I’m freaking out. You’re freaking out. We are all losing our marbles. We are in a scary time, there’s a lot of uncertainty, a lot of change in routine, and a lot of chaos. At Asperger Experts we aren’t denying that and we don’t want you to deny it either. It is of the utmost importance that for the health of ourselves, our loved ones, our neighbors, and complete strangers that we stringently practice empathy, social distancing, washing hands, and if need be social isolation.
But in addition to prioritizing our physical health, it is extremely important that we also preserve our mental health. I’m not going to lie to you, even with a plethora of tools in my toolbox, like many of those reading this I have lost sleep, I have stared blankly at walls, I have worried about bills, I have cried in fear for the safety of my immunocompromised loved ones. Everyone reacts to trauma and anxiety differently, not everything in the below is going to be an ‘aha moment’ for you, but I hope that similar to a lighthouse we can shine a light for one another as together we navigate these rough waves of Covid 19.
1. Know the facts and do the basics.
Statistics are hard to talk about in an ever-changing situation, and Covid cases are going to continue to rise in the upcoming days but having an understanding and knowledge of the baseline basics and 101’s through either The World Health Organization or the Center For Disease Control can go a long way.
Additionally, for peace of mind make sure that you are taking the right physical steps. Washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using alcohol based hand sanitizers as a substitute. Disinfect and clean commonly touched surfaces such as electronics, doorknobs, and countertops. Limit social contact with other people to 6 feet if possible and if possible work from home/school from home. If you can’t work from home, communicating with your employer your fears and setting a plan of action for what can mutually be done to mitigate potential problems is not a bad idea.
2. Health at home.
If you’ve enrolled in even a single Asperger Experts course you by now know that the mind and body are connected. Make sure that you are hydrating, eating healthily, getting sleep, maybe doing some yoga or even meditation/breathing exercises. I find myself doing this particular one on average of at least once per day.
3. Turn the news off.
I am a news junkie. Human rights? Politics? Coronavirus? I am tracking it and I am slowly taking steps to stop doing so. Following every lead, every diagnosis, every case is a repetitive exposure set up for anxiety. It is incredibly important to be informed, but make sure that you’re limiting the flow of updates to the point that it is not suffocating you. Everyone’s threshold for this is different, but within the last 24 hours i’ve put time restrictions on my facebook and twitter use and already feel significantly happier. If you’re watching the news multiple times a day, try watching once at the end of the day.
4. Distract yourself.
For folks on the spectrum, the disruption of normalcy can be incredibly panic-inducing, this is particularly true as we see school closures. If possible, attempt to stick to somewhat of a similar learning routine. On a different note, make sure that you are providing time for flexibility to do what needs to be done to calm oneself down. Do I normally use video games as an unhealthy crux and play for 6 hours a day? No. Did I allow myself to do it last Saturday because that’s what I needed to recharge and reset? Absolutely. It’s okay to lightly bend the rules for safety and security.
5. Do one productive thing per day.
In a situation where things are uncertain and we have little to no control, we can build stability by doing even the smallest of things that already exist within our circle. Big tasks. Small tasks. Easy tasks. Hard tasks. Do one productive thing each day to give you that sense of purpose and progress.
6. Practice reframing your thoughts.
While it may seem silly, finding different ways to view the situation can provide some mental relief. Look historically, remember how you felt about a previously stressful event and how you think of it now? In 10 years that could likely be you looking back at the coronavirus. Terrified at the thought of being quarantined? Try taking advantage of the time for some self-reflection, goal setting, and maybe even taking care of some projects that you have put on hold.
Worried? Let it out. Know that there is incredibly powerful and calming solidarity in having real and genuine conversations about worries and concerns. Someone else worried? Hold space for them, empathize with them, reassure them. Be realistic, yet simultaneously caring with your loved ones. If you have a child on the spectrum, chances are they are going to need more reassurance than in times of less crisis. Practice patience, everyone's concerns are real and valid. If you are concerned about your situation, and need somewhere to blow off steam, feel free to do it in the comment section of this article.
Take care of one another, love one another, don't stock 8 years of toilet paper, we’re all in this together. Keep an eye out for a new course about how to homeschool and community events in the upcoming weeks.
- Love Asperger Experts