With the “new” normal that we are experiencing and the return to what we want to consider a norm by standards, I have somewhat forgotten what working is and the overwhelming demand that is placed on my work now that we are returning to what is considered pre-pandemic levels. It can exhaust me to the point that I don’t realize that it is essential to self-regulate because if not I will dwell myself in a sense of negativity and not want to resume my normal activity.
I know what is essential to my mental health recovery. I know that I need to take my medicine and have routine times I hydrate, eat, use the facilities, etc. throughout the day when working. However, when all is said and done and I enter the door to my “safe” space, I just want to feel in a state of disgust and don’t want to deal with things at all. Likewise, I also experience trouble whenever I do not keep myself fully engaged in activity. To remedy this, I have subscribed to some regional newspapers to get my brain jogging to start my day because if I don’t start my day by doing something productive, I will remain inactive and sedentary doing the bare minimum, which I realize isn’t good for my mental health.
Just as informing myself on current events is an essential start to the day, likewise it is essential to self-regulate at the end of the workday. It doesn’t make me less of a man by doing so. We as autistics are all unique in our very own way and our coping mechanism should be equally valued. Whether it is having the same song being repeated in our headset as it is occurring as I am typing this article, or as I often self -regulate by watching a host of YouTube videos by the same creator as he drives through all the highways through the area and even some of my attempts of district legislative routes and some of what the other creators have done with a twist of my liking because it helps me regulate my emotions to a more manageable speed so I can interact with others and later sleep.
I am also proud that I have had the same wireless headset for the past 8 months now. It has been the answer to many of my problems when I cannot emotionally regulate myself in contentious situations that necessitate my need to gravitate to my own world when necessary. My supports and employers know my need of this accommodation and I earlier this year have purchased a separate pair of wired headphones for my workstation due to the fact that it can be plugged into my work terminal and works with our new phone system, which may be helpful in increasing accuracy and being more productive within the workplace.
With earlier this month realizing that I needed to stop my caffeine intake because of a recent meltdown, along with more compliance with my medication and the understanding of the limits of the leeways of it and needing to get enough sleep, which I have been doing well the past week, not missing a dose in over a week as I have set a goal to go from last therapy session to the next (Thursday) without doing so. A combination of these things have helped me be more emotionally in control with my self during the work and program day and the seasonal change seems to be appearing earlier than normal as we are experiencing sunsets prior to 8:00 PM and it wont be past 8:00 PM until April 2022 so those effects are kicking in so I realize that I need to take advantage of the upcoming week ahead and get in some of that Vitamin D and enjoy my community as after the remnants of the storm known as Ida pass our area with a great deal of rain with a plan to have a host of nice cool sunny days on the horizon. It is essential as this is an holiday weekend that I also practice self-care, which I feel I will need to broaden my horizons when doing so in the future before the dismal winter sets in. Along with all these things, music needs to be appreciated and expanded if necessary so that I can better regulate with a more extensive playlist in order to be more quickly able to de-stress and get back to a quicker state of resolve and normalcy so I can be around more for my family, friends and everyone else that is essential in my journey.