Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health and Safety Guide
ASERT has put together some resources for those with autism and those who care for people with autism relating to the current Coronavirus outbreak.
It is so much easier to just focus on things that aren’t my business or that I can’t control. I think I do that because that means that I don’t have to do the things I might be able to control. It’s so much easier to complain or talk about what somebody else should be doing rather than getting down to business and work on trying to change things for the betterment of myself. Don’t get me wrong, change is hard, overwhelming, and scary. It’s so much more comfortable to keep things the way they are now.
It’s even hard to write about this. I keep wanting to delete the blog and start on a new topic. I’d rather be talking about fall activities or my plans for the winter or anything else. I have a lot of fears and a lot of anxieties about going into the unknown. What if I try my best and I fail or I’m not successful? I don’t want to feel unsuccessful. A natural protective instinct I have is to not risk it. Something whispers in my mind “you can’t fail if you never try, right?” Wrong, as you can’t succeed if you never try.
It’s so easy to focus on what’s scary or frightening. I need to start focusing on the good, the great, and the beautiful things in life. What do I want? Good question. I want to be healthier which for me means being in better shape and exercising on a regular basis. Taking long walks, strength training, and working on my flexibility. I also want to eat more fruits and vegetables and less processed food like candy or junk food. This means learning more about nutrition or food science.
I almost forgot about my mental health; I can’t leave that out since everything is interconnected – mind and body. There are so many ways I could improve my mental health like: stress less, have a positive attitude, be less sensitive. Those were the first things I thought of and of course, there are lots more I can do. The trick is to pick a few things to improve, make a plan, and stick to it. I could do this many ways, however, I’m thinking about learning how to use meditation and making it a part of my daily life.
Interestingly enough, this blog has been harder to write than most of my other blogs. I keep getting distracted by other ideas or topics that would be more interesting or thinking about the other bloggers and comparing myself to them. Yes, I know this is a hard, less interesting topic but that doesn’t take away from its importance.
Now it’s time to get practical. These are all great thoughts and dreams. I need to take a hard look at my current situation and make a systematic, daily approach to develop new habits. I definitely need to prioritize what I start working on first rather than trying to do everything all at once. The great news is I have people I can trust who are thoughtful and kind but honest who are willing to put in the time and effort to help me change to become the person I want to be. I think that to develop new habits I need the support of my community. I realize that I can’t do this alone, that I need help, and I’m not ashamed of it.
It is taking a long time to get to this point: acknowledging the fact that I can’t do it alone. Having autism may make me more sensitive to needing help. I sometimes feel embarrassed because things that come easily to other people are hard for me. It makes me feel defensive and vulnerable. I’m trying to move past that. I’ve come to realize that while I need a little bit more help than other people in certain areas, everyone needs help, especially when they’re trying to change. Acknowledging my need for other people is not a weakness but a strength. Finding the balance between what I need help with and what I can do on my own is a lifelong process that I won’t get right all the time but that I am attempting to get better at every day.