WHAT AUTISTIC NICK DOES AFTER HE’S BECOME OVERWHELMED
I hate having that feeling of becoming overwhelmed.
It can be a small intricate trigger or a build up of many, many triggers before the sensation or feeling of becoming overwhelmed starts to come on.
In that moment it’s so confusing as to what to do, my mind is racing, its like a Catherine wheel spinning round and showing no signs of stopping no matter what I do.
So given all that this is going on I have come up with a plan – not necessarily to be followed it’s just a guide. It may not be possible because in that moment thinking is the last thing that I am doing.
I’m attempting to process what’s happened and what can I do to come to a point where I can communicate or even just catch my breath.
FIND A PLACE TO FEEL SAFE
This is dependent on where you are. If I am at home, I usually find my way to my bedroom or my calming corner. If I am work, there is a room where I can go to if I need it.
HAVE A CRY
Sometimes you just have to let the emotions that come with becoming overwhelmed out. Have a bloody good cry,
TALK ABOUT IT
If you can and are able to have a conversation with someone about what happened and why and explore all your feelings and emotions and discuss what could be done to avoid a similar situation in the future.
FIND THE THING THAT MAKES YOU FEEL CALM
This could be watching TV, listening to music, going for a walk, listening to a podcast, sitting alone in your garden in silence, whatever that thing is that brings you a sense of calm do it. It could also be an item from your sensory box.
CHOCOLATE AND LOLLIES/FAVOURITE FOODS
I like to have to hand my favourite lollies or chocolates nearby so if I am feeling overwhelmed and I have taken the time however long that is to work through it and calm down I can dip into my box of lollies or chocs and have them ready to eat. Also, I like to cook my favourite food for lunch or dinner.
TAKING A NAP
I will if it calls for it get into bed and take a nap. I usually have one every afternoon because I am so fatigued but if I have become overwhelmed, I know that a nap will allow me to become relaxed and feel calmer when I wake up after however long I take a nap for.
SLOW BREATHING TECHNIQUES
For me when I’m feeling overwhelmed proper breathing habits are essential for when you’re in the midst of of being overwhelmed.
I need to identify whether I breathe mainly through the chest or through my stomach. Short, shallow, and rapid breaths from the upper chest should be avoided.
My aim is to breathe deeply and slowly through the nose.
I practice breathing exercises every day. Learning to apply slow breathing as needed e.g., when feeling stressed, angry, or anxious.
Get yourself into a relaxed state, by:
- Getting comfortable, scanning the body for tension, and relaxing the muscles
- Selecting a favourite peaceful place which is real or imagined.
- Focusing the imagination using all 5 senses
- Using affirmations such as repeating ‘I am letting go of tension’; or ‘I am feeling peaceful’.
When supporting somebody who is Autistic and overwhelmed, keep calm and quiet. Be a consistent, safe presence to help the person with autism feel they can begin to relax. Try to avoid showing that you are worried as this may make them feel less secure and more anxious.
Ensure that the person you are supporting has an appropriate communication system in place and that they can use it properly. This will help them to express themselves and their frustrations and anxieties.
If a person has a particular “stim” or repetitive movement that helps them to feel calm, then you should support them in this.
“Stimming” can be a coping mechanism and may be a sign that the person is attempting to self-soothe.
Sometimes distraction can be a helpful technique. You may be able to remove a person from a stressful situation for long enough for them to recharge and return.
CARRY ON THE CONVERSATION
What things do you find effective that work for you when/if you become overwhelmed 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.
2 thoughts on “WHAT AUTISTIC NICK DOES AFTER HE’S BECOME OVERWHELMED”
[…] A. Well, firstly approach me and simply ask me if everything is, ok? If you don’t want an honest answer carry on walking, allowing me to come to a decision on what my next move will be, once you’ve asked me. This could be something as simple as going for a walk and allowing me to have a conversation with you, or just going for a walk-in silence. Either way I’ll let you know what’s happening and what can be done. In some cases, nothing can be done and I simply need to go home. https://autisticnick.com/2023/05/01/autistic-nicks-plan-if-youre-feeling-overwhelmed/ […]
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