted to know more, so I reached out with an IG message.
Since I have ADHD, I’m always moving around. In the car, Jeff repeatedly points out that I’m scratching the seat or picking my nails and most of the time, I don’t even realize I’m doing it. When I’m anxious, I tend to self-soothe by rubbing my shoulders, pulling at my clothing, or twirling my hair. I can’t focus on writing unless I’m tapping my desk or running my fingers across my laptop keyboard. Knowing these things about myself and reading more about Calm Strips, I started to understand how they could maybe be beneficial. Still, I’m a visual and tactile learner - I learn by seeing and doing - so when the company kindly offered to send me some Calm Strips to try out, I jumped at the chance.
When they arrived two weeks ago, I was immediately struck by the cute packaging. I’m a sucker for inspirational quotes and always appreciate when a company makes an effort to give its packaging a unique look that is specific to its product. I also love that each strip has its own fun, colorful or calming design.
I told myself that I wouldn’t write a blog review until I used them for a solid two weeks but, to be honest, I fell in love on day one. From the moment I stuck one next to my laptop touchpad, I was hooked. I find myself running my fingers across it constantly or scratching it or peeling up the sides when I get excited or anxious. I also put one on the back of my iPhone and that is really helpful because my phone is permanently affixed to my hand.
What Do Calm Strips Feel Like?
So how do they feel? Think about running your fingers along the sand at the beach - that grainy but smooth texture - that’s what Calm Strips feel like. Not nearly as rough as a nail file or sandpaper but just enough to notice a difference. The reusable adhesive makes it really easy to pick at the sides and corners and then just push it back down.
I completely understand now how Calm Strips can benefit people with anxiety, ADHD, or anyone, really. In therapy, I’ve learned a lot about grounding techniques that are helpful to me when I’m having an anxiety attack or just having trouble staying in the moment. I especially love the 5-4-3-2-1 Method to get myself out of my thoughts:
5. Acknowledge five things you can see: a painting on the wall, your pet sleeping beside you, the sunrise out the window, the ceiling fan spinning, the picture frames on your mantel.
4. Acknowledge four things you can touch: the Calm Strips on your laptop, the couch cushion against your back, your dog’s smooth fur and paws against your feet, the breeze of the ceiling fan across your skin.
3. Acknowledge three things you can hear: the A/C unit buzzing, the birds chirping outside your window, the clacking of the keys on your keyboard.
2. Acknowledge two things you can smell: the fresh, morning air, the coffee brewing in the kitchen.
1. Acknowledge one thing you can taste: the coffee you just sipped.
Acknowledging your five senses is a powerful way to bring yourself back to the present moment, to distract your mind from whatever thoughts are racing through it, to slow your breathing, and calm your body down. Calm Strips can serve as an extremely useful tool in your grounding and mindfulness practice. The company even provides one-minute guided meditations to ground you while you run your fingers across the strips. You can stick em on anything. I have them on my laptop and phone right now but plan to put some on my steering wheel for when I’m frustrated in traffic, on my notebooks, my reusable water bottle, and more. I would stick one to my forehead if I could.
Calm Strips are also great for children. Think about a fidget spinner or the way kids love to run their hands across everything they see. It’s soothing to them. Especially for someone like my 11-year-old nephew who is autistic and has ADHD. I know he would really love these and I love that Calm Strips sells classroom packs for teachers.
Why I Love Em
Best of all, Calm Strips is a small business that I’m happy to support and I want you to support them, too!
I am so happy I reached out to Calm Strips and got to experience them fully. I can say for certain that they have helped my anxiety a lot over the last two weeks and now when I’m in the car with Jeff, he points out that I’m scratching the calm strip on my phone instead of his passenger seat, so let’s call that a win for both of us!
**UPDATE JUNE 2021: NEW PRODUCTS!
Here’s a quick review I wrote on Instagram of some of Calm Strips new products, including the new River Rocks texture and the round adhesives and carry tags.
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As always, thank you for reading!