Creating a Calming Corner

While calming corners can be used an alternative behavioral management strategy for children who are having difficulties with self-regulation, both children and adults can benefit from spending time in a calming corner when feeling one of more of the following:

  • Feeling overstimulated
  • After having a meltdown
  • Feeling angry
  • Feeling stressed & overwhelmed
  • Experiencing anxiety-spiraling and panic
  • Needing time to re-focus
  • Hyperactive or overly excited

Getting Started:

You do not need to have a large space. A small corner, closet or entire room may be used, creating a mini room within a room such as using drapes for adults or a play tent/ fort area for children is another option.

The corner can then be customized to meet the specific needs of the individual who will be using the space.

Add lights:

Twinkling white string lights, a soft lamp, a calming LED light projector, or colorful calming light in your favorite color are options. Some people may also opt for total darkness.

Add items to sit, lie down, and/ or relax. For example:

  • Massage chair
  • Heated neck & shoulder wrap
  • Bean bag chair
  • Weighted blanked or weighted vest
  • Soft rug & floor pillows
  • Stuffed animal(s)

Add sensory calming features for senses of sound and smell

  • Music and/ or noise-cancelling headphones
  • Sound machine with soothing sounds
  • Mini waterfall fountain
  • Diffuser with essential oils
  • Scented candle

Add supplies to keep hands busy and serve as a distraction

  • Coloring/ art supplies
  • Crafting supplies
  • Books or journals
  • Items to practice deep breathing (e.g., pinwheels, bubbles, “breathing ball”)
  • Fidgets and sensory-calming toys

Add supplies to eat/ drink

  • Water bottle
  • Gum, hard candies, or suckers
  • Mini packets of crunchy or soft & chewy snacks

You may also want to add visually pleasing items that you enjoy looking at such as plants or artwork.

Bonus: Some of these ideas may also serve as gift options!

A calming corner is a great strategy that is used as a resource to be used whenever a break is needed to help with self-regulation. It is not to be used as a punishment, but rather a tool that is available when experiencing strong emotions and needing a break to calm.

Written by: Charlotte Johnson, MA, LPCC

We’re Here to help

Our wellness experts will be happy to take care of you. You can CLICK HERE to schedule an appointment now or call (612)223-8898.

Meet Clinicians

We’re united by our commitment to providing effective, relevant, and innovative mental health support at all stages of your journey. Click Here to find out more about who we are, where we come from, and how we live out CARE’s mission every day.

The professionals at CARE are actively collecting and creating resources to help with what you need. We’re Here for You.