10 Surprising Activities for Teens and Adults Listening to the Safe and Sound Protocol

10 Surprising Activities for Teens and Adults Listening to the Safe and Sound Protocol

Starting your Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) listening soon? You may be wondering what exactly you’ll be doing during your sessions. Here are 10 surprising activities for teens and adults doing SSP remotely.

Resources in your environment

First, consider how your environment can best support your SSP experience. What room, view, lightning, temperature and furniture makes you feel most comfortable and relaxed? What pets and/or people do you want nearby? Once you’ve decided your location and resources, you can choose what activities you might most enjoy during SSP.

Important Guidelines for SSP Listening Activities

There are three standards to keep in mind while doing the SSP remotely. These are the same for children as well as teens and adults.

  1. Activities should be quiet + support calm
  2. Activities should be free of screens from devices
  3. Reading and heavily cognitive-based tasks should be avoided

Now, with those guidelines in place, what do you feel would be a good activity for you? Are there quiet activities you already do that would be a good fit? Is there something you’ve wanted to try but haven’t yet?

10 Surprising Activities for SSP

Before reading about activities that have worked well for others, consider taking time to listen to any cues from yourself and your own nervous system about what might be engaging, supportive and enjoyable.

If you’re stumped or just curious, read on. What, if anything, resonates with you?

1. Doodle, sketch or color

Have new glitter pens or gel pens? Aching to use that new sketchbook?

2. Crochet or knit

Skilled with a needle and yarn? The fine motor action of crocheting or knitting can be supportive to regulating the stress response. Plus, you’ll be engaging in creativity, beauty and potentially even a flow state. What lovely ventral vagal anchors.

3. Look at store catalogues or photo-based books

While reading is a no-go while listening to SSP, pictures are a-okay. (Cue the Ikea catalogue!) Got a favorite book on your shelf–or the library’s–full of nature or landscape photographs?

4. Give yourself a manicure

Did someone say orange stick and nail polish?

5. Brush your dog

Brushing a pet might be an option as long as they can stay calm and quiet. Plus, you’ll be getting some co-regulation from your beloved mammal’s nervous system.

6. Gentle stretching, yoga or pilates

At times, as your Safe and Sound Protocol Coach, I’ll provide suggestions for gentle movements that can support integration during or after listening. Still, some clients like to take it up a notch. Roll out that yoga mat if you’re so inclined. Proprioceptive input (think joint-movement) supports integration and regulation.

7. Stress ball, modeling clay, silly putty, kinetic sand, play-doh

SSP will stretch the nervous system. We’ll do everything to ensure the nervous system is not stressed. Some people find having something in their hands makes them feel more grounded and gives them an outlet for any fight-flight energy that arises. Even just a clean kitchen towel and be rolled up as a stress ball substitute.

8. Engage with nature or pets

Got a bird feeder? Butterfly garden? Scampering backyard squirrels? Being able to watch nature can be an engaging, supportive activity for some. Pets that are generally calm and relatively quiet can make splendid listening buddies.

9. Connect with your inner home decorator

No actual remodeling budget required.

10. Simply listen

At times, as your Safe and Sound Protocol coach, we’ll spend time with activities aside to just really focus on listening and noticing shifts in the body. Some clients prefer to make all their SSP sessions a careful listening, eyes-closed event.

Listening is Key

Listening is the overall theme here. You listen to the SSP music. You learn to listen to your nervous system cues. You also get to practice listening to what sounds most supportive to you when it comes to activities. What you like from session to session will change. You get to choose what sounds most enjoyable each time.