As we approach the eve of the Fall Equinox, I have been thinking of ways to better intertwine nature into activities of wellness. Being outdoors makes me feel better and there is nothing like the air hitting your face at a time of year like the shoulder season.
If you’ve been invested in my blogs as I have been the past few years, you instantly get that writing is one of my ways of expressing myself. One of my coping mechanisms is to journal and there is nothing like that. However, I was suggested that I take that coping skill and take it outdoors to my front porch. I fell in love with that idea because there is nothing like being outdoors and having the natural air hitting your face or the sounds of the outside world outside of the four walls.
Many autistics have quite the knack for being indoors and not wanting to leave the walls they feel comfortable in. This is not exclusively a problem for the autistic community alone but everyone alike. Having better access to technology than we have had ever has further compromised the likeness of wanting to go outside, even for fresh air. I have made it more of a point starting this past spring to get at least twenty minutes of outside air when the weather is favorable by reading or writing something, but it is imperative to not remain cooped up in the house because I know for a fact it can have an impact on my demeanor.
Sometimes this can mean thinking outside the box, literally. It means maybe having a meal in the park or having reflection time to collect your thoughts in a space meant to do so. There are many times that I just want to stay inside and be lazy, even not doing anything. That is OK if recovery is necessary, but why, if it is possible, take it outside so you can feel better. Numerous studies have proven that outside air is healthier than indoor air that is recycled. Maybe it can mean exploring the community that you love, making stops on the journey to nourish yourself along the way.
Change is hard, and it is best to do it in small doses. I hadn’t explored my community in the way I did at my first home until a few months ago and I feel so much better again, even with being better than I was back then. I connect with the sights and sounds of nature that I have missed from years ago. It brings up some memories that I like to blend with music and it makes me feel good.
Music is also one of my top coping skills in dealing with the unpleasant issues that cause stress around me. I am learning that it, combined with grounding and breathing mechanisms aid in the process of what is necessary for me to cope with things that may be challenging and hard to grasp when the world is not built in a way that makes it manageable for the neurodiverse.
The world has been through so many changes in the past few years that it is no surprise that it has taken as long as it has to transition back into doing things that seem normal again, yet, it is essential to be prepared in the event that a need to isolate or prepare for the unexpected.