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.
Getting together with people I don’t usually see is stressful for me. I start stressing days if not weeks before the event. I come up with the worst possible scenario and I keep thinking about it. Yes, I have had incredibly difficult experiences, especially with family, that have shaped my vision of get togethers. I do want to learn from these experiences and move on however.
For me, moving on would be acknowledging my limitations but celebrating my strengths. I know that I need to be well-rested before the occasion. I also need to eat as I get cranky when tired or really hungry. I need some physical space so not getting into the center of the crowd works best for me. Bringing a small comfort object helps me de-stress too. Having an exit strategy works wonders since I feel more comfortable so I don’t feel “trapped “at the event. Thinking ahead about topics I feel comfortable talking about is helpful, as does practicing the topics ahead of time with a friend or family member. Knowing some expectations prior to an event aid me in deciding what to wear, what to bring, and other practical matters. I also try to bring something for the people who plan and host as I feel better contributing, plus it’s often expected to bring a gift.
It’s very easy for me to get stuck thinking about my limits. However, I’m trying to be more positive these days by highlighting my strengths. I’m thoughtful, kind, and a good listener. I’m a good friend and family member and I care about other people. I’m good at reading other people and I have good self-knowledge. It’s not always easy to think about what is good and what works best; it’s natural to get stuck thinking about what doesn’t work or the negative things in life. This is something I will need to focus on until it becomes habit.
Self-understanding helps me stay calmer before, during, and after most gatherings. Taking care of myself after a get together is just as I’m important since I’m tired and need space to recover my energy. Quiet time and activity are usually best for me; I prefer reading, going on a walk, and watching a movie. It often takes me a day or two before I feel like myself. Getting back to routine is important for my mental and physical heath. I will take care of myself every day but preparing ahead for an occasion and good self-care afterwards is especially important for me.