The Sloth

One of my favorite things is stuffed animals and plushies.
Squishmallows, teddy bears, and even pillow pets – if it’s soft and cuddly, I will love it.

Anytime we go to the store, I’m immediately drawn to the soft texture of any stuffed animal I see – which gives me a sense of calm in the middle of a chaotic environment. The feeling of the fibers twirled between my fingers, the way the softness seems to soothe my soul – it’s such a sensory comfort.

My caregiver recently got me a toy sloth, and I don’t think I’ve put it down since.

Person with blonde hair and glasses is wearing a mask with blue flowers and a black jacket, and sitting in a car. They’re hugging a very large stuffed toy sloth, who has a red ribbon on him.

I do the same with cozy blankets or pillows I see as well. The textures feel peaceful – like the physical embodiment of the meditation music I listen to every day when my brain feels stressed.

People don’t always understand the importance that stimming and sensory systems play a role in our mental health and joy, but it really does.

Sometimes we’re seen as childish for loving the things that we do, or for moving the way our bodies need us to. It’s not “age appropriate” or will somehow hinder our development.

I don’t think that’s true.

Our interests become comforts, springboards, or passions. Our movements regulate, express, and sometimes are not something our brains can control.

I navigate the world through my senses, feeling everything at an intensity that many people do not.

There is no shame in needing comfort. If a special interest or a sensory tool is what brings you peace in a troubled time, it’s okay to love what brings you joy.

Happiness has no age limit.

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