Okay, so I tried to do a video talking about how I deal with stress, and I went down this rabbit hole of anxiety because those two things are different, but stress often triggers anxiety for me.
With stress, stress is like a stressful situation has occurred and now you are feeling anxious and you are feeling stressed because of a situation. Anxiety is often for no reason, so I want to add that in there.
For me as an autistic person, my reactions to stress and anxiety are a bit different. I sometimes actually have panic attacks and that – I don’t know if it’s related to being autistic or what – I’ve always had them; I just didn’t know what they were.
I also sometimes have meltdowns and autistic shutdowns where, if something is just too stressful, my brain kind of goes into a partially operational mode where I’m not firing on all cylinders. I just, kind of, will either explode outwardly and express how freaked out I am – and that’s usually bad, I try not to do that because it will get you into trouble if you’re around other people – or I will implode in on myself into feeling self-hatred.
Those are my stress responses … the initial response to stress … not good. So, once I realize that is happening or has happened, I work to get myself on track.
I do breathing exercises. I temporarily remove myself from the situation. I will go take a walk. I try to spend lots of time in nature.
I try to schedule lots of down time because I get more stressed out when my brain is constantly amped up all the time, when I’m go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go non-stop and I’m already on edge because I’m not slowing down enough.
I’m not spending enough time doing calming activities for me: mindfulness, yoga, walks in nature, swimming, breathing exercises, laying under my weighted blanket, enjoying stimmy activities. I need more of that. That’s how I deal with stress as an autistic person.
I hope that helps. Let me know what you do because I think everyone could use more stress relief techniques. I’ll talk to you guys next week. Bye!