Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Sensory overload and autism.

Hey readers, 

One of the problems I have is I get overloaded and my mind can't cope with all the information it wants to process.

 This is a big struggle for someone like myself on the autistic spectrum. It is very challenging and hard to deal with at times. 





This post was an idea where I wanted to discuss the impact of sensory overload as a person who is autistic. 


However, the ironic thing is I have been thinking about this post for at least three months beforehand because my head has been spinning as a result of overload. 

I had so my many thoughts that I wanted to write down but it is draughting because of how much there was to process.

I struggle to process thoughts especially when they are fast pasting causing me to stress out.

 I feel overloaded with information and one big thing for me when thinking about how autism affects me is the need for control. 

I am massively swayed to think in black and white and if it is not concrete with regards to my thoughts I find it extremely stressful to manage my thoughts. 



When I feel overloaded I feel at times excited but stressed because I want my thoughts in order and it feels messy.

 I have so many thoughts at times and I want to process them but can't because other thoughts appear.

 I like to take my time and look at the details of the information but when I am juggling these thoughts information gets lost because I can't hold all the information. it is nion impossible. It leads back to not being in control. 



Sensory is a big factor and overload doesn't just deal with thoughts though that is one big trigger for me. 



Another scenario that causes me to feel overwhelmed and the need to want to shut down is when I go shopping.

 My body aches after and when I return home and husband knows not to bother me for a while as I am snappy and need time to wind down.

 Before he used to ask questions and it would really cause me to get stressed out. 

It is mentally exhausting being in a busy environment with people walking in all different directions.

 I struggle with fast movement plus people unintentionally touching you causing me to feel nauseous. 

On top of that, there is space and big spaces and small ones make me feel suffocated.

 If I am in a big Asda store say for example there is humming noises above with the extract fans really hurt my ears. 

The music played in the supermarket is loud and words can cause an emotional response. 

Not to forget I have a need to take in all my environment which is tiring as there is so much to see.

 Then the ultimate thing is the cashier small talk where they ask questions and wait for a reply. 

I have learned to script replies beforehand to respond through new questions occur where I am not prepared. 

I stutter and worry afterward whether I said the right thing. 

I am not good at confidently speaking and saying something off the cuff. It does not come naturally to me.


Afterwards dealing with that over sensory experience leaves me drained because it has taken all my energy to get through the struggles. 

I can feel really dizzy and I need to time to lie down to help get my balance back. 

 So, in just one scenario it all adds up to the pivot point where I am having a sensory overload as there too much information to process. 

I need time and that is what is important to allow me to deal with the feelings and thoughts that I have experienced. I then need to work out how to deal with the information and file it away. 



Ways that have helped me deal with sensory overload. 



1. Learn to accept you can't hold on to everything,  the world won't stop turning because I lose some information. If it is that important I will remember otherwise let it go. 



2. Don't watch programmes that cause me to overthink before bed, I need time to slow down my thoughts. 


3. Know that if it gets too much to have a backup plan. Even if it is just to sit down somewhere quiet away from the busyness for five to give me that rest to then go back and continue if needed.

4. If you are going shopping it can help to write a list of the things you need so you can focus on getting them and then get out. 

Therefore, you don't have to think on the spot nor spend loads of time working out what to do when you are anxious. 

Having a concrete plan also gives you that control and you know what you are doing. 

5. Have sensory toys that suit you so can use if you need to stim or get some sensory seeking done. 

6. Make sure you have snacks (I get low blood sugar levels when I am out for a long time). Also, make sure you have plenty of fluids to keep you hydrated and help think more clearly. 

Cheers for reading X 

Sunday, 18 August 2019

6 Ways To Make You Feel More Happier.

Hey readers, 

We all get in a funk from time to time and it can be a struggle to breakdown that negative cycle. So, here are my top 6 ways to help shift your mood to a more happier one. 




1. Distractions. 

It can be hard to get out of snapping out of the negativity because you are constantly feeding it with your thoughts. 

It can be an automatic response to when you feel rubbish to focus on the negatives. That is why sometimes I have found that instead of trying to come up with a solution to the problem use distractions to take my mind off the negative feelings works well.  

Distractions give you something to focus on other than the situation you are in and can help breakdown the negative cycle. It doesn't have to be something big it could be as a simple as walking to the shop buying a newspaper and reading it on a bench. 

2. Breathing. 

A good idea is to take five minutes to lie down somewhere that is quiet and where you won't be distracted with noise etc. 

This allows you that time to focus on breathing. Breathing is brilliant especially with feelings of anxiety and worry. Focusing on using all your diaphragm and lungs is key so you allow your body to adjust and find equilibrium after experiencing a fight or flight response. 

