If you are autistic, you can often face challenges just dealing with the day to day routines of a “normal” society.
Now imagine that the society has gone topsy-turvy with all the routines completely gone. The friends who supported you are no longer reachable. The places you would go for comfort are completely closed to you.
Your routine is completely shattered.
What are some ways to cope?
Find Ways to Maintain Your Routine
If you always went to a certain cafe in the afternoon to have coffee or tea, make a spot in your home to be the cafe. Maybe put a picture of the cafe on the table. Make hand-made versions of the decorations. Sit and have your tea.
If you always went to a park on Saturday, sit with pictures of the park. Think about what you really liked about each picture. Visualize the scene.
Yes, it’s never going to be exactly the same. But the more you can work the aspects of your routine into what you are doing now, the more your body will feel that rhythm.
Be creative. Think about the sights, sounds, smells. Maybe you can get a grassy-smelling candle. Maybe you can draw or print pictures to bring the scene to life.
Drape Yourself in Comfort
The whole world is feeling stressed. This is not unusual. It is the status quo. If you are feeling stressed, accept it. Know it is a normal, healthy reaction to this situation. Then think of ways to soothe yourself.
Give yourself permission to eat comfort food. Snuggle down in your favorite blanket and binge-watch a show you adore. If you love drawing, draw creatures you adore. Listen to your favorite music.
Think of this as a personalized retreat just for you. Find ways to customize the sights, sounds, and textures around you to be as comforting as possible.
The natural counter to the stress reaction is meditation. The long, deep breaths trigger a built-in system within our brain to slow down and relax. It brings out the stress-lowering hormones in our body. If you’ve never meditated before, now is the time to give it a try.
Let me know in the comments what you find useful in relieving stress!