Tips for Autism, Asperger Syndrome, anxiety and whoever else may find this helpful…
Here are some tips or advice I have found helpful for myself or have also researched and would like to try. I tried to find a little bit of everything in hopes to reach a bigger audience and not just in favor of myself or others like me. This post is not organized nor is it edited. It also may be subject to change in the future if I feel like writing it in a different order/way or have ideas to add.
– Sunglasses: Wear sunglasses outside, in grocery stores or wherever else your eyes may be bothered by the lighting.
– If you find the lights in your own home bothering you get rid of the bulbs and replace them with more aspie friendly lights. (Ambient lights are great)
– Trade in an over head light for a table or floor lamp.
– Closing the drapes or curtains
– Make your own room or comfort space dark or more manageable for your light sensitivity. (IE: Black sheet on your windows. Paint your room a darker color)
– Close your eyes for several minutes to regain focus
Tell everybody to Shut the bleep up! jk jk
– Music/earphones (great for blocking out back ground noise)
– If you are in a work place or classroom ask to work by yourself. Explain your needs and why it would be beneficiary for you to work alone.
– Avoid loud places if possible. (IE: take a side or back road instead of walking down a main city road. Sport stadiums, fireworks and concerts)
– Spend more time in quieter places like the library.
– If you can pinpoint certain phobia of sounds, take time to get comfortable with different sounds on your own. Example: If bells scare you, buy some bells and experiment with different bells until you become more comfortable with the sound.
– Most people who are affected by loud noises can’t stand the thought of alarms going off. Some of this we cannot avoid from it happening, but in things like school or the work place, they schedule fire drills or earthquake drills. Have your teacher or boss inform what exact time these will take place so you can prepare.
– Bring something with you that brings comfort to you and can help you focus.
(Ipad, ipod, stuffed animal, your favorite piece of jewelry or a sensory toy)
– Gradually expose yourself to certain noises that cause anxiety. (Observe from afar or learn about the source of the sound) Don’t throw yourself into a crowd of lud noises right away. Just slowly expose yourself to them until they become apart of everyday life. (sirens are a great example. You can start by touring the fire or police station. Sit in a fire truck etc)
– Balance between the noise and quiet time. (IE: You have to attend classes all morning with thousands of students and other unknown noises that may come with going to class. Spend lunch at home or by yourself in quiet solitude and regroup for afternoon classes or a afternoon of errands.)
– Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps teach self coping skills.
Anxiety in general:
– Limit caffeine and things like energy drinks. (Caffeine can play a huge risk factor when it comes to anxiety)
– Get enough sleep (Not necessarily 8 hours, but whatever is enough sleep that you need)
– Exercise often to maintain your health and feel good.
– Eat well balanced/nutritional meals
Lack of sleep, exercise and eating habits have a bigger impact on us including anxiety then a lot of people think and in my experience maintaining these three do actually help and it is that simple. It not just benefits my anxiety, but also helps my depression and moods.
– Never set higher expectations for yourself. You can only do your best, you cannot seek perfection. Instead you may be met with anxiety.
– Take a break or distract yourself (read a book, listen to music, yoga what have you. Take a step back it will give you time to refocus.)
Find out what is triggering your anxiety. Learning what is causing you to be anxious can help you to either prepare for it or so you can talk about it with someone or write about it to relieve the stress.
– Try taking deep breaths and counting to 10 or 20.
– Break your day up into small increments like minutes. Instead of stressing about the whole day set before you, only deal with the next 1-5 minutes at a time.
– Sometimes it helps to focus on one spot. If you are outside look up to the clouds/sky. If inside concentrate on a place on the ground or a object until you can regain your focus.
– Laugh A LOT. Humor can fix just about anything including anxiety.
– Set a time of day (IE: 6:30 pm – 7 pm) where you can worry about whatever is on your mind. The rest of your day though is stress free. If something comes up that is causing you anxiety push it aside and tell yourself not to worry about it until later.
Random tips that can help with some or all of the above and in relation.
-Tony Atwood a man known world wide for his knowledge of asperger syndrome recommends 1-2 hours of down time for every one hour of socialization. Now of course this is not always possible in life, but it is a nice example to try and plan your routine around or plan to stick to. Either way make room in your schedule for down time.
– If you find yourself becoming exhausted or over worked, drop activities that you can that are draining your time and energy.
– Rethink your schedule or errands (IE: Order your groceries online instead of going out to the store. Hire someone to mow your lawn etc)
– Do something for 10-15 minutes that will relax you. (read a chapter in your favorite book. Take a shower or bath, Listen to a few of your favorite songs.)
– SUNGLASSES are a savior always and not just for light sensitivity. Wear them to a family event if you are finding it hard to keep eye contact. That way they can’t see your eyes to be able to tell rather you are or not.
– If looking in people’s eyes gives you anxiety or you ever struggle with it, focus on a spot between their eyes or their forehead. It will look like you are making eye contact, except you are not.
– ROUTINE: Routine can help many things like anxiety and helps with transitioning.
– WRITE or TALK to someone about your anxiety. As mentioned above.
If you have any thoughts or other tips/advice from your experience feel free to share them in the comment section.
Buh-bye for now I am off to eat dinner with the hubby. 🙂