3. Write down. 

Write down how you are feeling on paper. You don't have to worry about spelling but just write free-flowing off the cuff. This can help get your words down and understand more clearly how you feel instead of constantly having the thoughts swimming around in your head. 

4. Thoughts. 

It is so easy when you have low self-esteem to constantly be one's own worst enemy and drag yourself down. Be mindful of what you say to yourself. For example, instead of saying to yourself, 'your crap and won't get the job' swap by saying a positive response to a situation, 'I did my best and that is all that counts, what will be will be'

It is so important for your mental health to work on yourself (trust me I know as have had low self-esteem for a number of years and can totally understand how bloody hard work it is). Nevertheless, you can make positive steps forward and I am a big believer of baby steps.  

5. Sleep. 

Sleep is so important in helping clear your head and making sensible decisions. Sleep helps with regulating your emotions. 

I think we have all been there when a tiny thing can cause an irrational response when we are overtired. 

A good tip to invest in is to make sure you turn off electrics an hour before bed and watching or reading something that is calming can really be helpful for settling your mind. 

6. Exercise. 

Exercise is not everything however it can be of benefit with triggering positive hormones such as endorphins that give you that feel-good feeling. You don't even have to go to the gym, you can simply go for a walk for 20 minutes. All these little things add up and have an impact on your mental health. 

What ways help put you in a more happier mood? Love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below. 

Cheers for reading X 

My Sunday photo 18/08/2019


Friday, 16 August 2019

Maybe

Hey readers,

I have Asperger's Syndrome, a mild form of autism (though to me it is not mild and it is present every day in my life).




Though there are so many areas to discuss autism today I am going to focus on one thing that affects me and causes great distress at the moment.

 That is the word 'maybe', which by the way I hate it and I hate it in relation to a response to a question. It is covered in grey and makes me stressed, especially when it is a response to a question which I want a definite answer (which 90% of the time).


You see as an autistic person I like control, I like to know what is happening. I love routine it comforts me. Sometimes I admit I get too rigid that I get struck and obsessive making my health deteriorate.

 One of the reasons is because I like black and white, I don't like the murky waters of the unknown. I never have, I feel it is innate and my body responds instantly. 

I can remember as a young child-hating change and uncertainty. I had carers who seemed unpredictable which is not great if you have an autistic mind like myself you get very confused as to what is happening. 

 I was on edge not knowing how someone would respond. I had night terrors because of the fear. That is just one example.


Maybe I will, maybe I won't? but why can't I have a yes or a no? Often, I didn't care, either way, I was more focused on the answer to be certain. I don't like guessing games, I like certainty.


I don't know really what is the point to the point of this post, I just wanted to get it off my chest because right now I am dealing with maybe which quite frankly is most infuriating.

Cheers for reading X

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

27 things you take for granted before you became a mum

Hey readers,

Sometimes as a mum, you don't get much reward (I am not complaining because this is the life I wanted). However, you never really appreciate your life before you have children until you have children.





Here is a list of some of the kind of things you took for granted before you became a mummy.

1) A lie-in.

2) Going shopping by yourself.

3) Being spontaneous.

4) Only responsible for yourself.

5) Not having to read the same book over and over again.

6) Quietness.

7) Pee in peace.

8) Not having to share anything, haha.

9) Having an adult conversation.

10) You never knew what Peppa Pig was.

11) Having a conversation.

12) Not having to read yourself.

13) Hot drink.

14) Not having your clothes smeared in snot.

15) A Goodnight sleep.

16) Being ill and not doing anything.

17) Reading a book.

18) Having a tidy home.

19) Peace of mind.

20) Running errands without every five minutes having a small human ask are we going home yet.

21) Having a shower.

22) Not being late.

23) Having nice furniture.

24) Personal space.

25) Time.

26) Energy.

27) eating in a restaurant.

Cheers for reading X

Sunday, 11 August 2019

34 things to do when sad

Hey readers,

I suffer from depression and sometimes it can be easy to get stuck in feeding into the negative thoughts. What I sometimes find helpful is to stop and do something productive. 

So I have written a list of helpful things (also I go to when complete forget everything).



1.  Read a newspaper.

2. Colour in.

3. Meditation.

4. Go for coffee.

5. Practice handwriting.

6. Go to the shop and buy a magazine.

7. Read a book.

8. Clean (wash up, hoover, put clothes away etc).

9. Shower.

10. Take a walk.

11. Doodle.

12. Mind map - blog ideas etc.

13. A hot cup of tea.

14. Wear a chunky jumper.

15. Cook a recipe.

16. Brush hair/plait hair.

17. Watch mindful videos.

18. Watch something funny.

19. Write some poetry.

20. Play with clay - get creative.

21. Take some photos.

22. Paint nails.

23. Sing a song.

24. Dance your heart out.

25. Walkthrough woodlands.

26. Watch the sun setting.

28. Stroke a furry animal.

30. Light a candle.

31. Watch clouds.

32. Deep breathing.

33. Squeeze a stress ball.

34. Write down three positive things in your life.

Is there something you enjoy that is a great distraction? Love to hear your comments in the comment section. 

