16. Jun, 2020

12 weeks into Lockdown

Hello all

It has been 12 weeks in Lock down and life as we knew it has dramatically changed. Shops have been closed, theatres and schools and some of us have not seen family members for several weeks. During this time it is important to keep safe and well and I have found that strategies as someone who is neurodiverse may be a little different from the rest of the population so I thought I would share them with you.

1) Routine and structure are imperative. When I stopped setting my morning alarm for 8am and going to bed later at night my internal world was thrown into disarray. I did not know what time it was or day and I lost all sense of time. By going to bed at the same time at night and waking up at the same time each morning depending on how many hours sleep you need you set yourself right for the rest of the day.

2) Focus on the here and now. I am somebody who either lives in the past or the future. I am either still processing traumatic events from the past that I pushed down inside and did not get round to discussing my feelings because I am too busy or I am planning for the future and what I would like to become. The trick is to learn how to just be! Be still and learn that doing stuff is not just about passing time but it is about expressing your creativity in a way that is true to your identity. Take this time to learn new skills or study something you have always wanted to do.

3) I know everyone has jumped on the stay connected band wagon and organised fun on zoom is becoming increasingly more common but the thing to take away from this is that if you feel lonely then you must reach out to someone. A friend you can trust or a supportive family member is all it takes to help you feel right again and if you do not have those things then seek support online in forums of activities you enjoy.

4) Learn what you enjoy and take time for you. Contrary to popular belief and this was a hard one for me. It is not selfish to take time for yourself if you are protecting your body and mind so that you can help others more later down the line. I know many people particularly who work in helping professions who feel guilty if they take a break or turn the focus on themselves. You have to help yourself too, sometimes. Nobody else will.

5) Less time on social media. This has been my life line. Turning off my phone has helped me keep the negativity from the outside world outside. By turning on those channels you are allowing the negativity into your home and your safe space.

6) Exercise and eat healthily. Take advantage of that daily exercise do not just stay in the house. Looking at the same four walls is bad for anybody.

I hope you all stay safe and look after yourselves. We shall see you on the other side.