AUTISTIC NICK, GETTING ORGANISED AND CHRISTMAS SHOPPING
This year I got organised!
Yes, let that sink in.
I got ORGANISED!!
And now you’re asking what I got organised over aren’t you?
Well, it’s going Christmas shopping!
Yes, it’s early I am fully aware of this!
But, there are circumstances and reasons as to why.
Which I don’t want to bore you with detail wise.
Suffice to say I did it!
So, I booked my support worker (Lorraine) to come and support me on Monday.
I booked this in September, I think.
I knew the details of what I know now back then!
I started out by asking for lists from people (there’s three in my family) so a short list!
When I got my sisters list, I went and spoke to my mum, and we decided which bits/gifts we’d get and when I got my mum’s list, I did the same with my sister.
I next made a budget and worked out which of the gifts from the various lists I could afford.
I also must factor in that it is also my mum and my brother’s birthday in the same month!
I know right!
On my phone I have something called notes and if you sync them up you can send a note through to someone and so that’s what my sister did for me.
On my list I have the names of the person that I am buying for and then next to them is the gift and the place where I am going to need to go to buy it and then finally the amount that I am spending on them ($10).
Jokes! That’s a joke re $10!!
As I said I am also taking a support worker with me and I am also going on a Monday so fingers crossed it will be quiet and I can think.
I don’t want to be bombarded by people who cannot cope with the shops closing for one day and thinking in a blind panic that they’ll run out of food or that those 12 trolleys they filled to the top won’t be enough on the day!
I also have strategies in place for being in a shopping centre if I have or start to have a meltdown.
Shopping centres are the worst place for an Autistic person to be in especially around the Christmas period.CHRISTMAS SHOPPING
As soon as you enter one of these places I know that I am being intentionally slaughtered with bright lights and music to influence my buying decisions then add to that the loud PA announcements, songs blaring out about how happy families are for the festive period, crashing trolleys, changes in temperature, smells from the bakery, deli, gardening department, butcher, seafood, staff with their large oversized trolleys parked in aisles in the way filling shelves that you have to carefully manoeuvre around… and it attacks me from all angles.
IDENTIFY, DISCUSS, AND WORK ON POTENTIAL SENSORY TRIGGERS IN ADVANCE
Identify potential sensory triggers and discuss expectations for those situations as well as solutions that might be possible. For example, a noisy, crowded shopping mall could be a trigger – expectations could revolve around the time spent there, problem-solving could include negotiating stores differently or discussing an exit-plan.
DEALING WITH BEING STRESSED
FOUR SKILLS FOR MANAGING STRESSFUL SITUATIONS
These are Awareness, Acceptance, Coping and Action skills. Some skills may be more useful in certain situations. Each skill may be explained better using a situation which a person may face in real life.
This is getting a clearer understanding of the situation and how it affects the person.
Acknowledging that you are getting stressed and being realistic about the effects that it is having on you e.g., what aspects are within your control, and which are out of your control and then working out if these are or important/unimportant.
Preparing to cope with the stressful situation by learning various strategies. Identify what changes you can make to control the situation and reduce stress levels.
Actively making changes to counteract or reduce the level of stress.
Proper breathing habits are essential for good mental and physical health. First, a person needs to focus upon their breathing pattern.
So now all I need to do is to prepare myself for the worst but know that I have the tools and a support worker with me if things get too much.
I have also booked my support worker to help me wrap those gifts afterwards as I’m not particularly great at wrapping gifts and she’s a skilled ninja!!
Carry on the Conversation
As always, I can also be found on Twitter:@AutisticNickAU and on the Official Autistic Nick Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/AutisticNickAU/
Thank you for reading and I will see you next time for more thoughts from across the spectrum.
You must be logged in to post a comment.