Taking time for yourself throughout the day is NOT being lazy or withdrawing. It is actually an essential part of managing the symptoms of Asperger’s Syndrome. Out of all the techniques I’ve learned in therapy, this particular one is the most challenging. In fact, it is the reason I was unable to post last week. Life is stressful for everyone, but it takes more time and energy to function in this world if you are on the spectrum. As a result, that person needs to plan time to spend in an environment which is not stimulating doing an activity they enjoy. The result will be less breakdowns and attacks of sensory overload. Putting in this time every day will improve your productivity and you will be able to accomplish more throughout the day.
Finding relaxing activities is a matter of trial and error. Every person is unique, experiences autism differently and has different sensory issues. This means that what one person does to relax could possibly send someone else into severe panic. Don’t give up, keep trying different things until you find something that works for you. To help you out, I’ve listed three things I do to decompress.
For those of you who don’t know, this is the emotional freedom technique. Based on acupuncture points, it involves tapping different parts of your body in order while saying a repetitive phrase. This works on my anxiety. I’ve included a link to a website which has free tutorial videos. There are also a variety of affordable books and pamphlets on amazon if you search for EFT or Tapping.
2. Weighted Stuffed Animals or blankets
Although, I do not have a weighted blanket. My husband and I took a stuffed animal and filled it with rice (Directions to make weighted stuffed animals). There are also several different sites online which sell weighted blankets and toys. Make sure you calculate the proper weight for your body weight.
I use scented lotion the most, since I can put it on anywhere. For some reason, I have extremely sensitive forearms. Rubbing lavender lotion on my forearms calms me down. After years of experimenting, I developed a system where different smells are associated with different emotional states. This is great technique to add to a morning or evening routine and can be done in public. Experiment with different smells, candles and incense to see what the different scents make you feel.
Good luck finding some ways to decompress throughout the day, so you can be more productive and have less emotional breakdowns and attacks of sensory overload.
Thanks for reading my blog! As always, I love hearing from you! So, feel free to share with me what you do to decompress. I’m always looking for new ways to relax.