Wellness Wednesday: Accepting Our Coping Mechanisms

I know I sound like a broken record when I say that my post for Wednesday is late, but I’ve heard many great things this week and have too discovered many great things. One of those things is that wellness doesn’t just include our physical health, but it includes our mental and spiritual health too! We cannot be physically well without our mental health. I have said many times that Mental Health and Autism do correlate greatly. With that in mind I am going to spend this week on accepting out coping mechanisms.

Now when I say coping mechanisms this can be a multitude of things that help us as autistics cope with the environment of everyday life of where we call home and sometimes within that environment if we cannot have the ability to control the activities going around us. Many times, this requires us as autistics to drift away from the main conversation and be sort of our coping world where we can have the ability to get through the challenges that we have to face in the world that isn’t comfortable for us that cause sensory overload for us.

Many days when I leave my home, I need something to cope with to be out in public, especially in environments where sensory overload presents itself. I, like many others like to be a patron of establishments as much as neurodiverse and neurodivergent patrons. I just need some auxiliary devices to get to the point that I can enjoy my visit to that establishment. For me that is headphones. I have been using this as a mechanism for many years now, I would say most of my adulthood. In technical school I would have to use public transportation a lot of the time and thankfully my roommate there got me interested in the music that I enjoy and then I broadened my horizon after technical school. However, being there taught me that in appropriate situations it was OK to use this to help you cope with the environment around me. I personally discovered that music was my friend and the MP3 Player was a Godsend. It helped me get not only through the boredom and mundaneness of these activities, but at times helped me express the frustration or thoughts I had racing in my head about a certain subject.

Two Christmases ago, my sister bought me an Amazon Echo, which offered a low rate to Amazon Music Unlimited, which today is my new Godsend. Recently, I have discovered the My Soundtrack feature where it plays my hits and incorporates like songs and I always have the option to give them a thumbs up or down. This exposes me to music that helps me cope too while mixing up my scene of the hits. I can just play it and let it roll as much as I need to. Although many days when I am home attending things virtually, I prefer to play a nice selection of Imagine Dragons songs that I selected when staying with my parents during the stay at home phase of the pandemic last spring. It helped me when my mind was all over the place get my mind in gear to start the day in an appropriate mood and in a right way.

The past month after over a decade of purchasing at least one set of earbuds a month due to excessive wear and tear, I made the executive decision to purchase over the ear headphones, and have came to accept the fact that I need to because it is what I need to cope with the day that the world throws at us. I had purchased a similar wired headset for the computer some months prior because of having to attend things virtually. These had made me understand how much better having these as a defense mechanism helped me when I was handling the stresses of life with all the changes of 2020.

I have learned that people will have to accept that I will need the headset as a defense mechanism to get by in life. It has been tested this week with the construction behind my apartment building but I am learning to get along in life by keeping my mental health in check by making sure that I am OK. Don’t be afraid to take time to make sure you are OK and can cope with the life around you because again there is no health without your mental health.

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