Friday 10.30am AWST I’m busy logging into my computer, an emergency warning notification appears. I’m not connected to the internet something about a ethernet cable. I panic but all is well within 10 minutes.

Over the course of the next several hours I can feel something happening, it’s like a slow-motion part of a TV show or a film.

I see people bringing out their mobile phones and begin making calls, my mentor tells me that she’s going to be busy for the next couple of hours.

I type away working on my next article not wanting to involve myself in the unfolding drama.

Lunchtime comes and there’s now speculation circulating the office about an impending press conference that our premier Mark McGowan is supposedly going to be holding.

Again, I immerse myself in my article. I can feel my anxiety levels rising and panic setting into my head.

I put my noise canceling headphones on and play some music videos via YouTube in order to take my mind off whatever this is brewing.

It barely works.

I can still sense the impending panic and stress that is now making its way through my body. I take some deep breaths. I try to remain calm.

Word has now reached us that McGowan will be giving a press conference at 1.30pm AWST.

The middle section of my article that I’m working on needs something but what?

I attempt for the next 30-45 minutes to work it out.

I step away from it.

I text my sister and inform her that something is happening.

2pm there is no sign of Mark.

I am now counting down until I can leave work and get on a train and get back to my safe space – my bedroom.

For me with all this happening, the phones ringing, colleagues chatting with people on the phones, zoom calls being recorded, journalists being sent out to the nearest supermarkets to get footage of panic buying.

It’s all becoming too much for me.

2.30pm. I leave work. I rush towards the train station. I hop on a train. I get to Perth underground and head towards my platform where I board my train and head home.

I’m feeling a mixture of a premature panic attack coming on, my stress and anxiety levels rise and the only thing that’s keeping me focused is that I can, and I will be safe once I reach my bedroom where I can just let out all of these emotions and feelings.

I arrive home at 3.30pm.

I head straight for the shower; I need to feel calm. Water for me always has that affect on me. Whenever I get stressed, I just jump into my swimming pool and dive in and allow the stillness and the calmness of the water to envelop me and it de-stresses me completely. Obviously not in the wintertime do I do this, but mainly in the summertime. Just in case anyone reading this was interested in knowing and being informed about this.

After my shower, I put my pj’s on and get into bed. I place my noise cancelling headphones on and have a nap.

I need to de-stress here and naps do that for me. For however long my nap lasts I can block out the world and all what’s going on and be at peace with myself and not have to confront anything.

When I wake up, my sister tells me that we are now entering from tonight (Friday) a three-day lockdown.

I’m not prepared but I know the drill here.

I am as prepared as I can be.

So, if you are or ever have been stressed here then is a list of things that I do to de stress myself.

Taking a nap.

Listening to music.

Watching television.

Go for a walk or exercise.

Play solitaire on my I-pad.

Going for a swim.

I ignored most of the things on the above list, but I did nap immediately once I was home and I made the decision to turn off my phone, and step away from any electronic device. I found that this was the best decision for me to take as I took Friday night and all-day Saturday to fully de-stress myself.

I do feel annoyed at myself and here’s why, initially when this was all happening, I became lost, and my mind went blank, and I couldn’t remember any of the steps that I needed to work through in order to achieve a calmer me.

Reflecting back on it, I shouldn’t have been so hard on myself, I should have breathed and just simply allowed myself time to think and to evaluate the situation and manage it better. But given this hit me hard and it was a build-up of environmental noises around me that lead me to finding myself in this stressful place on a hot Friday afternoon.


How do you cope with stress?

What techniques work for you?

Let me know in the comments section below.

As always, I can also be found on Twitter:@AutisticNickAU

Thank you for reading and I will see you next time for more thoughts from across the spectrum.


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