When I’m overwhelmed by a busy schedule, it can feel like the world around me is crumbling. I have to take off the mask of being the perfect friend, stop socializing against the world’s expectation, and take the time at home to heal alone.
I have an autistic body in a neurotypical world, but there is no such thing as a normal body. My allergies and intolerances do not make me wrong or in need of fixing. I get to show others the beauty of not fitting into the box of normal.
I never turn all the lights on in my home. If there’s isn’t any daylight available, then one lamp in a room is fine. A computer or phone screen doesn’t count as a light though! Those do more damage than good.
If you’re the lucky autistic who has a job where you work (or study) from home, I suggest going to coffee shops to get things done. While it’s nice to stay in our comfy clothes and control all sensory things in our bedrooms, a different environment might help you focus more and procrastinate less.
Simplicity is key in my home decor. While it can be tempting to surround myself with posters, knick knacks, and mementos of all my special interests, the clutter would overstimulate me in my own safe space.
When I’m out, I drink only wine or cider, and I opt for organic versions of both, and I drink at least one glass of water for each drink. Our autistic bodies are so sensitive. Without safety and moderation, we can really pay for a bad night of drinking.
Break out of the technology bubble. I truly believe that when I’m overstimulated, I need to step away from my phone, laptop, and music, and step into the tangible world: physical books, handmade art, and secluded nature.
Watch it! Tone can be the hardest thing for me to control, and I can often say the most harmless things in the most prickly way. If I see someone’s eyebrows raise and their eyes widen after I speak, I ask to check and see if I accidentally spoke with in a hurtful manner.
Sometimes we fill ourselves up with too much, carrying on our shoulders the burdens of the injustices of the world: Animal rights, human rights, environmental rights, etc. Autistics are often very sensitive to social injustice, but we’ll collapse underneath it all if we don’t prioritize and commit to working for change in one or two […]
Become a regular. Going to the same place, ordering the same thing, and seeing the same workers will give you a sense of comfort when leaving your home. Also, you can invite potential friends to hang out there. You’ll feel safer interacting with someone new in a more familiar, controlled environment.