Cheers for reading X

My Sunday photo 11/08/2019


Friday, 9 August 2019

The struggle is within

Hey readers,

I don't often discuss my parenting issues in relation to my autism, mainly because I am embarrassed and quite frankly ashamed.




I am going to be straight up and honest and say that I struggle with this parenting thing. 
Let's be more specific as I am aware that actually, I am good at some bits. 

Depression would argue but that it is the truth. However, the one area I do struggle with is mainly with my boys and trying to entertain him for long periods. 

I feel guilty if I can't entertain my children but stuck in a dilemma where I can't concentrate on people for long periods of time, it totally exhausted me. 

I am also an introvert so therefore need time alone to store back my energy. I find interacting exhausting as a lot of the time I am thinking beforehand about how to communicate.

 The times when I am not thinking are when I am being impulsive due to anxiety therefore not censoring and not always saying the right. 

Not really rude, just random and repetitive. Kinda overlaps with ADHD/OCD traits I have learned. I don't have ADHD but with Aspergers there many overlapping traits from other conditions that are apparent. I digress (a major trait of mine right there).

I find it hard to entertain as there are many thought processes that occur and that is tiring. 9 times out of 10 after ten minutes of play I am exhausted mentally.

 I need to do nothing and shut down as I have used all my energy up focusing on that one action that takes many different social rules.


I think one area that is really tough for like me as an autistic living in a technological world (though most of the time it is the dream) I do get sucked into the whole idea of perfect parenting with this idea that you have to entertain your children all the time.

I am one of the few or many not many other autistic people have spoken out in actually I do care what people think and I am very aware of me. 
I am not dissing autistic people that don't give a dame, in actual fact, I admire you and wish I was bloody like that, hell it would so liberating. But I have not reached that acceptance of me.

I wish I could just be laid back, but it seems I am a worrier and feel that because I am an autistic parent I need to make up for my inadequacies.

Cheers for reading X

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Introverted parents

Hey readers,

Sometimes I worry that I am not good enough parent simply because I am an introvert. 

I accept I am an introvert and there are some really good qualities that come with that type of personality.




When I look back as a child I saw people judge me because I didn't always have a voice or couldn't find the words to say what I needed to say. I believe that this was a mix of my personality and having autism.

 Communication is not my strongest point. However, I remember feeling bad because it kept getting mentioned. You see some points in my childhood I lived in the care system and there really was a lot of loud children that wanted to be heard.

 I was judged because I was not the status quo and then it made me question am I good enough?! I used to think that because I was quiet and philosophical in the sense I liked to reflect and ponder over things. 

People notice loud people, that is fine it takes all sorts to make the world go round. The problem is at such a young age I interpreted the messages that I was not good enough. Being quiet wasn't good, I wouldn't get anywhere in life because I couldn't form friendships. 

To me communication meant opportunity. I still believe that to some extent. Nonetheless, I have come to accept who I am and that world needs both quiet and loud as they both in their own right carry brilliant attributes.

Sadly, there is also a downside, like everything I guess. Sadly, you can't change who you are, I love quiet time and crave time alone where I can just be left alone to think. When I have time alone it gives me the opportunity to not have to think about the socialising which coincidently my husband thrives off it.

I am lucky in the sense I have a supportive husband that understands my needs and that yes it is selfish but selfish can be good, especially when it keeps the family home life calm.

I find social interaction exhausting with my children at times. I am not saying I hate my children most of the time I enjoy it and find it really fun and amusing. However, it can be really mentally draining for me. 

I suppose it doesn't help that I am autistic as well so uses up a lot more energy trying to read the social situation. I feel like I am constantly trying to work out how to respond correctly. Not to mention my eldest is also autistic and has his own needs on top of everything else.

I think it takes a lot more energy for introverted parents like myself as I spend more time processing emotional stuff and probably overthinking things a bit too much too. 

This can be good but also can be exhausted as it takes it out of you, let's face it generally parenting is hard work so there is not much energy left for much more.

One good aspect of being an introverted parent is the fact that it can be a positive role model in the sense that shows that it is ok to have quiet time and do your own thing. 

It can also teach children that not every moment someone wants noise and that sometimes people need space.

Cheers for reading X