I recently met with Ena Daniels who told us about the concept of a quiet room. We met at the new Triangle, Inc. branch in Salem. Triangle runs training programs for adults with disabilities. Oftentimes someone needs a break from the sensory overload of the world. Triangle calls their quiet room the “Mindful Space.”
The room is quiet with no music and no other people. The door remains open with someone outside. There is no noise other than the distant sounds of the day. There is a faint pleasant smell. You may stay for as long as 15 minutes or leave earlier if you want.
The room is cozy with clean rug and soft couch and things to play with. The idea is to give a quiet space to someone who needs relief from overstimulation of the senses.
If you were having a bad day at one of the training programs, you may want to go to the “Mindful Space.” Someone who has trouble tolerating loud noises may choose several times a day to get relief from the noise. Someone who feels himself getting angry and recognizes that he needs to escape may choose “Mindful Space.” Knowing that you can recognize your own feelings and do something about it can help coping skills. Voluntary use of the quiet room is a learned life skill.
There are colorful balls and squeezable animals. There are pastel, liquid lava toys. Or you can lie down and rest.
Businesses now offer similar rooms sometimes called “Recharge Rooms.” Employees may go for a calm place to rest, nap, stretch and escape from social interactions. Google offers its employees high-tech sleep pods. Businesses have found that a short break from mental stress can improve mood and productivity.