Remaining calm becomes difficult when people are flooded with emotions or stimuli.

People who experience difficulties processing sensory information, such as myself and who also has sensory processing disorder (SPD), or highly sensitive people, can sometimes go into a state of sensory overload.

Overload occurs when a person experiences too much sensory stimulation and cannot handle it all.

Sometimes an Autistic person may behave in a way that you wouldn’t immediately link to sensory sensitivities.

A person who struggles to deal with everyday sensory information can experience sensory overload, or information overload.

Too much information can cause stress, anxiety, and possibly physical pain.

This can result in withdrawal, challenging behaviour, meltdown, or shutdown.

Below are TEN things that calm me down.

Things that aren’t listed include a bag of Minties, A bag of Lindt milk chocolate balls, A charcuterie board, Bourbon and coke (a 6 pack), Toblerone (any size), a cheese board.

If anyone wishes to buy any of those above items for me they are more than welcome.


A delicious glass of cloudy apple juice with crushed ice in it and not cubes of ice. I prefer the crushed ice option as that way it’s easier for me to crunch and it’s smaller more manageable pieces.

Cloudy Apple Juice


A bread roll. I love a freshly baked bread roll. I like to butter it and put ham and cheese in it with cucumber and some slices of red onion as well as some mayo. I also enjoy kettle chips (sea salted or cheese and onion potato chips).

Ham and Cheese Roll


Getting into my swimming pool and enjoying the way the water envelops me. I like to dive under and stay under water and just enjoy the way the water flows over me.

Me Relaxing in my pool


Going for a beach coastal walk and allowing the fresh air to wave over me and just to allow the working week wash away and allow my body to relax.

Burns Beach Coastal Walk


Napping is an essential part of my day and is the one thing that if nothing else works it will. Allowing my body to relax and to recharge itself is the key to me being refreshed and relaxed and alert.

My Bedroom


Playing solitaire on my I-pad, words with friends or spell bee a new game I just found. Anything that can take my focus away from say a stressful situation and relax me is doing its job.  



I carry a word search book in my backpack as a sensory calming item. I usually make sure that I complete four searches on the train journey to work and then four on the train journey back from work. I find it prevents me from becoming overwhelmed and stressed and gives me something to focus on. Obviously, it cannot prevent a meltdown from occurring but it’s an aid, nevertheless.

My Word Search Book


I have subscribed to my favourite YouTube channels and I can quickly access them and watch my favourite videos at a click of a button. I also have other streaming services at my disposal which I can also access quickly.



My calming down corner that is inside my bedroom. It has all the items that I need if I get to the point of experiencing difficulties processing sensory information, and those with sensory processing disorder (SPD) such as myself, or highly sensitive people, can sometimes go into a state of sensory overload. My overload could occur when I’m experiencing too much sensory stimulation and cannot handle it all. For me retreating to a calm down corner/space is perfect for when I am angry, frustrated, anxious, or beginning to feel overwhelmed.

I am always aware (to the best of my ability) of my behaviour and I attempt to be on the lookout for signs that I am beginning to become overwhelmed and need a break.

My Calming Down Corner inside my Bedroom


Sitting in my back garden, allowing the fresh air to do its job, sitting in silence and taking in the day’s events. Not being disturbed. Not having any electronic devices around. Allowing myself to listen to my body and enjoy the silence and stillness of the day.

My Garden where I sit and contemplate life


What things do you do to calm yourself down?

What’s worked for you?

Let me know in the comments section below.

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.