Some people may not be aware but I am autistic (I was diagnosed as a child with Asperger Syndrome). One of the things that a person like myself experiences is a thing called burnout. An autistic burnout can be short – like an experience of totally, exhaustion every week as I have two boys who go to school and that for me with all the social interactions is mentally exhausting. Short term burnout is what it says on the tin, I feel tired and very exhausting. Tend not to get very motivated and just collapse on the sofa for a few hours or sleep to recover from all the mental processes because when you are autistic a lot of things are scripted (rehearsed or memories to help deal with a social situation) probably hence why can’t cope with a new situation as I haven’t got a coping strategy for it. I digress.
Long-term burnout is more severe in the sense of that it last longer and it can have long-term impacts such as regressing. For me sometimes when I have long-term burnout I regress, I can’t cook, communicate probably or leave my home by myself (these are a few examples). It is basically I believe where I just had enough of constantly doing something over a long period and I just shut down because it is exhausting, to say the least.
So, how do I cope with burnout, well here are some ways that have helped me?
I suppose the most obvious one to help reduce the burnout feelings in to rest and you would be right. Rest is so important just to have that break to breathe and not focus on too many stimuli has really helped me. Also, keeping things simple and do things that help me relax like reading a book or listening to music.
When you have suffered a burnout you can beat yourself up especially when you have you have commitments like being a parent, you want to do your best so your build self up when you don’t meet the expectations. No one is perfect and something that even now I still learning and that is it to be kind to myself.
This may help some people, it does for me but after a period after resting from burnout as I generally struggle to put my thoughts into words after the immediate event. It is ok to take your time and speak to someone if it helps you.
Like I have said previously to help rebuild your strength you have to start slowly and build from that. I have in the past wanted to go and too much which actually just sets you back further. Taking my time and doing things at a slower pace is fine. I used to be also on the go and feel that is what I had to do but mindfulness and allowing a slower pace has made a tremendous impact on my health.
Finally, writing down triggers to find out ways that help reduce or eliminate the triggering behaviour works for me. I am a bit of sucker for a solution, sometimes we don’t have a solution and that is ok, just focus on managing the situation the best you can.
Cheers for reading X